3 Tips for Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft When Renting a Self-Storage Unit

If you hear about self-storage units and immediately the thought of college students and people trying to sell their home jumps to mind, you are not alone. In fact, experts in the field will often reference the four D's, which are death, dislocation, divorce, and downsizing when discussing common reasons for using a storage facility. Unfortunately, identity theft is not an unusual problem for people who rent storage space, and, therefore, it's crucial to know how to protect yourself from that potential disaster. It is a good idea to consider the following advice before you move your belongings into the storage space.

#1-Consider the Type of Information You Will Be Storing

One of the more common factors associated with identity theft for storage unit renters relates to the type of paperwork and documents that were stored in the unit. For instance, your tax returns will have the social security numbers and other identifying information for everyone in your home for the year in question.

Those numbers are quite valuable to identity thieves, especially for children, as you might not even be aware of the debts that have accrued in their name for many years. In addition, storing birth certificates, school and medical records in self-storage units can permit the persons who find them to apply for new social security cards, especially when they have the numbers. Before you move those documents into the unit, you should know that some alternatives exist, as discussed below.

#2-Learn About the Alternatives

Instead, you might want to consider storing those sensitive documents in a safe deposit box at your bank or with a trusted friend or family member. In addition, it is a good idea to speak with the Internal Revenue Service as to how long you should keep old tax returns.

It is possible that if you need them, the IRS might be able to send you copies of your previous filings. That means that storing them for seven or more years might not be as necessary as it once was.

#3-Find a Safe Facility and Make Sure That You Protect Your Stuff

In general, storage facilities are safe, since their goal is to encourage people to pay to store their items and few people would be willing to do so if they deemed the space to be unsafe. However, some storage facilities will be safer than others. For instance, security cameras that record everyone going in and out, as well as their movements around the grounds will be helpful.

In addition, personalized security codes for each unit can create accountability for each tenant, so a one-size-fits-all gate entry code is not the best idea. Buying a good lock that is harder to break is a good idea, as is the use of more than one lock if the security company provides one. 

In conclusion, self-storage is an ideal way to store out of season items and to de-clutter your home when you hope to sell it soon. As a result, you should be aware of the tips shared above when you are planning to temporarily relocate any of your belongings to a storage facility. To learn more about security measures you can take when you're storing your belongings, talk to a facility like Bill King Moving.