Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) – On Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., representatives of the Missouri Attorney General’s office and the Better Business Bureau are offering a free “Shred Day” to safely dispose of sensitive documents, cell phones, tablets and laptops. This is a great opportunity for citizens to safely and properly dispose of sensitive information to avoid opening themselves up to potential scams or fraud. Representatives will be located at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, 3001 N. Grant Ave., Springfield, MO 65803.
“Identity theft remains a huge problem in our state and country, and any opportunity we can take to further protect the citizens of this state is crucial,” said Attorney General Eric Schmitt. “I urge Springfield citizens to stop by our shred day and allow us to safely and professionally dispose of their private or sensitive materials.”
The Attorney General’s office also offers the following tips to help protect your identity:
- Use a paper shredder to destroy financial documents or other documents with personal information, including receipts, credit applications, and bank statements.
- Don’t carry your Social Security card with you or write it on a check. Place the card in a safe place, and only give your number out when absolutely necessary.
- Don’t share personal information with anyone you don’t trust.
- Don’t over-share on social networking sites.
- Change your passwords every 60 days and make them “strong” (more difficult to “crack”) by using a combination of upper case, lower case, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using your birth date, mother’s maiden name, last four digits of your Social Security number, family names, or other obvious identifying words or numbers.
- Order a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus each year: Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. It contains information about what credit accounts have been opened in your name, as well as where you live and work, how you pay your bills, if you’ve been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. You are entitled to one free report each year from each of the three major bureaus, for a total of three free credit reports. Consider spreading these three reports out over the year so that you can review an up-to-date, free credit report once every few months.
- Watch your billing cycles closely.
- Only use a secure connection on the Internet when sending credit card numbers or other personal information. The website should begin with “https” instead of just “http,” because the “s” means “secure.”
- Use virus protection and a firewall program to prevent your computer from being accessed by others, and keep them up to date. Run your virus scan on a regular basis.
- Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, and employ only trusted outside help if you are having work done at your home.
- Opt out of pre-approved credit card offers and receive fewer solicitations at home by calling (888) 567-8688 or visiting www.optoutprescreen.com.
- Stay on the lookout for suspicious behavior and occurrences, such as unusual email or impersonators asking for your personal information.
- Password protect your cell phone and other devices.
- Before you sell or dispose of a computer or mobile device, get rid of all the personal information it stores.