Over the last few years there has been a significant rise in identity theft
BBC News; Identity Fraud reaches record Levels in 2016 – 173,000 recorded frauds in 2016 the highest level since records began 13 years ago.
In 2017 this still seems to be climbing with 89,000 cases recorded in the first six months of this year by UK anti-fraud organisation Cifas – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41011464.
So what is going wrong?
Some of this is down to high-tech individuals hacking into large company servers and stealing personal information, but what can the local Joe Blogs do to prevent his or her identity from being cloned.
I have been in the records management industry for many years and only in the last 8 years have my eyes been opened to this sort of threat. When individuals think of identity theft what is it that comes to mind? I have asked around and a lot of answers seem to relate to electronic e-mails, computers and phone hacking etc
So what do we do?
Many of us go and buy some protective software for the family computer to stop the hackers from stealing out information. We also buy anti spam and antivirus also to hopefully detect those nasty bugs from crashing or again stealing important pieces of information that could potentially, if fallen into the wrong hands, turn our world upside down.
Once we have all this in place we all feel a lot better and a lot safer, which is great.
So why do we then print off personal details and throw them into the waste bin?
Is it all about electronic data?
We receive letters through the post that hold personal information with your name and address on and a percentage also have your D.O.B and you simply throw them straight into the bin.
If you have done all the above to your PC / Laptop to prevent your details from being available to the hackers, why then do you then throw the same information that is being sort after into a rubbish bin that is going to be emptied and sorted through by many hands, or emptied into a land fill site where it can be also found. It is a amazing what individuals throw away into their waste bin. I have seen house bills (Gas and Electric) cheque books, doctor’s notes and even passports.
Would it not be a good idea to make sure that any details that you print of or receive through the post are discarded correctly and securely.
You could shred you own documents?
Yes it is a good idea to shred your documents before disposing of them. However I have found that with the purchasing of a shredder the feeding of the shredder and the bagging up of the shredded paper it usually becomes a chore and we all seem to revert back to just throwing it in the bin?
One lady mentioned to me that she found the shredding very time consuming and boring, so she thought about burning it, however she had to buy something to burn it in and it may also upset her neighbours.
This particular lady came to me after finding us on Facebook / internet. SMB supply bags to your home or business that you fill with all the important documents that you would like to have destroyed securely. You hold the bad in the house and instead of throwing the documents into the main bin you simply throw them into the secure waste sack. When you are ready and the bag is full and sealed we would collect the sealed bag and have the bag and documents shredded. The bag is never opened. This service is 100% confidential and takes up far less of your time. It also helps the environment as all paper is 100% recycled.
Is the service free?
Yes there is a charge for the service but weighing it up to the time you would spend shredding and the purchase of a good shredder, it’s a considerably cheaper and effective way of stopping Identity Theft. It also gives you a piece of mind that your information is not going to fall into the wrong hands.
Keeping you safe and stopping Identity Theft is what we are all about.
So why not start getting it right today.
If you are to use a service like SMB –http://staging.smbrecordsmanagement.co.uk/shop/ then do make sure that the company is registered and all destructions be it paper or IT equipment is destroyed in accordance with the BS EN 15713.
SMB getting it right because we care 🙂