There are a lot of people who even in this day and age tread on the careless side when it comes to their information security. A few misplaced documents here and there, too many details posted on social media, or allowing phone apps too much permission can all lead you towards an unfortunate time. While sometimes it seems like the information being given away, or in some cases discarded, is so small or so minor that it seems insignificant, it is often the case that a malevolent purpose can be found for it.

Imagine that you have a minor careless tendency with various documents you receive in the mail, be they regular letters, bills, tax returns, etc. Over time you end up throwing in the trash the odd letter here and there, or the odd envelop that has some kind of information about you on it. Your name, a phone number, address, even details about your health. A dedicated person could over time pick up and gather this information, until such a time where they have enough to pose as you, or to rack up bills in your name, or receive treatments from hospitals that gets logged into your records.

These will all eventually lead to problems for you down the road. Huge bills that will come due suddenly or receiving medical recommendations based in information that is not from you will shock and seriously harm you. These are also very hard to disconnect from you and years of hardships can lay ahead of you. In other words: take your information privacy seriously.

What You Can Do

One of the biggest and easiest paths you can take when it comes to protecting yourself from information theft is to shred all papers that may contain any kind of sensitive information. While it is tempting to go out and pick up a home office shredder in order to take care of business yourself, it is strongly advised you avoid these machines. While they initially seem like a good idea to save time and money, they can often end up costing you more of both. They neither have a shred pattern that is sufficient to prevent the reconstruction of shredded documents, nor the endurance to handle a large quantity of shredding over the long term. When they burn out you’ll end up with an expensive paper weight, and if documents are reconstructed you’ll end up with even bigger problems.

Your best course of action is to seek out professional document shredding services from a company like SAFESHRED. Our shredding services are certified to be in compliance with state and federal privacy regulations, and we offer the best in document destruction options. Either get shredding at home, off site, or enjoy a shred event to raise awareness in your community on the dangers of identity theft.

When it comes to records that must be kept for a period, it is important to store them properly. Many of us have a tendency to store these records poorly, either kept in a desk drawer or maybe in a folder in an old shoe box up on a shelf somewhere. The best option you can choose is to use a secure bin or console. These make a convenient and secure place to store sensitive records until they are ready for shredding. If for some reason these bins still aren’t what you’re looking for, you must at least choose some form of locking storage to prevent people from just taking records as they please.

All of this will help you to keep yourself safe from information theft. If you’re convinced about professional shredding, get in touch with us and we’ll come take care of your needs.

Call: 1-800-987-4733

read more

Which shredding service is best when you need secure documents shredded? Did you weigh the various options and find yourself leaning towards a mobile option? If so then you are about to pick the most popular shredding option your shredding company of choice offers. If you need some convincing as to why it is so popular, then read on.

Watching the Entire Shred Process

People are rightfully careful with their files, and often times are uncomfortable with having to hand records over to an unknown person for shredding. It takes a lot of trust, and sometimes they will worry about what exactly has become of their files. For some that level of trust is a bit too much, and they will choose instead to hold on to files or try shredding records themselves. This can lead to an entire other host of problems.

When you choose an onsite shredding option, these issues get addressed. A mobile shred truck comes right to your location to carry out the shredding; everything is done right in front of you from start to finish. In addition to seeing your records being loaded into the truck, there is an internal camera installed so you can watch the papers being shredded on the external monitor. This has to be the best way to reassure our clients’ peace of mind, and gain their trust, which allows us to meet our commitments to fighting against information theft.

Easy To Get, Easy To Do

It probably doesn’t need to be spelled out, but having the option for a service to come to your location at a time of your choosing is extremely convenient. By not having to worry about locating your nearest shred facility, pack up, and haul old files out to it, you’ll save yourself time and effort. Minimal effort, maximum results is the best way to get rid of unwanted documents.

This service also makes it possible for us to offer scheduled shredding services for clients who need consistent shredding performed often. It’s impractical for an organization to handle the disposal of mass records regularly themselves but hauling them out to a facility can be challenging as well. Getting it taken care of for you offers the best combination of security and minimal interruption to your work flow.

Get Shredding

If you’re convinced about the benefits of on-site shredding, reach out to us and schedule a day and time for service.

Call: 1-800-987-4733

 

read more

Retaining Secure Documents

On August 28th, 2018, posted in: SAFESHRED News by

With all the talk and reminders about properly shredding and destroying your sensitive information, it can be easy to forget that sometimes records need to be kept for a while. Be it financial records, medical records, or any kind of sensitive records need to be stored in a secure and organized manner. Simply leaving them in a shoe box and an unsecured desk draw is irresponsible, and you’d be asking to have your information stolen at that rate. In this article we have some tips you can follow to help stay secure and organized no matter what kind of records you’re storing.

document retention

Assess your information: Different companies will be producing different kinds of information. Assessing what kind you produce will help you to organize them for storage while making you fully aware of the data being handled.

Indexing for fast retrieval: Proper organizational systems for your records will save you a lager hassle when it comes to retrieving files. By limiting access to those who really need the records you will also be reducing the chances of data breaches from occurring.

Be aware of retention laws: Some types of records are forbidden by law to be stored and there for must not be kept. Other record types can be stored but only for a limited amount of time before you begin risking fines.

Stay on top of emails: While we most commonly talk about sensitive information in paper formats, it’s important to remember that a lot of information is transferred in emails. Be sure to delete emails with private information in them in a timely manner, and if you need some motivation to do so remember that the Panama Papers exposed over 4.8 million emails.

When it’s time for destruction

When it’s time for you to destroy secure records, be they paper or electronic storage devices, turn to professional shredding services. These are the most secure way to have your records destroyed in a secure manner that complies with government standards. The professionals at SafeShred are certified to take care of all your destruction needs.

If you’d like to learn more, or are ready to get secure shredding services, reach out to us today and tell us your needs. We’re ready to help.

Call: 1-800-987-4733

read more

Disaster usually strikes when no one is expecting it to rear its ugly head. Here we are minding our own business when the sky suddenly falls on our world. Being a victim of identity theft will feel as if the sky is falling, and it is a sad fact that it is only happening more and more. There are many different kinds of identity theft out there these days, but in this article we’ll only cover a few of the most common ones.

Criminal Theft

This is one of the most common types of identity theft and happens when someone commits a crime with your name. It is extremely, extremely difficult to resolve and it can come back to haunt you in a big way. Imagine applying for a job you really want, or need, and being rejected due to a criminal record you didn’t know you had. Picture being pulled over by an officer for something minor but then having it escalate because they looked you up and, to your horror, there’s a warrant out for you. People claim innocence all the time even if they are guilty of something, so as you can imagine there’s no easy way out of this one.

Medical Theft

The theft of your medical records could lead to several things. Large medical bills being sent your way for operations, medications, and other medical services you never got. The other issue is should injuries someone else got treatment for be recorded on your file, you may be given medical advice for problems you do not have. This can ultimately lead to bigger complications down the line.

Financial Theft

This is when your credit and bank account information is taken to be used to purchase goods and services using your money. Typically the one responsible will use the maximum amount of money they can access from your accounts, leaving you with huge bills and massive withdrawals. All of this will leave you with lower credit scores, and massive debts that aren’t yours in the first place.

Driver’s License Identity Theft

Should your driver’s license be lost or stolen, it is possible that someone else with similar features to you, could use it to pass of as you. This provides them an extra layer of security from being identified for their crimes, as all information will point to you as being responsible. Your record could be stacked up with DUI’s, reckless driving, and even more serious charges. This will cause the police to initially come after you for various charges not your own in the initial stages of investigation.

Avoiding Theft

In order to reduce the chances of all of this happening to you, be sure to properly manage and dispose of your secure documents. Secure document destruction is the best way to reduce the risks of identity theft, and the best way to achieve these results is through a professional service provider such as SAFESHRED. If you are done taking chances and are ready to start increasing your security, reach out to us, we’ll come and help you stay secure.

Call: 1-800-987-4733

read more

The majority of document shredding companies will also offer a hard drive destruction service. A lot of people, even today in this digital age, wonder why they bother to do this. Why offer a service that people need to pay for when a sledge hammer and a concrete floor will destroy a hard drive? What about just throwing it away after clearing the memory?

The main contributing factor for people not seeing the value in this service comes down to a misunderstanding on the nature of deletion. The proper software and some dedication is all it takes to recover deleted fragments and reconstruct them. We’ll provide some insights below as to the nature of deletion to help you understand why physical destruction is necessary.

What’s the Nature of Deletion?

Deleting a file doesn’t truly destroy it right away. When you press your delete key, your computer removes the directory listing of the file so it no longer appears in your document listing, and marks its location on the drive as “available”. New data is then able to be saved on that spot, overwriting the old data. How soon or long it takes depends on the amount of new data being saved. Fragments of the old data may still exist however, even after new data has been saved over it. In this way, data can still be recovered even after being “deleted”.

 hard drive destruction

Physical Destruction

By taking your old hard drives and running them through an industrial grade shredding machine, you can rest easy knowing all your data is gone for good. Data cannot live through or be recovered from dust! The destruction is so fine that nothing will be left unscathed, unlike attempting to do it at home where parts will be missed or not destroyed enough.

After destruction, the leftover material is sent to be recycled into base materials and then reused in new products. Not only are you ensuring your own security with the proper process, you’ll be directly contributing to sustainability initiatives. It’s all win-win for all!

Ready for Destruction?

SAFESHRED is a Los Angeles based shredding company with a wide range of shredding services available. If you’re ready to have your hard drives securely destroyed, reach out to us and schedule a time for destruction and we’ll ensure your data remains safe.

Call: 1-800-987-4733

read more

A very common feature for companies handling document destruction, is a fleet of advanced shredding trucks. These trucks zip all over, making house calls while bringing shred services to any location. This convenient option is by far the most popular shredding service. With that said, some people do wonder what the point of having a built in truck shredder is. Why not just load up papers and send them to a facility for shredding and processing?

Why Shred in the Truck?

What exactly is the advantage of having a built in shredder anyways? If the trucks are being loaded up with papers than we might as well just bring it all back for processing, instead of risking a technical failure in an expensive piece of mobile equipment. While there is a risk of that happening, as with all other mechanical devices, the advantages greatly ouyweigh any risks.

The biggest of these advantages is the ability for our clients to witness the entire shred process from start to finish. This is the best way to ensure peace of mind in clients who worry about what happens with their private information. Not only can they witness what happens on the outside, the trucks come equipped with internal video cameras. These cameras let you see the actual shredding as it happens inside the truck. There is truly no better way to feel secure about shredding.

Isn’t this Inefficient from an Operations Stand Point?

Not in the slightest! One might be inclined to think that taking the time to shred at every location we go to, would slow down operations and rather the best option would be to collect as much as the trucks can carry, and ferry them back to the plant for shredding. In reality, the trucks are the best option once again. Shredded material compacts better than then intact papers do. This allows the trucks to carry a larger volume of material in their holding tanks. This ultimately allows for a larger amount of material to be processed when it is brought back to the plant.

Since the papers are already shredded, they can be sent right away for bailing and then off to be recycled. This bypasses the need to run the in-plant shredding line, which ultimately speeds up our processes. The plant based shredder can be reserved for those papers that do get dropped off, and won’t end up being back logged by the trucks arriving. As you can see from the above, the trucks are really and truly a great option for any document destruction operation.

Sounds Great! How do I Get a Truck to Visit?

Just reach out to your document destruction company of choice and schedule a time and place for a shred truck to come. It couldn’t be easier!

Not sure what shred company to choose? Why not SAFESHRED? We’re based in Los Angeles and offer a wide range of document destruction services to ensure all of your needs are met. If you’re ready to dispose of your records, give us a call.

1-800-987-4733

read more

If you haven’t done a good old fashioned record purge recently, now is the perfect time! “What’s the point?” you may be asking, whether you do it now or later this year, or this time next year; after all, shredding is shredding no matter when it gets done, and I suppose there’s some truth in that. You need to make a decision then: do you really want to risk your private information any longer?

Don’t Take Chances

It’s a sad truth that identity theft is on the rise in this country. As things are going it seems like this trend will only be continuing for the foreseeable future. With this in mind, you need to make sure you are taking appropriate steps to keep your private information safe, and to dispose of it properly.

It is a habit of many of us at home to just let our records pile up somewhere out of the way. In a drawer, in a shoe box shoved into the closet and sometimes even just out on a table somewhere. It’s vital that we stop doing this. If we must hold onto records then we need to take proper steps to secure them in a safe place where not just anyone can stumble across and take them.

What Do I Throw Away?

If you’re with us this far, and you decide it’s time to start purging, you’ll need to decide what has to go and what has to stay. A good rule of thumb is to purge everything that has private information on it. Things like medical records, bank statements, accounting records, and even information about your children need to go. If you have doubts on whether or not a specific file needs shredding, don’t take a chance, shred it anyways.

All Right, How Do I Shred?

When it’s shred time, there is one critical mistake people often make: they pull out that old office shredder they have at home and run the papers through that. We implore you not to use one of these machines for several reasons. Their shred pattern is very basic and makes it easy for papers to be reconstructed, they are unable to handle large volumes of paper so shredding takes forever, and they tend to break down which leaves you with an expensive paper weight.

The Solution?

Professional paper shredding services. Professional shredding has several advantages over shredding alone. The industrial grade shredders used will tear through papers, staples, papers clips, and folders with ease. The material is shredded so finely that reconstruction is impossible. Finally, all shredded material is taken to be recycled, keeping it out of the landfill and saving the environment.

If this all sounds good to you, reach out to us here at SAFESHRED and we’ll take care of all your shredding needs.

Call 1-800-987-4733

read more

data breach

A data breach can result in a very stressful and difficult time for any business; no organization wants to be faced with such a thing, and we don’t blame them! If affected by a breach you can wind up being at risk financially and your reputation can take a hit, which can be hard to overcome. While we are becoming more and more knowledgeable in relation to protecting ourselves from data breaches, they sadly do still occur and can take place out of nowhere with no warning.

 

Ongoing improvements to technology are without a doubt assisting in workplace efficiencies and competences, but at the same time they are unfortunately also helping hackers in their ability to locate and obtain confidential, private information.  This is becoming a regular reality, however, data breaches primarily stem from the physical loss or theft of devices and documents containing private details. If your business circulates and stores sensitive employee information or customer data, you have a legal obligation to report if and when it is known that information has been leaked.

 

Normally when data breaches take place they make major news, especially if they involve large corporations; today however, data breaches happen so frequently to companies of all sizes and industries that they don’t always get reported. In 2016, an estimated 36.6 million records were made public through some variation of breach.

 

The potential for data breach to take place at any given time isn’t all you should be worried about. Did you know that there are state laws that mandate the steps your business should take following a breach?

In the United States, each state (aside from Alabama, New Mexico & South Dakota) has strict laws in place with such requirements. What are they? Security Breach Notification Laws. The National Conference of State Legislatures has a compiled list of breach notification laws that can be viewed through their website. These laws also reveal how companies may inform victims of data breaches, as well as who is obligated to comply by them. Here are some key points in relation to breach notification laws in the US.

 

  • Breach notification laws in the US only relate to enumerated variations of data that are deemed quite confidential in nature (social security numbers, drivers’ license numbers, bank account numbers etc.).

 

  • Certain US legislations require notification for material breaches only. These are breaches that compromise the security or privacy of an individual.

 

  • The shortest time frame to inform victims of a data breach is 10 days. Failure to meet these time periods will typically result in severe penalties against the information-holding party.

 

  • Penalties for not notifying parties change slightly by state, and they may include fines or additional action against the party that fails to respond.

 

The first such law was announced in California in 2002, and came into effect in mid-2003. The laws established in most other states follow the same basic system of California’s law. The California bill can be reviewed here for more information. A list of the notification bills for alternative states can be found here.

Do your best to have document shredding services in place on a regular basis, and in turn you will do wonders in protecting yourself from the risk of a data breach. If you have secure document destruction in place, you are doing your part in staying compliant with privacy legislation.

Contact SAFESHRED for further details on our document shredding solutions. We are happy to assist you.

Call 1-800-987-4733

read more

If you own and operate a small home business, it is possible you believe implementing security measures aren’t necessary. Unfortunately this is not the case as document security must be in place for your protection.  In fact, self-employed entrepreneurs that run businesses in their homes have essentially the same legal responsibilities in regards to document security and maintaining confidentiality.

Hackers tend to target small businesses because they know that security measures are often ignored, making them an easy victim.  The 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity by Ponemo, revealed in one report that 50% of small and medium-sized companies experienced a data breach in the preceding year. The most prevalent attacks were those that took place on the web as well as phishing/social engineering attacks.

Noting these alarming statistics, close to 40% of small business owners are still failing to practice the necessary information security procedures, failing to follow a secure policy for the disposal of sensitive documents.

Let’s take a look at how you can improve your home based business’ security:

Evaluate and Assess Potential Risks

  • Review what confidential information is handled, what your responsibility is to protect that information in relation to data protection regulations, and what the security risks might be
  • Never be afraid to inquire about or confirm security procedures of those organizations you are linked to/partnered with. These may include vendors or suppliers
  • Educate yourself on possible cyber threats, and stay current on ways in which you can stay safe from hackers

Take Advantage of Secure Document Storage

  • You should have a document management process implemented that includes retention periods and secure retrieval
  • If able, convert paper records into electronic format through professional scanning solutions. Save information to the cloud or an external hard drive
  • Always make backups of any electronic records and store them in a secure facility
  • Store sensitive records in lockable filing cabinets or drawers, always.

 

Purge Confidential Documents

  • Always make sure sensitive information is managed in association with specific compliance requirements
  • Forget thinking that you need to “Save” all of your old files; familiarize yourself with those records that require secure storage like contracts, invoices, accounting and tax papers, receipts, billing, expense forms, and client information, and have the rest professionally shred.
  • Arrange a one-time purge service for those old documents that need professional shredding. Ideally this should be carried out on a month to month basis to reduce the amount of documents laying around at home.

Always Dispose of Documents Securely

  • Securely shred all documents that you have no reason to hang on to; this needs to be done prior to recycling them for your security. Outsource secure shredding to an experienced and quality document shredding provider who will promise the protection of your documents through industry best practices.
  • A shred-all policy may be exactly what you would benefit from to reduce chance of human error or poor judgement about what files should be professional destroyed.

Partner with SAFESHRED

Find out how the team at SAFESHRED can protect your home-based business this year. Get in touch with us for a free quote or to learn more about our document shredding processes.

Call us today at 1-800-987-4733

read more

It is a common occurrence for many business employees; travelling, whether for business purposes or pleasure, comes with certain responsibilities and important considerations. You need to ensure you have everything needed while you’re away which means packing properly and organizing all of your travel essentials so that nothing is forgotten. Whatever your next travel plan involves, surely you won’t be leaving your laptop, tablet, and cell phone at home while you’re away. Traveling on the road with electronic devices is extremely common practice today, but what may be overlooked is the need to protect the sensitive data stored on these devices, by keeping your electronics secure throughout your trip.

With the Christmas season behind us, many are taking their New Year business trips, or travelling with their children for a winter vacation.  The professionals at SAFESHRED want to provide you with some valuable tips to help prevent your information and devices from landing in the wrong hands.

Let’s review some great reminders while you’re away on travels:

  • Back-up all information prior to leaving:Before you pack your bags for a weekend business trip or a weeklong getaway, make it a priority to back up any data that is currently being stored on your device(s), and copy it to any media device that is staying at home. For example, you may want to back the information up on a storage card, cloud, or computer, if these gadgets will be staying at home.  Do your best to delete or transfer any personal confidential matters, like your social security number, passwords, credit card information etc. Think about storing this data in a safer location that provided more security. There’s no reason to keep this information stored on your portable devices.

 

  • Travel lightly when possible:If it’s not an essential electronic or device that’s needed with you, it’s best to leave it behind. Only take with you items and personal belongings that are crucial for your trip.

 

  • Make sure data is encrypted:We highly encourage you to check that your portable devices are encrypted. Why? Should you use public networks on the road, the risk of other users accessing your login details or emails, increase substantially if they in the nearby areas. Encrypting your data makes it unreadable and impracticable to those that aren’t equipped with the tools needed for unlocking.

 

  • Lock all electronic devices:While an obvious security precaution, it should be stressed that you lock your computer and mobile device when it’s not being used; especially while travelling. Do this on a regular basis to help prevent and stop unauthorized persons from accessing your computer’s hard drive and private business information.

 

  • Install anti-virus software on all devices: Viruses and hacking occur all of the time; the last thing you want to deal with is a virus while you’re away. To prevent this possibility, it’s best to install anti-virus software as well as perform regular updates on your personal computers so that all information remains secure without any worries.

 

  • Use password protection on all electronics:Portable devices are very common targets for criminals because they are small and typically effortless to sell. Reduce the chances of sensitive information reaching the wrong hands, and put password protection on all devices. This should be the case for laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and more.  Improve your security by using a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, as well as special characters. Forget about using easy-to-guess passwords like birthdays, pet names, or anniversaries. All phones should be secured with passcode locks and if an option, touch IDs as well. When used for business processes, devices that need corporate email or networks should have secure passwords and be managed successfully by the tools in your mobile device.

 

  • Delete any passwords saved on your devices:Login information that is saved for websites may seem suitable but these saved passwords can leave your private information at Signiant risk.  For your protection, we encourage you to get rid of this selection entirely.

 

  • Never leave devices unattended in a public location:Leaving your computer or cell phone in open view, increases the risk of having your property stolen. When able, keep all electronic devices in a covered purse, your pocket, or close to your body in general. If you misplace your phone or laptop or believe that it has been stolen, report this news right away to help ensure information isn’t compromised.

 

  • Connect to encrypted networks: if you’re using public networks for internet purposes, check that they are encrypted first and only choose websites that are “https”. It may also be wise to contact your service provider for a global data package, if you’re travelling internationally.

 

  • Find my iPhone/iPad/Mac: It is smart to enable your “Find My iPhone/iPad/Mac” feature on devices, as if something goes missing or is stolen unexpectedly, you can still locate your device.

    Call our team for more tips and details at 1-800-987-4733

read more
Live chat by BoldChat