VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
I find the concept of shredding cancelled checks interesting. Every time you pay with a check in person, via mail, or whatever, you are giving your account number and routing number. Pay at a store, it usually is slipped under the cash drawer at the register. Pay a bill by mail and who knows how many folks handle that check?
When you think about it, paying by check is not very secure. By the time you get a check back to shred it, it has gone through many hands. No doubt some of those hands belong to unscrupulous people who, for a few bucks, may sell your name, address, checking account number and routing number to identity thieves.
Shredding a cancelled check is like locking the barn after all the critters escape.
My wife does not like paying bills electronically via computer. She says that gives the account and routing numbers to the recipient. I had a difficult time getting her to understand that when she mailed a check to pay a bill she was giving them the same info, and that it was actually less secure than an electronic transaction that involves fewer people.
with most insurance companies today sending their medical billing to India, why worry about whats at your house. Think about all the information there is in your health records. Nice to know that the government is making all those laws to protect this information, pity the workers in India aren't held to our laws
To be safe I shred (or burn if possible) every billing, checking, and credit offer of any kind along with the above suggestions. I pay most of my bills on line and use my debit card for purchases so I just have to trust that those transactions stay secure.
PASSWORDS, PASSWORDS,PASSWORDS!!! A different, hard one for every on-line account, no matter what it is. Even if it's a "simple" site such as a TV channel where you don't purchase anything. If you start using the same password for these, you will create a pattern for yourself, and develop bad habits.
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