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The #1 ranking consumer complaint at the Federal Trade Commission for 15 years in a row has been identity theft.   And again, the state of Florida ranks first in complaints out of all 50 states— Florida has, in fact, more than 1/3 of all reported identity theft incidents nationwide.  The Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area ranks #1 in Florida for identity theft crimes.

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Many people worry about the information explosion and all the data available online.  Email, the internet, and ‘phishing’ schemes are indeed possible avenues to having your identity stolen, but the most likely possibility is more mundane—but perhaps even more disturbing.

Jim Stickley, author of “The Truth About Identity Theft,” cites mail theft and so-called ‘Dumpster Diving’ as the first two things to guard against being stolen.  ‘Dumpster Diving’ occurs when someone looks through garbage to obtain personal information.  Think about where your last credit card bill went.  How about your utility bill?  A medical insurance claim?  Did you happen to throw away a bank statement last month?   Trash is generally recognized, once it hits the curb, as no longer being your property, and can be a treasure trove of information for the would-be identity hijacker.

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Chances are you were wondering about some of the paper you might have thrown away.  But perhaps better still is some of the paper that you didn’t throw away—because you never saw it.  This is where mail theft is so insidious.  If your mailbox has anything personal in it—and whose doesn’t from time to time—the odds are very good that a selective thief can remove a piece of mail with vital information.  Odds are, you never realize you missed that particular piece of mail, or at least don’t figure it out for a while.

The Center for Identity Management and Information Protection (CIMIP) suggests that to protect yourself, you should shred everything with anything personal in it before throwing it out.   Odds are, if there isn’t a shredder close by, you’re not doing it.  Because of this, and because some skilled identity thieves have been known to re-route mail entirely, you might be better off receiving all your statements and bills online.

At 5i Solutions, Inc. the security of your data is a big part of our business.  That’s why we’re proud of our online Cloud Vault.  Encrypted data with permission levels as you need them.  Your data is available in an instant to you—and only you, if that is what you wish.  Your data is safe from fire, flood, failure of a local server, and thievery.

One single, secure point of intake, access, and storage.  One singular solution.  5i Solutions.

Learn more at http://5iSolutionsInc.com

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