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National shredding event helps people protect their identity

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TWC News: National shredding event helps people protect their identity
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RALEIGH-- Hundreds turned out to take part in the Secure Your ID event in Raleigh on Saturday. Raleigh resident Martha Anderson knew about identity theft a little too well.

"I have been a victim of identity theft with a credit card and I'm probably going to go home and get some more stuff," she said. "I didn't know it was a shredding event too."

She was among hundreds at the event, which is a national effort. People shred old documents and disposed of used electronics that may contain personal information, like account passwords or social security numbers.

"I have some old electronics and I wanted to get rid of them responsibly," Lani Chavez said.

Officials from the Better Business Bureau of Eastern NC said that simply throwing out important papers and electronics can be dangerous.

"Canceled checks, tax forms, bank card statements, anything that has an account number on it or certainly a social security statement, after a certain period of time needs to be shredded," BBB CEO Toby Barfield said.

From computers and printers, to cell phones and television, the event accepted almost every electronic device. It was all mechanically processed into plastic and metal to be reused, and all personal information was wiped.

The BBB reports that 11.6 million people fall victim to identity theft each year, often because of improper computer disposal.

"The most sensitive information you've got is typically on your computer system, whether it's business or personal," Barfield said.

Anderson said she'll now do everything she can to keep her identity protected.

"Changing passwords routinely, shredding documents, not using common passwords," Anderson said.

The BBB sponsors this event twice a year. They are planning the next in the spring of 2013.

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