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3 Tips To Keep Yourself Safe From Identity Theft When Moving

by Maëly Richard

When you and your family pack up your belongings and move to your new home, you will probably be dealing with enough stress already. This means that the last thing that you probably want to deal with is the potential of having your identity stolen. Unfortunately, however, this major life change can actually put you at risk of ID theft. Luckily, following a few tips during and after your move can help keep you safe.

1. Be Careful When Purging

You might like to do as much purging as possible before you move to save on labor, costs, and moving equipment. It's always a smart idea to get rid of anything that you don't need first rather than allowing it to cause clutter in your new home, but you have to be very careful during the purging process. Make sure that you shred any documents that have your name or personal information on them so they won't get into the wrong hands.

2. Store Documents in a Safe

Don't just transport your important documents in regular cardboard boxes. Otherwise, your movers -- or anyone else who is around during your move -- might spot them. Instead, you should consider investing in a good safe if you don't already have one. It's best to go ahead and look for one that is fire resistant and water resistant; then, you can continue to use it for document storage once you arrive at your new home. For ID protection purposes now, make sure that it has a secure lock, and consider transporting it in your personal vehicle rather than putting it on the moving truck with your other belongings.

3. Change Your Address

It can be easy to be lazy about changing your address after you move, but doing so could mean that your important, personal documents will end up in the wrong hands; and, the people who move into your new address may throw out the letters rather than forwarding them to you. Contact your bank, all of your creditors, and anyone else who sends you personal mail to let them know about your address change. Then, fill out a change of address form with the United States Postal Service as quickly as possible.

Identity theft can be a real problem if you aren't careful, and you are particularly at risk when you are going through a household move. Luckily, if you follow these three steps, you should be able to protect yourself.