In an era when someone halfway around the world will break into your computer with a few strokes of keys and a couple of cans of energy drinks, we have to look out for ourselves in more ways than one, and this certainly includes implementing security features into your daily life.
Despite the barrage of reports pertaining to security breaches, data thefts and network infiltrations, there is another frightening development occurring all over the world: dumpster diving for your tossed out garbage bags and boxes filled with documents, pages and paperwork.
Even if you are inching closer towards a paperless office, you have to ask yourself: what is the business doing with the plethora of documents that are being tossed away? This is a crucial question to put forward, particularly when unscrupulous individuals have zero qualms about jumping into a garbage bin in order to retrieve papers that have sensitive information.
The best way to prevent identity theft and protect your information is to incorporate paper shredding into your strategy. This way, no one will ever read what's on those papers.
Here are five tips to prevent identity and protect your information with paper shredding:
Whether you are a household or a business, there are always two types of documents: primary and secondary. The former is anything that you get every day with your name on it, such as junk mail, magazines or outdated tax documents. The latter, meanwhile, is anything that consists of crucial information, like credit card statements, ATM receipts or employment contracts.
Primary documents can be shred almost instantly, while secondary documents need to be kept for up to two years, particularly if you are a small business that needs this paperwork for taxes.
Shredding devices can be of tremendous assistance in the plight towards a paperless office and stopping any potential thefts that may arise. The best shredding equipment is one that is heavy duty and shreds the paper criss cross rather than horizontal. That last point is imperative because horizontal shredding can still be disseminated by culprits looking to steal your data.
You don't have to bring champagne and caviar, but you should bring your boxes of paper.
In recent years, the establishment of shredding parties has become ubiquitous. This can include communities launching shred-a-thons, offices spending an entire morning shredding unnecessary paperwork and companies offering to shred your paper for free.
Did you know that you can shred your devices, too? Yep, it is true, and something you must do.
When you no longer need this technology, you can take the time to destroy or shred hard drives, mobile phones, SIM cards, SD cards and other devices that contain your information. Although many will suggest that reformatting a hard drive will eradicate most of the data, it would be a prudent step to take to just shred the device. That way, you have double the reassurance!
Sometimes it is just better to tap the services of professional paper shredding companies in your neighbourhood.
Let's face it: most businesses do not have the time or resources to allocate to paper shredding. Ditto for many households, too. The simple solution is to hire a professional paper shredding firm that will transfer all of your boxes of paper to their facility and shred it. You will have the confidence that all of your documents - both sensitive and unimportant alike – will be destroyed.
If you gradually morphing into a paperless office or household then you should be lauded for your efforts. At the same time, you have to wonder what exactly is happening to all of the documents, papers and pages that you have accumulated over the years. They won't disappear out of nowhere. No, they will need to be destroyed, discarded and then they' disappear.