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Electronic Garbage Puts You At Risk For Identity Theft

 

Before the digital age, identity thieves jumped into garbage bins to search for old mails, expired credit cards, or outdated medical records. These kinds of documents, even if they were old and expired, contained information that only an identity thief could make use of.

The personal data contained in old documents are precious bits of information an  identity thief can take advantage of. That’s precisely why they bother to jump into garbage bins to get hold of such information. 

But nowadays, identity thieves don’t have to jump into stinky garbage bins. They can just walk into a warehouse that stores all the electronic garbage people throw away.

In spite of the increasing awareness with regards to the need for identity theft protection, some people still remain careless with handling their confidential personal information. Some people even have a false sense of security thinking that their affordable identity theft protection service can totally shield them against thieves. Hence, people tend to be complacent and careless about handling some of their confidential personal information.

Unknowingly Throwing Away Personal Data

A recent study revealed that more and more people are making identity theft easier these days. People are still throwing away their electronic junk without knowing that they are also handing over their personal data to strangers.

A good example of an electronic junk is a thermal transfer fax machine. Owning this kind of fax machine could put anybody at risk. When these gadgets break, most people simply either throw them away or give them away without doing some extra cleanup.

Inside these machines are rolls of film that stored negatives of every incoming fax and everything that the fax machine printed. In fact, confidential personal information are usually still stored in these gadgets, hence the need to wipe them clean first before disposal.

Some studies have found sensitive medical records in these machines. Some junked thermal transfer fax machine even contained social security numbers, recipes of restaurant menus, and invoices. These are exactly the kind of information identity thieves look for. Unfortunately, such information can easily be gathered from a warehouse of electronic garbage.

Get Rid Of The Negatives

For people getting rid of their thermal transfer fax machine, it is recommended that the rolls of negatives inside the machine should be taken out and destroyed. In case you do not have a home shredder that can handle these types of materials, you can take these to a professional shredder.

That surely is one good way to avoid identity theft. So before junking that fax machine, make sure there’s nothing in it. It really wouldn’t hurt to take that extra time to check it.

Not Just For The Thermal Transfer Fax Machines

Taking an extra step to clean out an electronic machine before junking it is not just for the thermal transfer fax machines. Computers, mobile phones, and other portable devices should also be cleaned out as well.

Keep in mind that they contain all kinds of information. Before junking them, take some time to delete every single file in the hard drive.

Think Twice

Nowadays, you really need to think twice before throwing away any piece of electronic machine. You just can’t hand it over to a complete stranger without totally cleaning it up.

Remember, your computer contains every bit of information about you and your family. Your photos, videos, personal documents have all been scanned and encoded into your computer. You simply cannot afford to have a complete stranger gain access to such valuable information.

So think twice before junking it. Destroy and delete every single file. If you don’t, it’ll just put you at risk for identity theft.


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