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Friday, 19 April 2013

Shredder playing up? Trade it in for a new one!

This bunny rabbit didn't think he needed a shredder ...

Until a cunning pussy cat stole his identity

Although the term "identity theft" was first coined in 1964, ironically it is the digital age that has perhaps made this form of fraud a bigger problem today than it was say 20 years ago. Identity theft involves a person pretending to be someone else in order to access resources or credit.  Organisations as well as individuals can have their identity "stolen" and can fall victims to this potentially very damaging and costly crime.  There is more than one type of identity theft:

  • Criminal identity theft (posing as another person when apprehended for a crime)
  • Financial identity theft (using another's identity to obtain credit, goods and services)
  • Identity cloning (using another's information to assume his or her identity in daily life)
  • Medical identity theft (using another's identity to obtain medical care or drugs)
  • Child identity theft.

When you think about it it quickly becomes apparent that wherever data exists - whether on paper or electronically on hard drives or CD-ROMS - their is an opportunity for the crook. The criminal that probably springs to mind first is the rubbish bin rummager, followed by the stealer of debit/credit cards and identification documentation such as passports and driving licences. But their are others, from the opportunist to the organised criminal. Business espionage is real.

All businesses as well as private individuals have the occasion to throw out confidential data. If in doubt, SHRED IT".  Business have an additional burden of responsibility - complying with data protection regulations.  Do you print cost-price lists or quotations?  Ever stopped to think how valuable these would be to you competitor or how damaging it could be to trade if your customer somehow got hold of them?  What about that salesman who just left.  Has he made off with a briefcase stuffed with customer quotations?  Does he have cost price lists? Customer and supplier lists?  What does he have on that USB stick?  He's not going to a competitor of yours?  Frightening eh?

Financial records, payroll records, personnel files, legal documents, cancelled cheques, account ledgers/records, competitor information, computer print outs, medical records, advertising misprints, lottery tickets, maps and blue prints, new product proposals, inventory lists, confidential correspondence, customer lists, tax records, supplier lists, outdated business records, microfilm and fiche, invoices, price lists. 

Too much confidential material to shred in house?

You need Irongate Shred 

1 comment :

Ask Irongate said...

Identity theft posts have been amongst my most popular ones. Serious consequences but easy to significantly reduce the risks. We have an off-site secure shredding service if you have bulk documents to destroy. And we have ISO 27001 to give you peace of mind whether you interest is having confidential documents printed or destroyed. ask Irongate.

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