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Ron Anderson, right, of Willmar unloads a box of his discarded documents Saturday as Mark Suppes, left, and Deb Anderson assist. A community shredding event was conducted at North American State Bank in Willmar. Shredding personal documents with identifying information -- such as a Social Security number or bank account number -- is one way to help guard against identity theft. (Tribune photo by Ron Adams)

Take steps to protect yourself from identity theft

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We often hear about ways to protect our identity and fraudulent access to our accounts. One of the biggest threats to having your identity stolen is someone obtaining your birth date, Social Security number and ID information, such as your driver's license number.

If identity thieves obtain all of these pieces of information, they have a free pass to create havoc on your finances. Here are a few tips to minimize the possibility of this happening:

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