June, 2014

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.