Your Postal Worker and Garbage Collector May Not Be The Only Ones With Access to Your Information

 

Most people wouldn't dream of leaving home without locking the door. But just because thieves are deterred from going inside your house doesn't mean that you're totally protected from identity theft at home. As long as your mail and garbage are easily accessible, you're at risk!

 

Mail theft occurs when thieves take mail from individual mailboxes, apartment mailbox panels, collection boxes, and even postal trucks. Garbage theft occurs when thieves steal from garbage and recycling bags, cans, and bins stored outside of the house or left at the curb for pickup.

 

In both cases, thieves are typically searching for checks, credit card applications, bank account statements, and other documents with personal information they can use to their advantage.

 

Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to help protect your identity at home.

 

  • Switch to a mailbox with a lock if you don't already have one, or modify your existing mailbox.

 

  •  When you're away from home overnight or longer, place a hold on your mail (online at www.usps.com or with a Hold Mail form at the post office) instead of letting it pile up in your mailbox.

 

  • Use a cross-cut shredder to shred documents containing credit card numbers, bank-account information, or other personal information before discarding them in the recycling bin or trash.

 

  •  Secure important documents—birth certificates, Social Security cards, passports, and so on—in a safe deposit box or safe hidden within your home.

 

  • Stop newspaper delivery and garbage service if you're leaving town. Papers piling up or a garbage can on the curb for a week signal that your home is vacant and vulnerable to thieves.

 

  •  Set up lights on timers to make your home look occupied when you're away.

 

  •  Have a neighbor you trust keep an eye on your home, and leave a number where you can be reached.

 

  • Immediately notify the post office and anyone you do business with if you change your address.

 

  • Place outgoing mail in a post office mail slot or hand it to a postal worker instead of leaving it at your home mailbox for pick-up.

 

 

Note: Reference to commercial products, services, or trade names within information provided by Georgia Power Northwest Federal Credit Union does not constitute an endorsement by Georgia Power Northwest Federal Credit Union and does not imply discrimination against similar products or services.

 

 

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