Confidential Information


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 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 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 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.

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.