3 Tips For Protecting Your Money & Important Documents At College
Fri, Sep 30, 2022
By: Jim Beran
Sending kids back to school can be worrisome, but one of the most commonly overlooked risks is the lack of security when it comes to their personal documents and vital records. When living in common spaces, sharing electronic devices, discarding mail in the trash, and attending class away from the dorm and their belongings, students are at risk of identity theft, credit card fraud, and more.
There are steps you can take as a parent to help your young adult protect their money, important documents, and identity while they're away at college. We'll go over those reasons here and point you toward helpful resources in the Pensacola area.
Protecting Documents in the Dorms
Document security is harder to maintain in a dorm setting. Paper documents that should be secured in a safe (or left at home, if possible) when living in a dorm include birth certificates, social security cards, bank statements, login credentials for online accounts, college applications, job applications, financial aid paperwork, and tax returns. Any document that contains your date of birth, social security number, address, phone number, or account information should never be left unsecured in the dorm setting (or in a car on campus).
When it's time to throw away old paper documents, like job applications you filled out but never turned in or old bank statements, have them professionally shredded. Throwing away documents that contain private information can put you at risk of identity theft, which can leave your college student with serious, long-term consequences that impact their future.
Be Wary of Electronic Data, Too
Computers can feel pretty secure when you need a password to log on, but the truth is that the vast majority of data breaches involve access to electronic data. You can teach your college student to protect their money and personal information by:
- Password protecting electronic documents that contain private or confidential information, including account numbers or social security numbers.
- Not saving their passwords in their phone, electronic device, computer, or browser so others can access their account if their device is borrowed, lost, or stolen.
- Having old electronic devices securely destroyed by a certified hard drive shredder rather than giving them away, throwing them away, or storing indefinitely, where they're at risk of being accessed.
As a parent, you can help your child keep their confidential information secure by ensuring they have access to professional, trustworthy shredding services in the Pensacola area. When choosing a shredder, things to consider include:
- whether they offer on-site shredding, off-site shredding, or both and what's most convenient for your college student
- whether they offer one-time shredding, scheduled shredding, or both, and which would best meet your needs
- whether they're able to securely destroy hard drives in addition to paper documents
Contact Gilmore in Pensacola, Florida, to learn more or get a quote today!