With all the news about “mining” our personal information on Facebook, Twitter and what-have-you, it’s easy to forget that the most common way to have your financial life screwed up is still good, old-fashioned, low-tech dumpster diving. I suspect that happened to me a couple years ago when I suddenly “opened” an Amazon Visa card account. Gosh, that was nice of them. Problem was I didn’t ask for it, the contact phone number wasn’t mine, and neither was the billing address. Caught it, killed it, no damage done. But I suspect that little kerfuffle began from a piece of “you’re pre-approved” junk mail – I recalled getting a few when Amazon started their Chase Bank tie-in.

Which leads me to my point; that junk mail, those old tax forms, bank statements and paper with personally-identifying stuff on it is GOLD to a half-smart dumpster hound, just as your passwords and banking information is to a slightly smarter hacker on the web. SHRED THAT STUFF!!! On Friday, April 20th, Statler Financial is bringing a commercial shredding company to town for their annual Shredder Day behind their office at 147 South Ridgewood. Bonded and insured, and YES, the actual machine is going to be there, right in the truck in the parking lot so you can be positive your private papers are turned into confetti on the spot. It’s free, you can bring up to five boxes of stuff and they may even serve you a free soda pop. If you’ve got six boxes, nobody’s going to threaten you with nunchucks, but this is for personal stuff only … a few years ago one of the local governmental units filled the darned truck up taking advantage of the offer, so that’s why the limit.

The event is from 1pm till 4pm or until the shredder truck gets full. April 20; get safer, for free!