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One More Place to NOT Leave Personal Information

Created: 02 Dec 2009 • Updated: 05 Nov 2012
Doug McLean's picture
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The decline in the newspaper business has already killed some major publications, but for some reason has not (yet) killed off the category of publications known simply as "Advertisers." These are the free publications that typically carry three to four local stories each day, a few dozen syndicated features and lots and lots of ads for local businesses.

We have a couple of these publications in my neighborhood including one entitled the "Daily Post." In a cover story today, they reported that local police stopped a car early Sunday morning and in it found:

"...receipts, unopened mail, doctor's bills and checkbooks belonging to residents in Pleasanton, Menlo Park, Fremont, Atherton, Redwood City and Mountain View."

"If that wasn't enough, police came upon a couple of rocks that could be used to smash car windows...".

PGP Corporation's CEO, Phil Dunkelberger, has written previously about the need to use a locking mailbox and shred mail containing  personally identifiable information (PII), etc. to prevent offline data theft. Now you can add one more place in which you shouldn't leave bills, pay statements, tax forms or anything else that can be used to cause identity theft.

When the "smash and dash" class of criminal (not known for its sophistication) has come to understand the value of PII, you know it's time to get serious about protecting your utility bills, investment statements and other mail. I'm not quite ready to install a shredder in my car, but you can be sure I won't be leaving any mail in my vehicle any more and urge you to do the same.