Daily Dupaco

Friday, July 16, 2010

Protecting your papers, identity

Although you can replace most important papers, the process takes time, energy, and sometimes money. Avoid the hassle--and guard against identity theft--by knowing where to store personal documents to keep them safe and secure.

According to Laura Connerly of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Little Rock, Ark, you can keep records that you need on a more regular basis at home--but you still should store them in a safe place, like a secure, fireproof box.

An alternative for safe document storage is a credit union or bank that offers safe deposit box rental. Safe deposit boxes are good for documents you don't need to access very often.

Use this guide from Laura Connerly's "Important Family Records--What to Keep and Where" as a starting point to determine where to store types of personal records:

At home in fireproof box:
  • Children's birth certificates (if needed for school)
  • Social Security cards
  • Passports (if used frequently)
  • Safe deposit box inventory
Credit union or bank safe deposit box:
  • Adoption papers
  • Birth certificates (those not needed frequently)
  • Death certificates
  • Divorce/separation papers
  • Marriage certificates
  • Military records
  • Passports (if not used frequently)
  • Stock certificates
  • Savings bonds
For more ways to protect yourself from identity theft visit the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.
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