The Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Nebraska, South Dakota, the Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa is offering businesses and consumers a chance to safely destroy up to three boxes or bags of sensitive documents for free at BBB's Secure Your ID Day on Saturday, April 20 in Topeka from nine in the morning until noon at the Kansas Judicial Center in the west parking lot at 10th and Topeka Blvd.
"Shredding confidential documents is a great way to limit your exposure to identity theft which is largely a crime of access," said BBB President and CEO Jim Hegarty. "To avoid becoming a victim, be sure to shred any records that contain a Social Security number, bank account number or other personal and financial information before disposing. Protecting yourself is a must."
Spring cleaning is a great time to reorganize and clear out, but it is also important to understand what you can get rid of. The Better Business Bureau suggests the following record keeping and removal tips:
•Canceled checks: All canceled checks and related receipts or documents for a home purchase or sale, renovations, or other improvements to a property you own should be kept indefinitely. The same holds true for non-deductible contributions to a retirement account. Checks that support your tax returns must be kept for a minimum of seven years. All other checks may be discarded after a year.
•Deposit, ATM, credit card and debit card receipts: Save them until the transaction appears on your statement and you have verified that the information is accurate.
•Credit card and bank account statements: Save those with no tax or other long-term significance for about a year, but save the rest for up to seven years. If you get a detailed annual statement, keep that and discard the corresponding monthly statements. Also, be sure to mark closed deposit accounts as such.
•Credit card contracts and other loan agreements: Keep for as long as the account is active; they may be needed in the event you have a dispute with your lender over the terms of your contract.
•Documentation of your purchase or sale of stocks, bonds and other investments: Retain these while you own the investment and then seven years after that.
•Secure personal documents you need to keep at home. If you have roommates, employ outside help or have contractors in your home, make sure personal documents are in a safe place and not lying out in plain sight.
For more advice on securing personal data go to www.bbb.org/data-security/securing-sensitive-data/overview/.
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