Posted on September 5th, 2008 No comments
The period of time that business records are stored should be determined by a retention schedule that takes into consideration their useful value to the business and the governing legal requirements. No record should be kept longer than this retention period.
By not adhering to a program of routinely destroying stored records, a company exhibits suspicious disposal practices that could be negatively construed in the event of litigation or audit. Also, the new >Federal Rule 26< requires that, in the event of a law suit, each party provide all relevant records to the opposing counsel within 85 days of the defendants initial response. If either of the litigants does not fulfill this obligation, it will result in a summary finding against them. By destroying records according to a set schedule, a company appropriately limits the amount of materials it must search through to comply with this law.
From a risk management perspective, the only acceptable method of discarding stored records is to destroy them by a method that ensures that the information is obliterated. Documenting the exact date that a record is destroyed is a prudent and recommended legal precaution.
Posted on September 4th, 2008 No comments
All businesses have occasion to discard confidential data. Customers lists, price lists, sales statistics, drafts of bids and correspondence, and even memos, contain information about business activity which would interest any competitor. Every business is also entrusted with information that must be kept private. Employees and customers have the legal right to have this data protected.
Without the proper safeguards, information ends up in the dumpster where it is readily, and legally, available to anybody. The trash is considered by business espionage professionals as the single most available source of competitive and private information from the average business. Any establishment that discards private and proprietary data without the benefit of destruction, exposes itself to the risk of criminal and civil prosecution, as well as the costly loss of business.
Posted on August 19th, 2008 No comments
It’s hard to say when the term “Identity Theft” became a household phrase, but one thing is clear : Identity theft is a very real crime that robs its victims not just of their names but of their time, good credit, and sense of security. Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself and your identity from theives.
Shredding all paperwork with identifying data is the easiest, safest, and often most affordable way to protect yourself from getting your identity stolen. Unfortunately, the task of shredding your documents by yourself can be time consuming and cumbersome. Confidential shredding companies are a great alternative for both individuals and businesses regarding this matter.
Using confidential shredding services is convenient and often affordable. Customers can choose how often they need the service, ranging from as much as daily to as little as yearly, making the service viable for both the individual and for businesses that produce a higher volume of paperwork. Also, shredding services can destroy any product with indentifying data, including CD’s and floppy discs – something personal shredders cannot do.
When choosing a professional confidential shredding company, it is very important to choose one that is a member of the NAID-the National Association for Information Destruction. This association requires all members to follow a code of ethics as well as a certification program. Also, always go with a professional shredding company that requires their employees to be bonded, which gives you an extra layer of security and protection that shredding at home simply can’t provide.
Posted on August 6th, 2008 1 comment
Did you know that once you wheel your trash bin to the curb, its contents are legally there for the taking? It isn’t household knowledge, but in 1988, the Supreme Court ruled that garbage is public domain. According to the law, once you place that pail or bag at your curb, you are giving up any expectation of privacy to its contents. So a police officer, your nosy neighbor, or an identify thief has every right to rifle through your trash.
What they do with that trash is an entirely different matter. And what identity thieves do is use your identifying information to commit fraud, which ultimately makes them money. There are so many ways in which an identity thief can commit crimes. Almost any identifying data will do – a birth date, social security number, even a cell phone number is all it takes. In 2006 alone, there were 67,000 victims of identity theft, and the numbers just keep going up.
The only way to put the brakes on this growing epidemic is to destroy all paperwork with identifying information on it. Luckily, with the availability of affordable shredders and mobile shredding services, this can be easily accomplished. A good cross or confetti cut shredder will handle the job for the average consumer. Any trash with identifying information on it, even something as seemingly innocuous as your name and address should get the shredder treatment. Junk mail should be destroyed as well, as it is often overlooked, yet a pre-approved credit application is an identity thief’s dream come true.
For consumers who don’t want to go through the time and effort of shredding their own paperwork, or for businesses, a professional shredder service is definitely the way to go. Document destruction services do all the work for you – making the process painless, and they can recycle the shredded documents as well.
With the widespread availability of affordable shredders and professional shred services, identity theft can be nipped in the bud. So be careful what goes in that trash can… you really never know who might go through it.Business Security, Identity Theft, Shredding garbage is public domain, protect against identity theft, Secure Shredding Fort Lauderdale, Shred Paper, shredding companies fort lauderdale, Shredding Company Fort Lauderdale, Shredding Document Fort Lauderdale, shredding paper fort lauderdale, Shredding Services
Posted on July 29th, 2008 No comments
Outsourcing your monthly document destruction is far more cost-effective than handling it internally.See below for the resaons why :
1. Employees can spend more time being productive for your business.
2. No more additional expenses of buying and repairing shredders.
3. You get a Certificate of Destruction to ensure compliance with customer and government requests.
Posted on July 29th, 2008 No comments
Any company contracting a document destruction service should require that the organization issue them a signed testimonial, documenting the method of destruction, date of destruction and reference number for the destruction certifying that proper destruction procedures were met. The “certificate of destruction”, as it is commonly referred, is an important legal record of compliance with a retention schedule. It does not, however, effectively transfer the responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of the materials to the contractor. MicroShred will issue a Certificate of Destruction after the material has been destroyed.
Posted on July 28th, 2008 No comments
There are a number of factors that must be considered before deciding to shred documents in-house or using a shredding company. These include :
- The investment that you will need to make in shredding equipment
- The sensitivity of the information (employees should not have access to certain information)
- The value of those who will spend time shredding
There are many benefits to hiring MicroShred to handle your shredding needs. These include enhanced security, consistent and reliable shredding practices and verified compliance with information protection regulations. In addition, our service will cost you 3 to 5 times less than shredding in-house when you take into consideration the cost of the equipment, labor cost, office space, maintenance, power cost and disposal cost. Plus your employees can focus on their real job, not shredding.
Internal Personnel Should Not Be Responsible For Destroying Certain Information!
Common sense dictates that payroll information and materials that involve labor relations or legal affairs should not be entrusted to lower level employees for destruction. It has been established, time and again, that low wage employees often have the economic incentive to capitalize on their access to it. The only acceptable alternatives are to have the materials destroyed under the supervision of upper management or by a carefully selected, high security service, such as MicroShred.
Posted on July 23rd, 2008 1 comment
As we are rounding the corner of the first decade in the 21st century, the term Identity Theft has unfortunately, become a household name. Thieves are finding new ways to use and abuse stolen financial data, often creating nightmares for their victims, who must spend countless hours repairing the damage.
While identity thieves have expanded their repertoire to include medical records, pay stubs, and even school records, financial data is still the most coveted and sought out data by identity thieves. Financial data includes your credit card receipts or statements, bank statements, tax related documents, as well as retirement/IRA and brokerage records and house records (such as mortgage and property tax statements). Even in this technological age, it seems we are still swimming in paperwork, and eventually it must be tossed. Knowing what to toss and when can be tricky for most consumers.
Generally, financial experts advise to keep credit utility and other household bills only until you receive the cancelled check. Credit card statements should be kept longer – about seven years (though receipts only need to be kept until your monthly statement comes and is reconciled). It is advised to keep paycheck stubs only until your end of year tax statements come, and bank records can also be tossed after one year. Other financial paperwork, such as IRA, retirement statements, and house records (deeds, titles, etc) should be kept permanently.
So what is a conscientious consumer to do with all of those old financial statements containing such dangerously identifying data?
Shredding your old financial records is an excellent way to protect yourself from identity theft. One of the most popular ways for identity thieves to get your personal information is through “Dumpster Diving”, in which crooks rummage through trash bins looking for papers with personal information on it. By shredding your old financial records with a good quality shredder, you are completely eliminating the threat of dumpster divers.
Small businesses and corporations typically produce a large volume of paperwork with sensitive data, and professional shredding companies are becoming more and more popular. A professional shredding service allows the business owner to easily and safely get rid of their unneeded financial paperwork, and the service is usually very cost efficient.
There is no doubt that identity thieves are here to stay. The good news is you do have ways to protect yourself. Being diligent with where and how you get rid of your financial records is one excellent way to keep your identity safe.
Posted on July 16th, 2008 No comments
PLASTIC wheelie bins full of confidential documents were left outside Rozelle Hospital in a last-minute rush to move the hospital to its new site at Concord.
Staff records, including details of criminal convictions and personal medical histories, were jammed into the bins along with minutes of meetings and disciplinary proceedings.
A letter lying at the top of one of the bins details an altercation in January 1991 between a cleaner and his supervisor, who had asked him to clean some windows.
“Mr A [name deleted] … threw a garbage tin of rubbish on the ground and also said he would kill Mr S … [name deleted],” an exasperated manager notes.
Other documents detail the property staff members have failed to return over decades.
Records from the Child Support Agency detailing maintenance deductions the hospital was required to make for individual employees are also included in the thousand of pages of personal documents.
Anyone wandering through the open hospital grounds, popular with dog walkers, was free to leaf through decades of documents left in the driveway of the administrative and information building, which closed its doors at the site last week.
Half a dozen wheelie bins left in the driveway of the administration block were locked but six others were open or secured only with adhesive tape applied by desperate staff members unable to get enough bins to secure documents they knew to be confidential. Two of those bins carried notes headed “Confidential documents”.
The notes, written by a staff doctor, Graeme Halliday, said: “To Whom It May Concern, Ive been requesting confidential paper bins for at least a week before the hospital closed but could not get any. Transport kindly delivered these on Thursday May 1st, but I didnt realise until I had filled them – they are in fact not for the disposal of confidential documents. Quite happy to return to help transfer these to confidential bins if someone can help me obtain these.”
Yesterday Dr Halliday was furious the bins had been left outside the building and said he had done his best to ensure their contents were properly disposed of.
He said he had worked until midnight on Saturday trying to dispose of documents he had no time to finish packing as he had had a full patient load during preparations for the move.
He had left all the bins locked inside the building on Saturday night and was uncertain who had moved them outside.
Dr Halliday drove immediately to Rozelle Hospital when he heard the documents were outside to ensure they were secured.
In other parts of the hospital grounds staff record cards spilled from torn plastic bags before a compactor truck arrived yesterday afternoon.
The director of mental health for the Sydney South West Area Health Service, Dr Victor Storm, said only two normal bins had been used for confidential waste. The bins had been put outside by accident yesterday morning.
“Both the secure and general waste bins have since been locked away, and a collection is now expected later this week.”
Posted on July 15th, 2008 1 comment
Identity Theft has become an important topic around where I live lately as there has been a string of reports where people have had their bank accounts cleaned out thanks to some thieves. You can never be too cautious when it comes to your personal and financial information. Here are a few more quick tips and reminders to help prevent you from becoming a victim:
- Shred pre-approved credit card offers, bills, canceled checks, bank statements, and other documents that contain personal or financial information before putting them in the trash. If you have a lot of this information to shred (business owners) hiring a shredding company to come to you and shred everything is such a great way to make sure that your confidential data is protected.
- When using an ATM, make sure nobody can see the numbers you punch in. If somebody is behind you, shield your hand when entering information.
- Don’t carry your PIN numbers with you, and never give your PIN to another person.
- Never give out your credit card number to anyone who calls you unsolicited.
- Guard your Social Security number. Don’t give it out to salesmen, vendors, or others who have no legal need for it.
- Don’t carry your Social Security card with you.
- Don’t use your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, or the last four digits of your Social Security number as a password on credit card or bank accounts. This information is too easy to obtain and can be used by thieves to access your accounts.
- Use a locked mailbox to prevent checks, credit card offers, and other financial information from being stolen.