There is a potential risk involved in putting documents with personal details in recycling bins, as fraudsters may have easy access to information.
Research has revealed that 79% of us are still being careless with our personal details. This is despite the fact that 80% of us fear having their identity stolen.
11% throw away whole credit/debit card numbers – a combination of a complete card number with its associated expiry date and owner’s signature was found in the waste and recycling of 13% of households. More worrying is the fact that a third of us are still throwing away everything a fraudster needs to steal a person’s identity, including passports, driving licences, CVs, phone and utility bills.
Advice to help safeguard against identity theft, is to cut names and addresses off junk mail before putting it in recycling bins and to shred all documents with more sensitive material with a cross-shredder (normal shredding might not be enough as the documents can be easily pieced back together). Cross shredded paper is slightly more difficult to recycle as the fibres in the paper have been broken down, but it can still be baled, pressed and processed to produce various end products.