Identity theft has become an increasingly serious problem in today’s digital world. The thieves steal personal information and use it to create fake IDs which can enable them to make purchases, set up accounts, and carry out business transactions in your name.

One way to protect your identity is to destroy all personal information when it is no longer needed. Rather than throw documents into the rubbish or recycling bin, always shred it first.

There are small hand-held paper shredders you can buy for home use. You can also take your letters and documents to a paper shredding specialist where entire bags of paper are shredded at one time.

So what information are thieves after and what should you shred before you throw it out?

  • Bank receipts and statements
  • Credit card bills
  • Papers containing addresses
  • Any papers with your national insurance number
  • Cheques, including those that have been cancelled
  • Credit reports
  • Any papers with passwords and login information
  • Driving licence
  • Tax returns
  • Employment documents
  • Any financial records
  • Health insurance cards
  • Documents containing your signature
  • Legal documents