How does your rubbish bin pose a threat to your security?
A rubbish bin, or recycling bin, is often where you toss old or outdated documentation such as bank statements, utility bills, phone bills, insurance documents, old identity documents and other sensitive information. Thieves know this, and often go looking through rubbish bins to find that paperwork.
Once they have those documents, they have all the information they need, such as name, date of birth, address, account numbers and other sensitive information.
How does your letterbox pose a threat to your security?
Similarly, letterboxes are the place where you have these important documents sent. All a thief has to do is intercept your mail.
What can a thief do with your information?
The AFP reports that a criminal can:
- Apply for a credit card or loan in your name
- Open a bank account or building society in your name
- Run up debts in your name
- Apply for government benefits in your name
- Apply for a driving license in your name
- Register a vehicle in your name
- Apply for a job or passport in your name
- Apply for a mobile phone in your name
- Gain access to your bank accounts and steal your money
How to keep your information safe
Tips from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission include:
- Have your mail delivered to a locked and secure letterbox or a PO box
- Change all your account statements and bills to electronic delivery, so you receive them via email, rather than in the mail.
- If you are expecting to receive a credit card or important documents in the mail, and they never arrive, do a security check on your accounts to ensure it hasn’t ended up in the wrong hands.
- Always shred documents that contain sensitive information before putting them in the bin.
- Alternatively, you can black out the information in the document with permanent markers
- Always destroy bank cards, membership cards an identity documents or identity cards before putting them in the bin or recycling.
You might also like: