According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, identity theft refers to the preparatory stage of acquiring and collecting someone else’s personal information for criminal purposes. Although identity theft may seem unlikely, it is crucial to take preventative measures in order to protect yourself. The most effective way to dispose of sensitive or personal information is to shred it. You can shred your personal information using a small shredder from your local office supply store, or for bigger jobs, you can take your personal information to a company who specializes in document shredding.
Here is a list of sensitive information you should be shredding, rather than just throwing it in the garbage or recycle bin:
- Bank receipts and statements
- Documents containing your address
- Any papers with your social insurance number
- Cheques, including canceled or voided cheques
- Credit reports
- Any documents containing passwords or login information
- Driver’s License
- Tax returns
- Employment documents
- Financial records
- Credit card bills
- Health insurance cards
- Documents containing your signature
- Legal documents.
If you suspect that your identity has been compromised, contact your local authorities immediately.