Most of those who fall victim to identity thieves only find out about the crime after serious damage has been done to their credit, or after a substantial amount has been siphoned away from their accounts. The best way to keep you safe is by being conscious about how you keep and dispose of your vital information. Here is a quick guide to document shredding in Los Angeles.
Credit cards sent through mail. Pre-approved credit cards sent through mail that people can easily fill out to activate the card. Likewise, expired credit and identification cards should be shredded immediately. Any mail or paperwork that includes account numbers, birth dates, passwords and PINs, signatures, and most importantly, social security numbers, should be properly destroyed prior to disposal.
Keep tax records and home purchase, sale or improvement documents for six to seven years before shredding them. The IRS may audit your return within three years of filing if you made a mistake. They may also do an audit within six years if you under-reported your gross income by twenty-five percent. Similarly, improvements you make and costs such as the commission of a real estate agent lowers your capital gains tax, therefore it is a good idea to keep proof of these transactions for the same amount of time.
Bank statements and medical records can be disposed of after a year. If possible, it's a good idea to switch to online statements instead of mail. Insurance records should be kept for the entire life of the policy, plus an additional five years. Related records such as prescriptions, hospital, and car repair bills can be disposed of after the same period as well.
There are several ways to dispose of shredded paper. Confetti-like pieces are no longer fit for recycling. However, these can used as filler for packing fragile items or to line pet cages or composting bins. You may also throw the confetti together with your other garbage. You may also split the shredded paper into two and throw them away in two separate bins.
Take the time to create a filing system that will allow you to keep track of what documents need to be kept and which ones to dispose of. With the help of this guide, you can lower your risk of becoming another statistic. For more information on document shredding in Los Angeles, head on over to atg.wa.gov/page.aspx?id=13148#.UWdmD6NaorU.
An Easy Guide to Document Shredding in Los Angeles