I don’t know about you but we are in the tax time crunch here at our house. Unfortunately for some people tax time becomes identity theft time because they don’t take the necessary steps to safeguard their information. Government documents, medical bills and store receipts all contain sensitive information that can lead to identity theft. From sifting through the trash to checking mail boxes, identity thieves have elaborate methods of stealing information from homes. The best way to keep these criminals from obtaining your personal information is by shredding confidential paper documents after use.
Fellowes, Inc. developed the following home office safety tips to help you protect your family from identity theft, both during tax season and throughout the year:
- Update personal computers with firewalls and security software, including antivirus programs.
- Contact the IRS (800-829-1040) if you didn’t receive W-2 forms and other sensitive information by February 15, as this may indicate that an identity thief intercepted such documents.
- Send tax returns from a locked mailbox/post office to ensure thieves cannot get to it before the postal service.
- If sending in tax forms via post mail, make sure all forms, identification documents and enclosed checks are not visible from the outside. Try wrapping everything in an extra sheet of paper to disguise its contents.
- Keep tax paperwork and other documents in a safe and accessible place, such as a fireproof box.
- After filing taxes, shred any backup documents with a Cross-Cut paper shredder (Like the Fellowes DS-1200Cs), which is essential because it shreds a single sheet of paper into hundreds of tiny particles to ensure confidential information is destroyed beyond recognition.
I love my Fellowes DS-1200Cs. It has Cross-Cut technology to ensure confidential documents can’t be reconstructed-great identity theft protection. It shreds up to 12 sheets per pass and shreds pages into 0.16″ x 2″ pieces. It also has durable cutters that slice through credit cards, CD’s and DVD’s too. It features SafeSense® Technology to shut off immediately if hands or pets get too close to the opening (great for families with little ones) and it includes a 4-gallon pull-out bin for added convenience.
Giveaway The great people at Fellowes want to give a DS-1200Cs Shredder to one lucky reader of TheMomMaven! The giveaway is open to US residents only and the winner will be chosen by Random.org at 9pm on 3/29/11.
Mandatory 1st Entry Leave me a comment with your best tax time tip.
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Disclaimer: I receives a Fellowes DS-1200Cs shredder for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% mine.