Shredding event aims to protect personal dataWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Northwestern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan invites area residents to safely shred any documents with pertinent information on them at Secure Your ID Day on April 21.
Patrons can bring three boxes or bags of documents to the event for free shredding. Once unloaded, AccuShred LLC and AllShred Services Inc. will be on site to shred the documents – a process customers can watch.
“They can watch as all the documents get put in the shredder, which assures them it’s being done completely,” said Ric Herrold, media relations director of BBB. The annual event has been going on for more than five years; last year, about 800 people came to have their info shredded.
Some of the documents Herrold recommended shredding so they don’t get in the wrong hands include credit card bills, credit card applications, mortgage applications, correspondence with attorneys, medical paperwork and any other legal/banking paperwork.
“The danger in keeping that stuff around you house is you might have some contractor or delivery people dropping stuff by who might just snoop around when you’re not looking. It’s been known that that stuff gets in the hands of family relatives. The main thing is people breaking in, anyone in the house who might be nosy,” Herrold said, adding that it’s also important to safeguard anywhere you might write down user IDs and passwords.
Once someone else has your Social Security number, he or she can open up bank accounts, apply for loans or even a new driver’s license, he said.
“If someone has stolen your info, they can start charging things in your name,” Herrold said.
He recommended checking your credit score frequently with online services like Equifax or Experian and calling your bank if you think your information has been compromised. “The Social Security number is very important because people who have the Social Security number can call and mess up your credit report,” Herrold added.
Document shredding for the first three boxes/bags is free. Additional boxes or bags are $3 each. Free literature on protecting your identity will also be available. Computer monitors can be disposed of for $5 and 27-inches-or-smaller TVs and 27-inches-or-more TVs for $20 and $25, respectively. Consoles or projection television sets cannot be disposed of on-site.
BBB Secure Your ID Day is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 21 at the Sears parking lot at Westgate Shopping Center.