Cleaning and finances don't intuitively go hand-in-hand, but spring's a great time to address both. Since you're already doing your taxes, it's the perfect time to do a little financial house cleaning.
Here are a few financial spring cleaning tips that can also help protect your identity:
- Check your credit report. Regularly monitoring your credit is perhaps the best way to protect yourself from identity theft. Inaccuracies in your report are the first clues that your identity has been stolen, which is why most identity theft services include credit monitoring.
- Rid your wallet or purse of sensitive information. While you clean out old receipts, check for cards that you don't need to carry with you at all times, like seldom-used credit cards. You should also never carry your Social Security card, so if you do, take the opportunity to remove it and put it in a safe place, such as a safe-deposit box.
- Protect important documents. Store all the documents you used to file your taxes, as well as any tax information, in a safe place. If you're storing information on your computer, make sure it's password-protected. Be sure to permanently delete any sensitive information from your email account and store it elsewhere in a safer place.
- Buy a shredder. A crosscut shredder will help you obscure sensitive information on documents that can be thrown in the trash. Now is the perfect time to get one if you don't already have one.