Moving is stressful enough without taking into consideration that your privacy could be invaded and your personal info could be taken from you. Identity theft while moving is a very real risk these days, and it’s a risk you can’t afford. Most moving companies worth their salt will make every attempt to secure your belongings and prevent theft and damage. However, there are things you can do to prevent invasion of privacy and personal losses.
Don’t Fully Label Boxes
It’s tempting to put your old address and your new address on every box. Don’t do that. One, your full addresses can be clearly seen by anyone passing on the street as your boxes are loaded onto the truck. Two, your past and present addresses are often used by credit card and financial companies to verify your identity, and anyone else who has that information can attempt to hack your accounts. These days a quick pic with your phone is all it takes to snag this info off of moving boxes where someone has fully labeled the boxes with past and future addresses.
Your best bet is to just put the new street address of your new home on the boxes. Don’t put city or state or zip; just the street address. Don’t use the old address at all, as this really isn’t relevant to where you’re moving to anyway.
Don’t Label “Important Papers” Boxes
Yes, we understand, you want to remember where you put tax forms, banking info, etc., but guess what? So do all the identity thieves out there. Labeling certain boxes as “important papers” boxes is a sure-fire tip-off to these thieves where they will find all the info they need to steal your identity and steal your money. It’s best to just date boxes as dates are much more vague. Nobody knows what a date means, and only you will know that a box labeled 2019 has important documents in it from that year.
Seal Boxes TIGHTLY
Sure, it will make it really difficult to open those boxes later, but imagine how difficult it would be for would-be thieves. Tons of duct tape or shrink wrap around a box takes forever to cut through or pull off. That’s time where they might be caught in the act with your boxes and your property! While cardboard boxes are cheap and easy to move, consider footlockers that allow you to place a lock on them or another means of storage that can be tightly sealed.
Put Very Private and Personal Things in Your Personal Vehicle
Most people make the decision to put boxes of very personal and private items in their own vehicles when moving. This is a smart move because only you can access those boxes and bags of stuff. It travels with you the entire move, and you can keep it as safe and as secure as you want.
Clothing that is everyday wear and not expensive can always be packed and placed on the moving truck to make room for things you don’t want anyone else to see or get into. Pack a smaller bag of clothes for your travel to your new abode if it’s going to take more than a day to get there. The rest you can put on the truck and then put everything that should remain private in your car.
If Possible, Shred Old Documents
Whenever possible, shred old documents. If you don’t need them, aren’t going to need them and haven’t seen them in years up until now, shred them. It goes great distances in protecting your privacy and your identity. Be sure to use a cross-shredding machine too so that it’s impossible to reassemble the confetti into anything legible.
Only Put in Storage What You Might Find at a Garage Sale
It’s a weird rule of thumb, but this works. Only put in your storage unit things you would find at a garage sale. Following this rule helps you keep anything important, private, and/or personal out of storage. It’s not likely that anyone else will ever rifle through your storage unit, but if they did you wouldn’t want them to find anything they shouldn’t. This is the final step in protecting your privacy while you move and get settled in your new home.