How to Protect Your Personal Data When Moving


You’ve organized, cleaned and even started packing your clothes, dishes and decorations into moving boxes. But, you’re not quite sure what to do with your sensitive belongings. Any official document that contains personal information should be accounted for before, during and after in order to protect your personal data when moving.

Even if you have your plate full by prepping to move with kids, or your mind is occupied by the stresses of making a short notice move, one of your biggest priorities should be your personal data.

Before the move:WhoToNotifyWhenMoving

  • Look through all of the mail you regularly receive within the span of a month or two. Take note of each piece (especially banks, insurance companies, local and federal agencies and others) and notify every company of your new address.
  • Any bills that are received (like credit card statements, cable, water, telephone, internet, electricity, etc.) via mail will need to be sent a proper notification of the new address.
  • Communicate with your healthcare providers, family members, friends, DMV, voter registration department and others to update your address with them.
  • If you’re throwing away any old documents, make sure to shred each individual paper.
  • Inform the U.S. Post Office of your new address to ensure that all mail is sent to the proper location. The mail for your new home will arrive within seven to 10 business days after your formal submission. Make sure to double check the new address you’ve submitted in an attempt to stop all mail from being directed to your old home.
  • Pack all of your sensitive documents (wills, passports, birth certificates, medical records, social security cards, bank information including debit and credit cards) into a locked container that will stay with you throughout the move. Make it clear to yourself that the container contains sensitive information, while not being too obvious to others- you wouldn’t want to fall prey to identity fraud scammers.
  • Secure every electronic device (computers, tablets, phones, etc.) with a passcode to prevent anyone from accessing your online accounts. Nowadays, your banking account is linked to online shopping sites and “one click buying” options that many sites offer could create problems if your devices are going to be accessible to others.

During the move:

  • Remain with the container that holds all of your personal data throughout the move. Know where the container is located for the duration of the moving process. 
  • Make sure to oversee the setup of your electronics in your new home. Do not allow anyone who is not a trusted individual to set up your gadgets.
  • Supervise the move. Make your presence known throughout the move to deter any individual from obtaining any of your personal belongings.
  • Safely secure your sensitive data (electronics and the locked container) in a room of your new home. Block anyone from entering into the specific room so that you know your valuables are off limits to those helping you relocate.

After the move:

  • Once moved in, monitor all of your accounts for several months. If your personal data was hacked or compromised, detection is key. By surveying your personal data you will be able to notify the authorities and other agencies of your compromised identity. 
  • Make sure that all of your regular mail is received at your new address. The list you complied before the move can be used after the move to ensure that every piece of mail is accounted for.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully protected your personal data. During a move, stress levels can be high and you can easily forget about specific items on your to-do-list. Remembering to return the moving truck in order to avoid fines may be on the top of your mind, but in reality you should always protect your valuables because your sensitive information can be difficult to retrieve once hacked into.

What are your suggestions for protecting your personal data when moving? Let us know below in the comments section!