My goodness, I could not believe all the ways people can steal your identity. Pretty much it's a matter of when, not if. Kind of like cancer.
In my opinion.
Anyway, I decided to buy a shredder. It's one thing to live in the country and (cough) burn your old bank statements in a burning barrel, and it's totally something different to have them picked up by Waste Management and hauled off to a landfill heaven knows where.
Plus, all those credit card solicitations? I definitely don't want someone activating one of those bad boys and racking up debt under my name.
So I bought a shredder.
This bad boy was only $25 at Target and it cross-cuts the paper, which is better than strip-shredding it.
Those would be bank deposit receipts, all chopped up into tiny little pieces. That's a lot smaller than I can rip them up myself.
This shredder also does credit cards, but no CDs or DVDs. That's fine. I don't need to shred any DVDs. It can shred up to six sheets at a time, reverse, and has a safety lock that will stop the shredding if the lid is pulled off or not on in the first place. And I looked at those blades. You do not want your finger in there.
In addition, the speaker recommended you check your credit report at least once a year. Go here to check it for free. You can get one free report for each credit bureau, so if you're married you can get six per year, or one every two months. Just keep track of whose SS you used and which credit reporting bureau you went through the last time. Unfortunately you can't see your credit score (unless you want to pay) but you can see the past year's activity in all your credit cards, as well as whether they are in good standing and any late payments. Probably if you have a mortgage it will be on there, too. Not sure since we don't have one.
I checked mine today and it wasn't anything special. I just showed all my cards (both joint and individual) and their standing. I did really want to see my score since I was curious about it after closing a couple cards. I saw it about two years ago at the bank and it was good. Better than my husband's, which made me happy. :) Him, not so much. Especially since he had a paid-off loan. But I've had a longer credit history and no late payments.
Anyway, check your credit report and make sure no one is abusing your credit. And shred your documents. It's good sense. And it's fun.