It’s incredible how much valuable and sensitive data we are throwing away that should’ve been destroyed. Most documents are holding some sort of confidential information that could pose a security threat if it fell into the wrong hands. Despite this, most organisations are very laissé faire when it comes to their paper shredding policies. To combat this attitude I’ve compiled a list of some documents that you should be shredding and why.
Bank statements are one of the juiciest finds for a thief visiting your mailbox or dustbin. They contain a multitude of account numbers and have in the past displayed your national security number. People commonly store their old bank statements in precarious places. This leaves them vulnerable and exposes accounts to potential fraudulent activity. If you have any sitting around your house or place of work then you need to find it and shred it. To reduce the paper trail, have your bank statements sent via email and avoid printing copies and leaving them around the office.
Credit card offers find their way into your workplace aren’t just a nuisance, they are a potential threat unless they are securely shredded on-site. Employees and family members can manipulate these forms and proceed to plunge you into a chasm debt. I advise you gather up any offers you have lying around and shred it all. It’s surprising how much common theft comes from internal sources which may be a painful thought - but easily prevented.
When leaving your bank or adjusting your business expenditure you may need to cancel credit/debit cards. It’s vital you destroy these by shredding rather than just binning them, so make sure you shred it. Some ‘thought leaders’ claim it is ok to cut them into four pieces. I would never advise this. If you are using an on-site paper shredding service like Shred-On-Site then we can easily destroy these components for you. By guaranteeing the service, the risk is removed.
Photo ID’s are apparently innocent but can contribute to a larger scheme to steal your identity. Licenses and other ID’s contain your date of birth, height and other seemingly miscellaneous facts. These can be used to falsely verify your identity. Simply snipping them into quarters with a pair of scissors won’t be sufficient. Instead find it and shred it.
Pay stubs are again, seemingly harmless documents to have sitting on your office desk. However an experienced identity thief can wield these documents to verify your last transaction – a common security question at banks. There have been many cases recorded of this unfortunate risk developing into very costly unauthorised account access. Find it and shred it for complete peace of mind.
There are many other confidential documents hovering around your home or office that are certainly worth a second look. For total security, consistency is key. The only way to achieve a compliant, secure method is by implementing a Paper Shredding Policy. Unless you always make the effort to be secure you will put your business at risk as a consequence. Using a document shredding specialist like Shred-On-Site can make this process more manageable and effective. We provide your office with a secure receptacle to hold your documents until we collect them and shred it all on-site. If you have any further questions about this article or need help with your paper shredding then get in touch and we can help you.
Author: Mark Coombes - Follow me on Google+