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  • Community associations and the growing identity theft crisis.

    Posted on December 17th, 2012 admin No comments

    The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as nine million Americans have their identity stolen each year. Yes, you read that correctly…nine million and that number is growing!

    None of us are truly insulated from the possibility of having our identities stolen unless we refuse to purchase items or pay bills by check or credit card and never venture out of the house to the doctor’s office or other location where our private information may be required. However, for those of us living in community associations, the threat may be even greater, particularly if sensitive information was gathered during the approval process and such information is not destroyed or, at a minimum, safeguarded.

    Some but not all associations do run background and even credit checks on potential purchasers and renters in their communities. Often, a social security number, date of birth and enough other information to effectively steal an identity is requested on the application. The association uses this information to presumably undertake its due diligence and determine if the renter or purchaser poses any sort of real or financial threat to the community.

    Assuming the association’s governing documents provide the board with the authority to perform such scrutiny, the real concern then becomes what happens with that sensitive information provided by the purchaser or renter? Is it immediately shredded or is it tossed in the garbage where it can possibly be retrieved by an identity thief? If it is not destroyed, where is it stored and who has access to it? Is the information kept under lock and key with only limited access by a defined group of people or is it tossed in a drawer and no further thought given to its existence?

    As the identity theft crisis continues to grow, boards and managers who come into contact with sensitive information must start asking the foregoing questions and creating useful protocol to ward off a potential problem. Individuals applying to live in or rent in a community association should inquire about how their personal information will be handled both during the approval process and aftewards.

    Victims of identity theft spend countless hours and real dollars trying to clear their credit history and correct their financial resources. Horror stories abound about the steps needed to pick up the pieces in the most drastic identity theft scenarios. As a result, many insurance companies are now offering relatively inexpensive identity theft endorsements to standard homeowners’ and renters’ policies. Homeowners should ask their insurance agents about the benefits of this coverage and the costs. Boards who collect sensitive information should similarly speak to their insurance agents about what they can do to protect themselves and their residents from an identity theft incident.

    It’s never too soon to start thinking about ways to protect yourself and your community from this insidious problem.

    (source)

  • Protect Your Employees From Identity Theft

    Posted on December 13th, 2012 admin No comments

    Without employees, businesses would not be able to thrive. Employees are an integral part of any business, company or organization. That is why it is important to protect your employees from identity theft and fraud. As the top shredding company in Florida, MicroShred will protect your employees from identity left. For example, employers should properly destroy payroll information and any materials that involve labor relations or legal affairs.

    Hiring MicroShred also takes the burden off employees from doing the actual shredding themselves. Employees can spend time on their actual duties and leave the shredding of important and confidential documents to the professionals. Make your employees aware of your company’s use of shredding services and the importance of protecting themselves against identity theft.

    MicroShred’s services are designed for businesses that generate a significant amount of sensitive and confidential documents that need to be destroyed, including employee documents. To ensure security and convenience, MicroShred provides a variety of sizes and types of lockable bins to fit your needs. Once the bins are brought to your business, we will work with you to establish a schedule in regards to how often the bins need to be emptied and documents shredded.

    Shredding service visit frequencies are normally set by weeks such as every 1, 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks. A MicroShred mobile shredding truck will then appear at the client’s site on the pre-scheduled dates to service the bins and completely destroy their paper content by a cross shredding process that can be witnessed by the client.

    Everything about MicroShred is professional – from their customer service representatives, to the highly-trained employees in the field. Customers’ security and safety is MicroShred’s top priority. MicroShred is reliable and offers high security services. MicroShred is an AAA certified member of the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) and an A rating member of the Better Business Bureau.

    By protecting your employees from identity theft, you are protecting your business and preparing for the future. MicroShred will take care of all your shredding services so you can continue to concentrate on what is important.