Secure On-Site Shredding Blog

On our blog you will learn about shredding, security news and how your business can benefit from secure document & paper shredding.

September 27th, 2014

What Should I Shred?

container-300lbsIdentity theft of both individuals and businesses has been all over the news for a long time. The sheer audacity of identity thieves leaves most folks wondering if anything is safe anymore. To be fair, people are aware of the problem to the point that identity thieves really have to work to get your personal information. There are still items they can use that seem perfectly innocent to you, but keep in mind that it only takes a name and address for an identity thief to steal your life.

What You Should Shred
It is common knowledge that anything containing a name, address, social security number, birthdate or account number should be shredded. Everyone knows by now that paystubs, bank statements, medical information and bills should be shredded. Items you should shred:

•    Seemingly junk mail offering financial products like insurance or investments
•    Advertising from banks or mailings including changes to their terms of use
•    Papers related to a home business or work at home opportunity
•    Papers related to your mortgage and insurance
•    Mailings advertising cars, houses, boats and RVs
•    Basically anything that isn’t addressed to Occupant

Why You Should Shred It
It is simply too easy for an identity thief to pick up the papers out of the recycle bin after you’ve gone to bed, says the New York Times’ Bucks Blog. From these, s/he can get a name and address with which to call these businesses, impersonate you and then cause all manner of financial trouble for you. As an example, you ordered a pizza and signed for it. The receipt information as well as the signature can give an identity thief information with which to steal your identity. Never toss anything with your signature on it.

Identity thieves are capable of taking paperwork pertaining to your home business that you tossed out as of no use. With this, they can then call the company, “change” your address and divert any payments into their own accounts. Not only that, but if you get mail regarding your business with your clients’ or downlines’ names, an identity thief could have a field day with that information. Protect your clients and/or downline, because you could be held responsible if identity theft happens.

How to Shred It
Now that you are aware of yet more ways identity thieves use to cause mayhem and chaos, you should also be aware that a solution is a click or a phone call away. If you can’t afford a personal shredder or don’t have time to do it yourself, SOS can do it for you. Shredding, recycling and green practices are our specialty. Contact us for more information.

September 24th, 2014

On-Site Shredding offered at Upcoming Community Shredding Events

shred it servicesIdentity Theft is prominent in news reports all over the country.  You just can not be too careful with your identity.  Even throwing away seemingly harmless junk mail could make you a target to someone who might want to steal your identity.  What if someone used your tossed out junk mail credit card offers to apply for a credit card in your name? 

Chances are you have been keeping some papers with account information and other private details that you don’t need any more, but you know better than to just throw out with the recycling. 

If you would like to know how you can offer On-Site Shredding to your community, customers or business, please contact us or visit our Community Shred page.

September 15th, 2014

Advice on Keeping Personal Data Safe

recycle-shredded-paperRecycling is a big deal. It’s something that we take very seriously. So it always disturbs greatly when people don’t consider all of their options when it comes time to dispose of sensitive papers and electronics that house personal data. Because there’s something that people don’t think about when it’s time to throw out these effects, flash drives, hard drives, and so on: their personal security is at risk.

This is because if even one bit of personal information can be salvaged from any of the things you simply toss in the trash, identity thieves have made it their job to find that information, and can easily use it to exploit you.

But it doesn’t have to be that way…

Shredding Documents: All important papers need to be shredded or incinerated. It’s better to be safe than sorry in this instance. This includes junk mail that is be addressed to you. Even if it’s unopened. Proper destruction makes it impossible for prying eyes to find exploitable information and keeps your information safe.

Take it to a Professional: Run a business? Or have boxes upon of boxes of documents that contain not only yours, but others’ personal data? Consider taking to a professional shredding company for a safe destruction. They can rid you of the burden, and carry a guarantee that your personal safety is secure.

Physically Destroy Old Electronics: As the digital age has progressed, so too has how we store data. Enter flash drives and hard drives, where simply hitting delete has made protecting your privacy easier than ever… but couldn’t be more incorrect. Deleting information from these devices doesn’t mean that it’s gone (this includes cellular phones and cd-roms), it’s a misnomer, so don’t believe it.

When it comes to these types of storage devices, they need physically altered so that no one can salvage the data. Not just demagnetized. They need opened up and destroyed. But if this isn’t something that you can’t do yourself, leave it to a qualified professional to get the job done right. The investment will pay off.

The next time you find yourself in a situation where disposing of personal or sensitive data may lead to it falling into the wrong hands, take the safe route, and have it disposed of the proper way.

For more information on how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us any time.

September 3rd, 2014

Peace of Mind and Convenience With On-Site Shredding

paper shredding secure storage containersOn-site shredding is one of the most cost effective and efficient methods for protecting and disposing of sensitive information. Utilizing on-site, scheduled shredding saves time and money by freeing up space and employee time for more pressing and profitable tasks.

Secure On-Site Shredding has been protecting sensitive information and data in Central Florida for two decades, building a reputation of reliability and impeccable security along the way. By employing a consistent chain of custody and transporting and storing information in secure containers, sensitive information is protected at every step throughout the process. The secure containers for storage between scheduled disposal dates are provided to our customers at no charge.

With on-site shredding you not only get convenience, but you also get the peace of mind that comes from witnessing the documents being shredded before transferring custody to us. Upon destruction of the information, a Certificate of Destruction is provided for your records and any compliance needs.

All of our on-site technicians are screened professionals and follow strict guidelines to ensure an uninterrupted chain of custody and the protection of your private information. Arriving in fully automated, state of the art trucks, our technicians dispose of your documents in minutes.

Secure On-Site Shredding’s Destruction Specialists will help you determine your needs and review all of the options available to ensure your company, client and employee information is disposed of properly.

Call us today and speak with one of our specialists or use the Contact Us page or the Estimate page on our website to learn how we can help you protect your information and your reputation.

 

August 28th, 2014

Hard Drive Destruction – A Must For Businesses

hard drive destructionWith the current buzz in Washington DC about crashing hard drives, lost emails, methods of backup storage, and information retrieval, concerns about hard drive security and durability have been on the minds of many Americans. One thing is certain. Computer hard drives can hold a lot of valuable information that others would like to see.

Does your company have a computer graveyard?
Surprisingly, many do. With identity and information theft being so prevalent today, old hard drives not properly destroyed can be a grave security risk for any company. Manufacturing secrets, innovative research results, and product development information needs to properly destroyed. Personnel records, credit card information, and customer lists would be of great value to the competition or an identity thief.

It is surprising how durable hard drives can be.
Police and other law enforcement agencies have the ability to get information off hard drives that the average person would think would be beyond retrieval. Unfortunately, identity thieves know this plain truth too.  Although they may not have the technology available to them that is available to law enforcement, they still have ways to get personal information that can be very damaging off of a hard drive.

Through the years, there have been many myths concerning hard drive destruction.  There’s the de-magnetization method works only if the magnet is strong enough, like the kind found on magnetic cranes used in junk yards for lifting cars.  Then there’s the acid bath, but of course, you need to find a safe way to apply and dispose of the acid.  Renting a sandblaster, incinerating, shattering with a hammer or using it as target practice might be somewhat effective, but not very safe or cost effective. Seriously, in today’s computer driven economy, companies have to have a safe, effective way to dispose of spent hard drives.

When choosing a hard drive sanitation or destruction service, go and visit the facility unannounced.  Make sure that the building is secure and that background checks are run on all employees. Ask to see or receive detailed information on the destruction process and ask if they are certified with a quality control agency like the National Association for Information Destruction.

For more information about safe and complete hard drive destruction, contact us today.

 

August 20th, 2014

Three Major Reasons to Hire a Paper Shredding Service

tampa-paper-shredding-servicesLet’s face it, we live in a world where you have to be really careful about what happens to your paperwork. People become victims of crime all the time due to improperly disposed of information.

Living in a world where it is hard to trust others should make you more willing to hire a reputable paper shredding service for your company. Hiring a local, Florida-based, customer focused team is key.

If you are in doubt about why you need a paper shredding service, here are three reasons you may want to consider:

  1. The main number one reason is protection for identity theft. If your company works with clients or customer’s personal information, you need to shred it. There are customers that will want to see the documents shredded. With on-site shredding you can place the documents in the secure lock boxes to be shredded and this will satisfy the customer’s anxiety about their personal paperwork getting into the wrong hands.
  2. It is simply cost effective. You will spend more money having individual desk shredders than you would hiring the paper shredding service. Each desk shredder that cuts in the criss cross pattern, like the shredding service truck will cost $100 a piece or more, depending on quality. If they break down, you have to buy another one. If they do not shred well, you will have to buy another one. Cost on top of cost does nothing to help your profit margin.
  3. If you work in/own a company has top secret documents, an onsite shredding company can make sure they are properly disposed of. The documents will be shredded once they are loaded into the shredding truck. You can even watch the process to be sure that the documents are being destroyed. Each truck processes hundreds of pounds of paperwork and uses the criss cross pattern to cut the paper more than once.

These are only to name a few of the reasons why on-site shredding is a wonderful idea for you and your company. On top of these valid reasons, Secure On-Site Shredding takes the paper shreds to be recycled. This helps to further destroy the document as well as protect the environment from any pollution the landfills produce from the breakdown of paper.

A paper shredding service can help you become a trusted loyal company. To get started just contact us and we will be happy to help you. Thank for visiting.

August 16th, 2014

Why Is Hard Drive Destruction Important?

orlando shredding hard driveSo you’ve updated your computer and now it’s time throw your old computer away. How should you go about disposing of your old PC or Mac? Well unfortunately we live in an age where cyber terrorists and hackers are a way of life. One of the worst things you can do is just throw your computer away as is. Banking info, private correspondence, almost anything is accessible to someone determined to steal your information. In a worst case scenario you could even have your whole Identity stolen.

So how should your computer be disposed off? Well the logical solution may seem to be to delete everything off of your computer;however this is simply not enough to keep the contents of your computer out of the wrong hands. There are often multiple places on your hard drive where data is stored and erasing the most obvious places doesn’t completely get rid of the data. The only sure way to make sure your private info stays private is to have your hard drive physically destroyed. We can take care of that, learn more on our Hard Drive Destruction page.

Hard Drive Destruction much like most things in life, is best left to the professionals. Sure, if you search long enough you will probably find a video or two on YouTube that demonstrates how to dispose of your hard drive at home, and someone with a natural affinity for electronics may be able to do so. However, for the majority of casual computer users it’s not worth the aggravation not to mention the chance that it doesn’t get done the right way. You are much better off hiring a paid professional. Hiring someone to destroy your hard drive for you not only ensures that the job gets done correctly, but an added benefit is that the dead hard drive then gets recycled properly.

When it comes to what is referred to in the industry as “Hard Drive Shredding” you have two options: On-Site and Off-Site. If you choose Off-Site your hard drive gets picked up and taken away for disposal. Would you trust someone to take your documents to their house and shred them for you, knowing that they could read any and all of them without you ever knowing? Well Off-Site hard drive shredding carries the same risk. Someone knowledgeable in computers could easily extract everything.

The benefit of hiring an On-Site service like Secure On-Site Shredding for your Hard Drive Destruction is that your hard drive will be destroyed on your property, in your presence. On-Site shredding is realy the only true way to achieve piece of mind when disposing of an old computer.

If you want to sleep soundly at night, choose On-Site.

For more information about On-Site shredding contact us or follow us on Facebook or Google+.

August 4th, 2014

Shred It: Because Identity Theft Rings Do Exist

shred it servicesCrime rings of all kinds are in the news on a regular basis. You hear about drug rings, gangs and all kinds of criminal groups every day when you turn on the television or read news stories online. However, the police in the State of Washington are on the hunt of a group of individuals they believe have been involved in a massive identity theft crime ring, according to an article on their local FoxNews website.

The man they believe to be in charge of the ring has had several identity theft convictions already, and now officials believe he’s actually been heading up a group of people he’s been training to do the same thing. Four people have been arrested so far, but police are still looking for more.

After talking with the individuals who have been arrested, detectives learned that the leader of the ring would send people out to get identifying information from people’s cars, mailboxes and even their homes. The information that was obtained was used to open credit cards, get new social security cards and make phony driver’s licenses. Many of these items were recovered during a search.

These types of stories are scary, but the reality is that identity theft is very real. That’s why many business are turning to on-site shredding solutions instead of just manually shredding their own documents or sending them out to be shredded. When business documents are professionally shredded on-site, business owners can rest assured that their personal information is safe.

If you own a business, you know that it’s one of your biggest investments. Here at Secure On-Site Shredding, it’s our goal to help you protect that investment. If you would like more information about our shredding services, and how we can help you maintain a higher level of identity security, we would love to talk with you. Please contact us today.

July 25th, 2014

You Owe Your Clients Top Knotch Information Security

florida-shredding-securityTrust is the key to keeping long term clients, and they need to be able to trust more than just your products. Your clients need to be able to trust that all the personal information they provide you with will be kept secure. Your clients provide you with a wealth of personal information in every transaction they make with you.

The simple act of paying you for your product or services requires your client provide you with enough information to put themselves at risk for identity theft if you are not properly handling that information. To properly protect that information, it needs to be protected while it is in your possession and responsibly destroyed when keeping it is no longer of value to you or your client.

Mobile Shredding Services Maintain Information Security

For all but the smallest businesses, sitting at a desk shredding client files a page at a time with a desktop shredder is simply not an option. Keeping client files long after they have ceased providing value becomes a storage nightmare and a security risk quickly.

A mobile shredding service is often the best option to deal with obsolete client paperwork. We will come to your place of business so you never have to compromise your Information Security by transporting files, and we will take away the paper waste created and recycle it.

Good Information Security Policies Can Help You Land Bigger Clients

If your business is growing in the Central Florida area and you want to be able to break into larger markets with more prestigious clientele, then you need to make information security a priority. Large clients are going to be highly sensitive to anything that could cause PR issues.

They need to feel secure about your ability to handle sensitive information, and being able to show them your records are routinely destroyed by a trustworthy mobile shredding service can go a long ways toward establishing that trust. If you are interested in mobile shredding, then contact us today. Be viewed as an asset instead of a liability by getting reinforcing your information security.

July 22nd, 2014

WATCH Your Back with Hard Drive Destruction Services

hard-drive-destruction-serviceDoes your company have a store room filled with old computers? You may want to consider our Hard Drive Destruction Services to properly and legally dispose of the records stored on discarded electronic media. It’s not enough to just wipe or erase your hard drive.

We recently highlighted just a few of the reasons why you need to properly dispose of paper documents.  Your exposure is even worse with electronic information!

The agencies that require proper data destruction include Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), Florida Unlawful Use of Personal Identification Information Act and at least five others that we reported in that article.

Virtually every piece of paper in your files was probably created or stored on a computer or server that you may not even be using any longer. You are obligated to destroy all sensitive information about employees, patients, clients and customers.  How many credit cards or social security numbers do you have on those hard drives that you are planning to donate to a local charity?

Here are just a few examples of companies who admitted customer records being compromised.  How many thefts of data go unreported?

How many hard drives do you have laying in a junk pile that you would not even notice just “walking out the door?”

There are also potential disclosure and liability issues to be considered. Would you really want some of the private reports you have on your hard drives available for the world to see?

Consider this case where no less than the head of the IRS defends the service’s right to destroy data:

“it was revealed last week that the agency had lost some emails sent to and from Lois Lerner, the retired head of the agency’s Exempt Organizations division” and then in a related article “Lawmakers Want to Dig Up IRS’s ‘Hard Drive Cemetery.”  

Do you have your own hard drive cemetery filled with sensitive information?

Call 877-974-7337 or contact us.  We will gladly review your situation and make you aware of all legal obligations you may have for electronic media retention and destruction.

July 9th, 2014

FAQs on Mobile Shredding and Secure On-Site Shredding

FAQs-paper-shredding-serviceAs with almost anything, there are several concerns, misconceptions, misunderstandings and questions about Mobile Shredding. We decided to compile a list of these concerns along with some of the questions our prospective clients ask us when they are considering working with us.

So here are the Frequently Asked Questions about Mobile Shredding, the Shredding Industry in General and some specifics on Secure On-Site Shredding.

  1. “What are the main reasons that people use Mobile Shredding as opposed to on-site shredding?” Mobile Shredding AKA On Premise Shredding was designed for clients who were concerned with “chain of custody” and wanted “witnessed destruction” of sensitive documents.
  2. “How does Mobile Shredding Work?” – At Secure On-Site Shredding, we bring our Automated High Speed truck to your facility and use a secure cross cut pulverizing process to shred the documents in your parking lot or wherever you designate.
  3. “What are the reasons that people shred documents in the first place?” – The reasons we here most from our clients are: legal issues, concerns over security, identity theft, protection of personal information and recycling. Legal Issues are by far the most common reason.
  4. “Why not just shred everything ourselves? Why do we need a service?” As with any DIY concept, your time or the time of your staff is usually more valuable doing something else. Even if you have a lower paid member of your staff doing the shredding, it is usually more economical to hire a service. Professional shredding staff with high speed equipment can process far more documents per minute than an employee on your site with low speed equipment.
  5. “Do I need to pre sort documents, remove staples and paper clips, etc.?”  No. Our equipment handles all that. You just get it into one of the secure locked containers that we provide and you are done!

Call 877-974-7337 or contact us. We will gladly answer any additional questions you may have.

June 25th, 2014

BEWARE! Are You Violating the Law by NOT Destroying Information Before Discarding? – You Need a Paper Shredding Service

You may be surprised that companies of all sizes in many industries are obligated to destroy (shred) all kinds of information they have collected from customers, about employees and more.

Paper Shredding Service is NOT just for big companies, banks and medical facilities.  In this article by Association of Corporate Council, Attorneys Andy Serwin and Adam Fleisher provide an overview of the many areas of exposure faced by most businesses. They report that

“The FTC recently reiterated its belief that regardless of any representations that you may make about the collection and storage of user data, you must take reasonable steps to keep sensitive data secure.”

They also point out that under the revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), there are “new compliance requirements for apps that collect personal information from children under the age of 13.” 

Please visit this area of our website to see a chart that outlines all the various documents you are required to destroy prior to discarding them.

For example, NOT destroying customer records could subject your business to fines and other penalties from at least six different agencies!

Some of the agencies that govern document and records management include:

  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLB)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
  • US Safe Harbor Program
  • USA Patriot Act
  • Florida Unlawful Use of Personal Identification Information Act

Call 877-974-7337 or contact us.  We will gladly review your situation and make you aware of all legal obligations you may have for document retention and destruction before discarding.

June 16th, 2014

Fun Ways to Teach Future Generations About the Importance of Recycling

recycle-shredded-paperIt’s important to teach kids about recycling, because future generations of adults should be taught at a young age to live environmentally-conscious lives. Here’s a few ways to make learning about trash and recycling fun for children:

Take a field trip: A visit to the local city or county recycling center, shredding service or landfill (or a combination thereof) is a real eye-opener for children and adults, alike. Anyone who takes part in a safely-monitored tour of their local dump will see tons of garbage being bulldozed into the earth as gulls swoop in circles overhead and scavenge for rotting food. Kids love field trips, and learning about garbage is gaining knowledge about something familiar to them, and a new and exciting adventure.

Ask what they see, and children will scan the heaps of trash and shout, “A couch! A chair! A bike! Toys! Clothes! Cardboard! Plastic Bags!” See the look of surprise when they’re told that much of the trash being buried in landfills is paper products. That’s when you emphasize the importance, and ease, of always making an effort to recycle paper.

It’s almost a guarantee that several kids will wrinkle their faces and plug their noses at the smells emanating from the piles of garbage. Landfill operators can provide parents or tour group leaders with startling statistics about the amount of garbage being thrown into landfills every day, along with information about how reducing garbage can lengthen the limited lifespan of a landfill.

Emphasize the Three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Lay the groundwork by teaching the three Rs. They’re easy to remember, especially if you provide children with examples and quiz them about how they can Reduce, Reuse or Recycle items in their daily lives. Their answers may surprise you.

Play with Trash: There are many online resources and books that show fun ways to use recyclable items for craft projects. Household objects which are normally tossed in the trash can be transformed into toys, decorations for their bedrooms, or musical instruments. With a little glue and scissors, cereal boxes can be crafted into trucks. Ice cream pails can become drums. With a few twists of a pipe cleaner, plastic grocery bags can be transformed into flowers. Kids have fun creating something from “nothing” and the experience fuels their creativity.

Contact us for more information about our Community Shred events where we increase the public’s knowledge about the importance of paper shredding, identity theft, and making our communities a safer place to live.

June 5th, 2014

We Can Dispose of Old XP Windows Based PC’s to Protect You from Business Identity Theft

It’s not enough that criminals are stealing the identities of individuals. Oh, no. Now they are stealing that of businesses. Just as with personal identity theft, businesses must no longer leave things to chance. That chance is all it takes for an identity thief to wreck all you’ve worked so hard to have. How bad is it? The Wall Street Cheat Sheet reports that businesses could be blamed for the crime, and made to pay restitution. A similar issue is that employee information could be stolen, if it isn’t stored properly. How can a business protect itself?

C’mon, What Can They Really Do?

Identity thieves can get a business’ financial numbers and do serious damage to the business. If the business owner finds that credit accounts have been opened in the business’ name, loans taken out in the business’ name or items bought using the business’ credit cards, then the business owner is in deep trouble. Identity thieves can use the tax ID number to commit income tax fraud and mess with the payroll. Thieves gain this information from a variety of places, one of which (Secure On-Site Shredding can dispose of old XP Windows based PCs) can be helped. The really bad thing is that all this could be going on without the business owner’s knowledge. Only when he needs a loan for expansion or notices oddities on the credit card statements could he discover what has been going on. Not only that, but while he is trying to repair the problems, he could very well lose business and be forced to shut down.

What Else Can They Do?

Everyone is now aware of personal identity theft. The spectacular hack job done on Target last Christmas has served as fair warning to everyone that no one is safe. Here’s another thing to think about: identity thieves can still steal a business owner’s personal information. Your personal information is often tied in with your business information. It is needed for credit purposes, licensing and banking. Indeed, one of the first places identity thieves get their ideas is from public records of a business’ tax ID. Thus, a business owner is in double jeopardy, so to speak, from identity thieves.

What is the Answer?

Much information is garnered from businesses who upgrade their computer and communications systems. Often they simply put the old computers out by the road for pick-up. The Fresno Bee quoted an identity theft suspect as saying “the trashcan is golden”. You would be amazed at how much information is left on hard drives people thought they had cleaned. Now, we can dispose of old XP Windows based PCs. The hard drive is shredded, and the other components recycled. No one will gain access to customer or employee information, nor will they garner sensitive business information. But there is more than a business owner can do.

  • Read this article on www.sba.gov to learn how to prevent and detect business identity theft.

Personal identity theft protection is now available. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover your business. While SOS can dispose of old XP Windows based PCs and is providing security in one way, the business owner can look into business identity theft protection.

Other means of protection the business owner himself may implement and monitor. They include:

  • Protect your EIN as if it were your social security number.
  • Keep your business information securely stored and not accessible to unauthorized persons.
  • Shred old or obsolete records. Do not toss them in the trash.
  • Monitor daily your banking accounts, credit accounts and any wire transfers your company handles.

SOS can dispose of old XP Windows based PCs is only one method of protection, but there is plenty more the business owner can do to watch his back. Learn helpful tips at www.businessidtheft.org. The Better Business Bureau, the police and the Chamber of Commerce may have more information specific to your town, county and state. However, contact us for secure shredding of your papers and hard drives. We take identity theft seriously.

 

May 30th, 2014

3 Facts That Will Make You Reconsider Mobile Shredding

With identity theft and fraud on the rise, it is imperative to protect sensitive information. Each year companies lose millions of dollars due to security breaches. The best way to prevent this type of loss is to choose a reputable mobile shredding service. Mobile Shredding can ensure that your sensitive data will be completely destroyed. Here are three facts that will make you reconsider mobile shredding.

Fraud Protection
Unfortunately sensitive information getting into the wrong hands can prove to be problematic for any business. It could mean legal and financial trouble and ethical questioning of your company. Many would assume that a regular paper shredder would suffice, but often times they are not sufficient for businesses. The high powered shredders provided by a mobile service ensure that your documents are not able to be reconstructed after shredding. Without safe and reliable document destruction practices, your company can run the risk theft, fraud, and lawsuits. Hiring a mobile shredding service will nearly eliminate this issue because your documents will be completely destroyed in your presence.

Recycling
Hiring a mobile shredding service can have environmental benefits as well. Many reputable shredding companies recycle the residue from shredded documents. Recycling is beneficial to not only your business but the community as a whole. This can reduce the number of trees being cut and create reusable materials.

Convenience
Mobile shredding services offer both scheduled and one-time destruction of documents on site. Depending on the needs of your business, you are able to schedule frequent appointments or just a one-time service for a mass destruction. Mobile shredding services not only destroy paper documents but they also destroy hard drives and electronics. In addition to on site destruction, customers also have the option to drop off their documents for destruction.

Mobile shredding has proven to be very beneficial to businesses over the years. This service can provide a secure and definite way for you to protect your clients and the reputation of your business. To discuss more benefits to mobile shredding, please be sure to Contact Us. Thanks.

 

May 23rd, 2014

Shredding Can Mean the Difference Between Safety and an Information Security Breach

Several large retailers such as Target and Neiman Marcus have suffered security breaches. Their computers had security systems, but they were still hacked. Upwards of 70 million people have had their email and mailing addresses compromised, and around 40 million people have had their credit and debit card information stolen. That was from Target alone, in December 2013. Reports say that Target has spent millions on their information security breach, and the company is still suffering from the catastrophe. Read more about the Target breach here.

People have been made aware of identity theft, through companies like Target making the news. Additionally, there are warnings all over the internet regarding identity theft. People have begun to burn or shred their sensitive papers rather than thoughtlessly throwing them in the trash. Many remember the lady who was gaining recyclable materials from a dumpster, and she ran across sensitive information from people’s recycle bins. Folks are now being much more careful about information security.

For a small business or a business just opening its doors, an information security breach could mean the end of the business. Not only paperwork is subject to theft, but old computers put out for recycling. Businesses may think they have wiped their hard drives clean, but many instances have made the news in which such is not the case.

To examine the problem from the other side, scam artists and identity thieves can and will perpetrate their frauds in a dizzying array of ways. They can even scam the IRS from prison. Information security doesn’t even encompass paper and computers. A simple vacation picture on Facebook can alert an identity thief to his target’s absence from home. A look at the About page, the notation of an address, and someone will need help to recover their identity. What can be done to stop it?

Private citizens should be very careful to let no paperwork with sensitive information like social security numbers, bank account numbers, insurance information or medical information get into the trash or recycle bin. Secure On-Site Shredding offers individuals a one-time service for their security needs. If people are spring-cleaning the desk and need to safely dispose of months’ worth of sensitive information, SOShredding is available for their peace of mind. Small businesses who are upgrading their computer systems should contact the company for secure shredding of their old system’s hard drives. A plus of this service is that all shredded materials are recycled for the benefit of the environment. Contact us to preserve your most sensitive information security.

 

May 19th, 2014

The Importance of Hard Drive Destruction for Health Care Companies

If health care is your field, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which protects the privacy of patients’ health information. Patients and customers are familiar with it as well, which is why they’ll appreciate the peace of mind they receive knowing that your business uses professional SOS hard drive destruction.

Why is it so important to properly destroy hard drives? For starters, if personal information is improperly discarded, your business could be subject to litigation. In fact, the past two years have witnessed over 10 million dollars in fines levied against businesses for just this reason. Don’t leave your business vulnerable to a costly and protracted court battle.

Beyond the legal and financial risk of failing to properly destroy hard drives, business owners have an ethical responsibility to their customers to protect sensitive information. Even if you’re a small business owner, your hard drive almost certainly contains highly sensitive information about your employees, such as Social Security numbers.

Don’t risk the privacy of your patients, customers, and employees by simply trying to “wipe” a hard drive yourself. Information is buried deep inside, and true shredding is the safest way to guarantee that information is no longer available to potential identity thieves. In short, our method is the absolute best protection for your sensitive information.

Contact us to learn more about our services, and to see why our customers trust us to handle their shredding and hard drive destruction. With the help of Secure On-Site Shredding, you can be sure your business is protected.

 

May 12th, 2014

The Importance of Maintaining a Current Document Retention Policy

There are certain articles of information that should always be kept on file. These can include certain IRS paperwork, articles of formation, corporate resolutions, partnership agreements, etc. The problem is, when “cleaning house” these important papers sometimes get sent to the shred pile; never to be seen again. Destruction of these vital documents can cost your firm time and money to replace – if they are even replaceable. This is we recommend maintaining a current Document Retention Policy.

A Document Retention Policy should be designed by the managing individuals within a business. The policy should include what documents should be kept indefinitely, the location of these documents, and should require a chain of custody during each document destruction process.

The Document Retention Policy should be given to each individual within the firm that handles office duties. This way, when it comes time to shred, these individuals will have a clear, current, and comprehensive list of important documents and records that should be kept.

In some cases, some records must be kept for only a certain period of time and then they can be destroyed. The Document Retention Policy should include these documents as well, and the date in which these records can be discarded. For instance, the IRS recommends keeping financial records for at least 7 years. After the seven years has passed, these documents and records can be safely and securely destroyed.

When designing your retention plan, following a basic template for a standard retention policy is a good start, but be sure to tailor the policy to suit your specific business needs.

If you are interested in learning more about how to ensure your important documents steer clear of the shredder, please contact us. At Secure On-Site Shredding (SOS) we pride ourselves on providing our customers with the utmost in customer service. Call today to speak with one of our document destruction experts.

 

April 28th, 2014

How To Choose A Reputable Florida Paper Shredding Service

If you’re looking for a Florida Paper Shredding service, then you’re probably wondering how you should go about picking a reputable shredding company. Protecting the personal information of your clients is just as important after you’ve fulfilled the required document retention time as it is while those documents are being stored onsite. So exactly how do you go about finding a trustworthy document shredding service?

Here are a few things you should look for while trying to find a reputable Florida Paper Shredding service.

  1. Do they offer a mobile shredding service that comes to your place of business? This is extremely important when it comes to document shredding because the documents never leave your sight. And once they’re shredded, they go directly into locked containers and mixed with other shredded documents; therefore, they’re virtually impossible to re-create.
  2. How long have they been in business? It’s best to find a company who has been in business for several years. Then you’ll need to check their reputation and their standing in the community. You can do this by checking their online and offline references and reviews.
  3. Are they an NAID certified contractor?
  4. Inquire about other businesses and government entities who use their services. If the State of Florida and the US government use them, that’s a pretty good indication that they’re trustworthy and competent.
  5. Will they provide you with written proof including the date and time you used their shredding services? You’ll need this documentation to show legal compliance should a problem arise.
  6. Do they offer free estimates?
  7. Are they a local company with a verifiable local address and phone number. The last thing you want is to trust your sensitive documents to some fly-by-night company who shows up at your door with a truck and a document shredder.

When looking for the right document shredding company, it’s important to perform a little due diligence before making any hiring decisions. Hiring the wrong company could have irreparable consequences and could ultimately cost you your business.

If you would like more information about Florida paper shredding services, please contact us. Secure On-site Shredding has been helping Florida with all their document shredding needs since 1994. Allow us to help you protect your information and your reputation – that’s what we do best!

 

April 18th, 2014

Just Shred It – The Benefits Of Mobile Shredding For All Your Sensitive Documents

If you deal with clients, you probably keep a certain amount of personal information for each one. When it comes time to dispose of that information, you have to be very careful about how you go about the process.

Many States have laws in place that specify how personal information about your clients should be handled. If you don’t adhere to those laws, you could find yourself in some legal hot water that could potentially destroy your reputation and your business. Mobile Shredding is the quickest and easiest form of old document disposal available.

Here are a few of the benefits you can expect when hiring a mobile paper shredding company to come to your place of business to shred your sensitive documents.

  1. A mobile shredding company will send a truck to your business to quickly shred your documents. These trucks are capable of shredding thousands of pounds of paper an hour. This option saves time and money because your employees will spend less time shredding documents and more time performing income producing tasks.
  2. The paper that has been shredded goes into locked bins reducing your liability and risk of identity theft.
  3. When using a mobile paper shredding service, you’ll be able to witness your sensitive documents being destroyed. This means you can personally witness the job rather than having to delegate this task down the chain of command. Your sensitive documents never leave your sight.
  4. Your company’s shredded documents are mixed in with shredded documents from other companies which will make those documents virtually impossible to reconstruct.
  5. Shredding also helps the environment because document shredding is an environmentally friendly business practice.
  6. Once the job has been completed, your mobile shredding service will provide you with the written documentation needed to prove legal compliance. This one step could potentially help you win a lawsuit if the question of proper destruction of documents ever becomes an issue.

If you would like an on-site free estimate, or would just like to inquire about our services, please contact us. Secure On-Site Shredding is a NAID Certified Destruction Company and we proudly assist Central Florida, Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota and St. Petersburg businesses with all of their mobile shredding needs.

 

April 11th, 2014

Recycling is Just One of Many Perks of Shredding Sensitive Documents

When your business works with a secure on-site shredding service that provides a certified recycling program, you are getting two great benefits for the cost of one: you are being eco-friendly and supporting the environment, and you are preventing sensitive and confidential information from falling into the wrong hands.

Here are some additional benefits to on-site shredding and how they compare with traditional recycling programs:

Waste Reduction
It is estimated that the United States uses 80 million tons of paper each year, and over 1 million tons globally. Leaving behind a huge, unsustainable eco footprint in our forests that is difficult to fill. However, more than 63 percent of that paper is reused and recycled, thanks to state and local recycling programs, and services that offer on-site shredding, both of which turn confidential documents into 100% recyclable material that is then used in other paper products.

Less Risk Association
The act of recycling should never be frowned upon. Anything your business does to promote a better environment in a positive and actionable way should be applauded. But did you know that haul away, or off-site shredding, and stand alone recycling programs don’t offer the confidentiality guaranteed through legislative requirements that on-site shredding does? On-site shredding is the most secure and the safest way of destroying documents.

Legal Ramifications
In addition to being a green solution for paper waste, in most instances there are many federal and state laws that prevent businesses from simply tossing old documents in the trash. In fact, it is punishable act that carries with it penalties and fines if the rules and regulations aren’t followed. Not to mention lawsuits, privacy violations, and customer loss. Making it even more important that, when it’s time to shred and recycle confidential paperwork, your business partners with a NAID Certified Destruction Company, and gets the confirmation of security that you deserve.

Ready to set up a trusted partnership with a certified on-site shredding service? Please contact us to discuss how we can help you.

April 4th, 2014

Your Information Security Plan

With all the media coverage of the various online data security breaches and the impact of those breaches on the companies and consumers involved, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of physical information security. Stories about online data security are sexier because they involve 21st century technology, but to the customer whose personal or private business information is compromised, it really doesn’t matter much how it got compromised. It only matters that it did. So companies must guard physically stored customer information just as diligently as they do electronically stored data.

Start with a needs inventory
Before you can create a plan, you should identify what customer information you need to keep in the first place, and how long you need to keep it. This will vary from business to business. Once you’ve made a determination of what you need you should document that. This information is the beginning of your information security plan.

Destroy what you don’t need
Once you’ve determined what information you need to keep, it’s time to securely destroy what you no longer need. To securely destroy it doesn’t mean just tossing it in the trash dumpster. It needs to be shredded. If there’s only a small amount, it can probably be done in-house if you have the proper equipment and the time to do it. If there’s a larger amount, or you don’t have the time or equipment resources to securely destroy it in a timely manner, you should hire a professional like Secure On-Site Shredding to do it for you. In either case, you should document the destruction and keep that documentation on file for your own protection.

Secure what you keep
Once you’ve securely destroyed the information you don’t need it’s time to securely organize what you’ve kept. Businesses that don’t have a specific information security plan often don’t have a very organized information storage system either. This is a good time to develop a system, or improve upon what you’re currently doing.

Confidential information should be stored in one location specified for this purpose, and be protected by restricting location access and lock protection. Only those employees with a “need to know” should be permitted to access confidential or sensitive information. In addition, those who are permitted to access it should be required keep file cabinets locked when not in use, or when they leave the area. Obviously, what you’re able to do will depend largely on the physical characteristics and layout of your facility. But whatever your circumstances, careful attention should be paid to physical information security.

Protecting your business from theft of sensitive or confidential information starts with your information security plan. Knowing exactly what information you need, securely destroying what you don’t need, and securely storing what you keep are vital.

For secure, trustworthy help with your document or hard drive destruction contact us online or call 877-9-Shreds (877-974-7337).

March 31st, 2014

Why “NAID Certified” Matters with Hard Drive Destruction

A small, recently released study commissioned in Australia by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) should serve as a cautionary tale for hard drive destruction in the United States.

The study found that of the 52 used, randomly purchased hard drives examined, 15 still contained information including pornographic material, personal photos and videos, bank statements, court case documents, client personal information, email correspondence and client health information, among other things. One drive was even identified as belonging to a Justice of the Peace!

Indeed, a quick search on eBay for “used computer hard drives” nets a search result of 68,283 listings. Many say they are “wiped” clean. But are they?

If nearly 30% of the hard drives examined in the Australian study still had information, imagine extrapolating that number to cover all the hard drives improperly disposed of in the United States. The personal data floating around out there is ripe for the picking.

Which is why it is important to have a NAID approved company handling your hard drive destruction. Free hard drive destruction is not really free if it is not handled and documented properly. It could end up costing quite a bit if information gets into the wrong hands.

The NAID AAA Certification program offers the following benefits:

  • The program was developed by industry professionals and is recognized around the world.
  • NAID auditors have earned accreditation from ASIS International.
  • NAID certification auditors verify that protocols are in place to ensure the security of confidential material throughout all stages of the destruction process.
  • An extensive background check ensures that no individual with a known history of related crimes will be handling confidential material.
  • Certified companies participate in an unannounced audit program.
  • The Certification Review Board keeps a close eye on certified companies.

This short video, Beyond the Claims and Promises, explains the value of NAID certification.

Secure On-Site Shredding is AAA Certified by NAID for hard drive destruction. Contact us to find out more.

March 20th, 2014

How On-Site Shredding Can Help Protect You From Identity Theft

Your personal identity is an important commodity. Keeping it safe, and free from prying eyes, is not only important to the security and future of your finances, but also for information that you do not wish to share.

According to the FTC, it is estimated that each year over 9 million people are victims of identity theft. Something that, in many cases, could have been avoided completely if some simple precautions were put into place.

This is why on-site shredding is such a valuable tool in fighting identity theft. Because every piece of paper that is thrown in the trash, down to the smallest identifiable detail, has the potential of becoming used and exploited by a crook.

Here are some common examples of documents that most of us throw away without even thinking that, had they been shredded, could have avoided turning trash day into “cash day” for a thief:

  • Out of date credit cards
  • Credit or debit receipts and statements
  • Expired credit and debit cards
  • Unused credit card checks
  • Bank statements (checking and savings)
  • Pre-approved credit offers/applications
  • Canceled checks
  • Financial account statements
  • Pension statements
  • Pay stubs
  • Wage and earnings statements
  • Paid bill invoices
  • Any invoices or statements
  • Tax returns
  • Medical bills
  • Insurance claims
  • Insurance policy information
  • Expired IDs

Sadly, anything you throw in the trash with identifiable information attached to it is prone to being used for ill purposes. Including envelopes with return addresses indicating where you bank; who your doctor is; where your financial investments are housed; your mortgage brokers, and so on.

Fortunately, however, this type of identity theft is extremely possible to curb. By simply shredding every document, receipt, envelope, or simple piece of paper with your personal information on it, you can stop confidential information from falling into the wrong hands, and you can prevent thieves from exploiting your personal and financial information, stopping them dead in their tracks.

For more information on how we can help protect your valuable and confidential personal information, please contact us any time.

March 6th, 2014

Things to Consider Before Hiring a Paper Shredding Service

You probably already know that a paper shredding service can be a valuable asset to your business, but what you may not know is that not every shredding company is the same. Here are some questions you should ask before hiring a paper shredding service to help you destroy documents.

Will anyone see the documents while they are being shredded?
While you may think that having workers see your documents while they are shredding them is inevitable, this is simply not the case. Measures can be put in place, including storing documents in a locked box until they are ready to be shredded. If a company does not take the appropriate steps to ensure your privacy, you should consider hiring someone else.

How are documents shredded?
Simply shredding documents into thin strips will not ensure that information on them cannot be obtained. Instead, you should have them cross cut into tiny particles that somewhat resemble graffiti in order to ensure no one is later able to recreate your documents.

What certifications do you hold?
Certification from the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) is the highest in the industry, and will ensure that those who are shredding your documents follow all the required government regulations when doing so.

Can you provide me with other data destruction services?
You may sometimes need to destroy computer hard drives, CD-Roms or other forms of electronic media in addition to having paper shredded. If so, you’ll need a company who can take care of more than one type of media for you as well.

Will you come back at predetermined intervals so that I can stay on top of my shredding needs?
This is an important question to ask if you generate a large number of paper documents and regularly need to have them purged. Scheduling this service monthly or even quarterly will ensure you don’t get overwhelmed by the document shredding process.

Here at Secure On-Site Shredding, we are NAID certified, and provide document shredding services to a number of counties in Florida. Contact us today to find out more.

February 21st, 2013

Personal info found in recycling bin!

A woman’s hunt for coupons in a local dumpster turns up thousands of sensitive documents, exposing the personal information of hundreds of people.

Confidential material a thief could use to steal your identity sitting at the bottom of a dumpster.

Lynda contacted ABC15 after first finding the private medical forms, then several days later we joined her for another dumpster dive.

We found even more piles of private paperwork in the same recycling bin.

We reunited a registered nurse with her discarded medical information.

She asked us to protect her identity after finding out her driver’s license and social security numbers were trashed. At least one victim told me she plans on taking legal action against the Gila County’s Division of Health and Emergency Services after what our story uncovered. So, we want to know… what are your expectations for a government official to keep your personal information private?

November 28th, 2012

Oops. Confetti at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Was Made of Still-Readable Confidential Police Docs

The magical specks of color that float down the city streets are normally just a mishmash of multicolored confetti, but this year, shredded confidential documents from the Nassau Police Department were also in the air.

The worst part is that the documents were shredded horizontally, so they were still highly readable. Some strips that stuck to parade attendees contained Social Security Numbers of officers and others detailed crimes like a pipe bombing in the Kings Grant area of Long Island.

Hypothetically, these pieces of paper could have very easily been collected and been put back together again using some simple “unshredding software.”

Macy’s defends to WPIX that they only use the pretty paper bits in their confetti, so this could’ve come out of any of the countless number of office windows along the 6th Avenue parade route.

It’s a very scary Thanksgiving weekend for some Nassau County cops who might get their identities stolen in the first few days of this holiday season.

March 12th, 2012

County trashes confidential information

Violating privacy law, health department discards personal information of people applying for benefits in public trash bin

Gila County Health Department staff dumped confidential personal information that included copies of drivers’ licenses and birth certificates into a public recycling bin found by two Payson residents on Feb. 29.
“The fact this is happening is inexcusable,” said Supervisor Tommie Martin.

The health department reported in a press release this week that an employee threw two bankers-style boxes containing 12 files of internal documentation into a recycle container used by other businesses in Payson.

The employee has been reprimanded and retrained, said county officials.

County officials have not confirmed how many individual’s records were compromised, but the files reportedly included hundreds of pages.

County officials said they’ve launched an investigation but have not yet revealed how the confidential information ended up in boxes of recycling material an employee routinely dumped in the trash. County officials have denied reports that confidential records were discarded at least twice.

Martin insisted the county would change its procedures.

“In this day and age, nobody should have to worry about his or her identification getting out,” she said.

The incident violated federal law protecting the confidentiality of health care records, acknowledged Health Director Michael O’Driscoll.

Since the incident was reported, county officials have moved the recycling bin to a secure location to examine each piece of paper to guarantee all records are found, said Martin.

O’Driscoll said the files were mixed in with outdated pamphlets and material from the federal WIC (Women, Children and Infant) program.

WIC provides grants to states for food, health care and nutrition education to low-income mothers of children under the age of 5. The states then have county health departments administer the program.

O’Driscoll said the health department is investigating exactly how the records found their way into the boxes of recyclable material without being shredded first.

“We moved immediately to put systems in place to stop distribution of files,” said O’Driscoll.

Because the files had to do with personal medical information, they are subject to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) security regulations and so should have been disposed of as required by federal law.

In its press release the health department wrote, “Gila County Health Department maintains extremely strict and cautionary protocols for confidential information, which includes step-by-step measures for its storage, management, and destruction.”

O’Driscoll said each year health department employees go through training on how to properly dispose of confidential paperwork. Files are shredded and discarded after five years, only if they include inactivated clients.

Chamber of Commerce manager John Stanton, who shares the recycling bin with the county office, saw a young mother with a baby, contacted by a Phoenix television station through her information found in the bin, being interviewed.

The incident came to light after people who found the discarded records and called Channel 15. Channel 15 reported that Payson residents Lynda Perkins and her daughter-in-law discovered the discarded documents outside the county health department office located next to the courthouse as they searched for coupons. The Payson women called the Phoenix TV station.

On camera, WIC office employee Sherry Miller admitted to placing the files in the box.

However, O’Driscoll would not confirm the identity of the employee who discarded the records and added he bore the ultimate responsibility as director of the department.

Martin expressed remorse, “I can’t believe we did it,” she said, “I can only explain it as somebody unconsciously throwing it in a box. The weak link is in the strangest places.”

March 2nd, 2012

How Did Hundreds of Medical Records End Up On Road?

Montgomery County, N.C. – Hundreds of documents filled with peoples’ social security numbers and dates of birth somehow ended up in trash bags on the side of the road in Montgomery County.

The documents came from a drug-testing company called Professional Medical Resources, Inc. News 2 called the company Thursday, but no one returned our calls.

Friday, News 2 called the Attorney General’s office and now its staff members are investigating this situation as well.

News 2 also drove to 1720 North Howard Mill Road in Robbins. That’s the address listed for Professional Medical Resources, Inc. We found ahouse, surrounded by trees. No one appeared to be home and there was no indication this address housed a business.

News 2 then discovered the Secretary of State lists Kathleen Martindale as the company’s president. The Secretary of State also indicates Martindale did not file the proper paperwork with the state for six years, and received a warning letter.

The “Notice of Dissolution” letter says if she didn’t file the reports within sixty days, her company would be dissolved. However, Martindale responded to the notice in time to avoid that fate.

News 2 Reporter Mark Geary also called Martindale again and left several messages. She did not call back.

The Attorney General’s office told News 2 the Identity Theft Protection Act and HIPPA requires companies to destroy your personal information.

You may remember in 2010, a Greensboro urgent care center called “Prompt Med” had to pay a $50,000 fine after a homeless man tipped off News 2 that hundreds of medical files with patient’s personal information was in a dumpster.

This is only the beginning of our Two Wants to Know Investigation. We’re going to keep asking questions until we figure out how this happened.

– WFMY NEWS 2