Leaving all of your possessions in the hands of strangers is never easy. This is especially true during the move. While your goods are in transit, you won’t have any access to them – sometimes for days. Even if you hire the best moving companies Morris County NJ has to offer, there’s always that sense of discomfort and concern eating its way through the back of your head. Of course, hiring the best of the best will certainly put your mind at ease. However, even if you did hire the best NJ movers, who will no doubt take good care of your possessions, there are still some things you should never part with. And those are documents that contain your personal information. Keeping your private information safe during the NJ move is of utmost importance. And not only during the move. Your personal information should be kept private at all times.
A simple answer
Understandably, you might wonder why is keeping your private information safe during the NJ move so important? After all, it’s just a bunch of numbers on a piece of paper or plastic. You can always get another, right? Well, yes – but it’s not that simple. Data contained in those numbers ties together all of your finances or your legal possibilities within society. In a sense, we might say that it defines your societal persona.
This leads us to the answer to the aforementioned question.
And no, we’re not talking movie-like body-snatching aliens (although this thought is as amusing as it is unsettling). Nor do we speak about someone undergoing extensive plastic surgery so he could take over your life. Fortunately, the reality is far less fantastic. Unfortunately, though, the threat of identity theft is real and can have severe consequences.
What is identity theft?
According to the official website of the United States government, “Identity (ID) theft happens when someone steals your personal information to commit fraud.”
One of the most common examples of this is probably the credit card fraud. Meaning, if someone steals your credit card, and manages to find out your PIN code, he can easily use it to empty your bank account. Even worse, he can max out your credit allowance and put you in debt. This is why you should never have a PIN code written on your credit card. Or stored away in the same place, for that matter.
Although, some people use cunning ways to prevent thieves from using their credit cards, even if they do get stolen. For instance, they have 3 different PIN codes written on the back of the card. And each one of them is wrong. Yes, you read correctly. But why would they do this? Simple – after you enter the wrong PIN 3 times, the ATM “swallows” the credit card, thus preventing further usage. This method is quite ingenious, to say the least. Unfortunately, it doesn’t save you from administrative hell you have to go through to recover your credit card.
To make matters worse, identity thieves do not have to steal your information physically to use it. They can do it just by finding out your account number and password. With this in mind, you should make it a rule never to give out your personal information to anyone. Not even your NJ movers, no matter how reliable and trustworthy they are.
Prevent theft and keep private information safe during the NJ move
A great way to start preparing documents for relocation is by making a moving checklist. It’s good for two reasons. Firstly, you will know exactly what you have at your disposal and what additional documents you need to acquire before the move. And secondly, said checklist can double up as “table of contents” even after the move. It is a great way to save some time when looking for a specific document, as opposed to rummaging through a pile of paper.
So, gather all of your documentation, lay it out on the table in front of you, and start sorting. A good rule of thumb is to start with the essentials – documents you carry on your person and use often, such as:
- Social security card
- Personal ID
- License and registration
- Credit and debit cards
- Medical card
Everything else (bank and credit statements, diplomas, certificates, etc.) should be sorted in separate dedicated folders, purely for the ease of access. It’s also a good idea to use color folders or labels to mark everything. It will make a job of finding anything infinitely easier. If you’re also packing work documents, you should separate them from the private ones even if they go in the same briefcase.
Transport your documentation safely
Speaking of briefcases – when buying one, definitely go with the key-lock option and be sure not to carry all the keys on your person. Give one to your spouse or someone you trust. Just in case you lose your copy. An even better option, although a bit pricier, is getting a portable lockbox. They are generally sturdier and will provide better protection for its contents.
Said briefcase or lockbox should be with you at all times, and not shipped with the rest of your possessions. However, if there’s no other option, make sure to seal the box they’re in tightly and to label it properly. If you want to go the extra mile, you can pack groups of documents in sealed envelopes and then put them in the box.
Properly dispose of documents you no longer need
If, while sorting, you come across documentation you no longer need, you should destroy it appropriately. Don’t just crumple it and toss it away. “Dumpster divers” are real, and won’t refrain from rummaging through the trash to find every bit of useful info. To deter them, you should, ideally, use a paper shredder. If you don’t have access to one, be sure to tear everything into small pieces and then throw it away.
Keeping your private information safe during the NJ move is a task not to be taken lightly. There is an abundance of ways malicious minds could misuse your personal info. Therefore – keep the information safe and, consequently, yourself safer.