Paper Trail: Why Hardcopy Security is Essential

While we think of theft in terms of locks and deadbolts, cyber safety and security cameras, paper can sometimes be a security culprit we overlook.

We keep our doors locked. The back gate is also secured, and the alarm is on. Your passwords are fantastic and your server secure--and you’re being robbed.



By the guy down at the end of your driveway rummaging through your mailbox. He’s just found an envelope with your new credit card in it. Does he steal it? No! He writes down the number, including the security code on the back, and stuffs it back in the mailbox. After you activate it, then he will use it, because you probably won't notice the extra charges until the end of the month. Vigilance is essential. In fact, some people check their debit and credit card balances every day.

You finally get a locksmith, who comes out and installs a lock for your mailbox. The mailbox is locked up, the doors are locked, and the alarm is on. It’s three in the morning. You’re being robbed.


What now?

That’s an identity thief digging through your trash can in the alley or by the street. Preapproved credit cards, old bank statements, blank checks from your credit card company--even your health insurance information is valuable. 

So, you buy a shredder and start shredding everything. 

All that paper dust makes your allergies kick up. You go to your doctor, and before you even get over that nasty cough, you’re being robbed again! How is this possible?

Remember that little box on the medical form which asks you for your social security number? Your social security number (which they want for debt collection) should never be given to an entity unless it’s a banking institution, an employer, your health insurance company, or the IRS. A medical office should never require your social security number unless you’re applying for a job. Which we know you aren’t because that position has already been filled by a receptionist-thief.  The exception to this is people on Medicare since their Social Security number is their Medicare number. And, because of the ACA, health insurance companies need it to report your health care coverage information to the IRS.

Before you know it, your credit can be shredded. :(

Before you know it, your credit can be shredded. :(

One of the things that make people easy to steal from is their lack of willingness to believe they might be a paper theft victim. Once we lock our doors and turn on the alarm, we think we are covered. 

The head of the U.S.A.F. branch known as Space Command, John Hyten, put it best when he said, when talking about security, “It’s the ability to convince an adversary that if they attack us, they will fail.” Thus, to successfully thwart thieves, you need to convince them it would be easier to find someone else to rob. Your paper can be safe if you just take a few steps to protect it. It isn’t difficult; it only requires a few extra precautions and some regular mindfulness. And we’re here to help.

Kwikpick Lock and Safe offers FREE lockout service for children or pets. If you need locksmith services for your Surprise, El Mirage, or Phoenix home or auto, call today!  Bill 623-300-1889.