With fraud and identity theft on the rise these days, you can never be too safe when it comes to protecting your personal and financial information. By taking a couple of minutes and a few steps, you’ll thwart the efforts of dumpster divers and fraudsters.
1. Slice them up with scissors
A simple snip or two with the scissors won’t cut it anymore, but they can work if you use them correctly with multiple horizontal and vertical, strategic slices. It’s important to cut through all of your card information, including your signature.
2. Shred your cards and documents
Shredders can work well, but be sure it is the right type of shredder that is designed to handle credit cards and has a cross-cutting function. Although pricier than the average shredder, it’s a wise investment in the effort to protect your credit.
3. Destroy magnetic stripes and chips
Information lives in your magnetic stripes and chips, so take the extra steps to deactivate them. By running a very strong magnet across the magnetic stripe, you’ll scramble your data. And if your card has a chip, use scissors or a hammer to destroy the chip.
4. Distribute in different trash cans
Once your card is in pieces, throw small batches in different trash cans around your house. If you throw away one bag per week, it’ll be near impossible for thieves to piece together your information.
Because the process of recycling requires processing and human interaction, if you choose to recycle your card, be sure to take the proper shredding precautions and distribution in separate trash cans for maximum security.