Shredding Information to Protect Your Identity - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Shredding Information to Protect Your Identity

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--It's what every identity thief hates to hear. Your personal and private information being shredded. Many consumers and local businesses recognize this, utilitizing Columbia Industries Ultra-Shred truck to keep information safe, by destroying it.

"Hospitals, food processors, city hall, police stations, attorneys, boy, accountants, many people, just about any business out there that has paperwork in their office, uses us as a service," says Director of Business Development Jeff Thompson.

State Attorney General Rob McKenna is in the middle of a 15-city statewide tour called ''Guard It.'' By educating people about identity theft, he hopes to help prevent some of the $50 billion dollars lost to id theft in this country each year.

"Identity theft usually starts with an individual losing control of that information through a lost or stolen purse or wallet, someone getting into their computer files or taking something out of a draw in their house," says Rob McKenna.

Which is why shredding is a great solution for sensitive information. Once these blue containers are lifted to the top and dumped, patient's medical records and old bank statements can no longer be used to steal identities. Leaving it in the trash is another story.

"Don't throw it in the garbage," recommends Thompson. When you throw it in the garbage and it hits the sidewalk, that garbage is public domain. Anybody can go by and ruffle through that.

Currently, Washington ranks in the top ten states across the country per capita for the number of victim reports.