August: Shred it
Identity theft is one of the most common forms of consumer fraud in the United States. You can help protect your personal information by routinely shredding old personal documents, anything that includes information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card numbers or other identifying information. Anything that can be used without your permission to open new credit card accounts, bank accounts, loans, utility accounts and even documents such as a driver's license. Believe it or not, one of the most popular methods of gaining access to your information is Dumpster diving -- yes, rummaging through your trash. But also beware of skimming, phishing and stealing.
What can you do? One important piece of deterring identity thieves from your information is to shred financial documents and paperwork. Shred old ATM receipts, checks, tax information, credit card statements, copies of bills and any other papers that contain personal information before you trash it. Buy a personal paper shredder for your home office, or if your needs are light, save your shredding for a community shredding event.