Is Your Business Vulnerable to Identity Thieves?
Editor’s note: Cory Tomczyk is president and owner of IROW, a family owned document destruction service based in Mosinee, Wisconsin. IROW has been certified by the National Association for Information Destruction for nine consecutive years.
Virtually every business handles a variety of sensitive printed information related to its customers, vendors, associates and employees — and the business itself. Data that inevitably finds its way into the trash can include personal names, addresses, social security numbers, bank account and credit information, driver’s license numbers, medical and insurance records and more
Of course, it’s in the best interests of every business to protect this information — or more to the point, to destroy it. Business owners and managers are well aware of federal regulations (FACTA, HIPPA) that require compliance in this regard, but the “how to comply” is not as clearly stated.
Document destruction needs to be a well-managed element of any operation. Some businesses take this responsibility on themselves. Smaller businesses, particularly, might assume that their low volume of waste is manageable from a destruction standpoint. Larger-volume businesses face a more daunting task. Unfortunately, any business that takes on the responsibilities of document destruction, takes on an element of risk.
Relying on commercially available paper shredding machines, for example, is the road many businesses take — and, to their own peril. These machines can leave material available for unauthorized retrieval, and leave you in a precarious position of liability. Even shredded paper can reveal a wealth of sensitive information, information you are responsible to protect and destroy. In fact, there is software on the market that is specifically designed to facilitate the scanning and reassembly of shredded documents. First used by crime investigators to reconstruct corporate documents involved in financial crimes, the easy-to-obtain commercial software can reassemble strip-shred, cross-shred and torn pages very rapidly and achieve accurate professional results.
Your best option for destroying sensitive information is to entrust the job to a qualified waste handler that provides secure and complete document destruction services. When you contract with another party in the business of document destruction, you effectively transfer liability for your waste. But, it’s important to bear in mind that anyone whose information falls into the wrong hands will still look to you as the source of their problem. Not all waste handlers are truly qualified to handle the job.
National Association for Information Destruction
The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) is a non-profit organization that establishes minimum standards for waste handlers, including employee hiring and screening, operations, the destruction process, insurance, and other security factors. When you work with a waste handling service that is certified by and adheres to the demanding guidelines of the NAID, you’ve taken the most secure step. To be sure that not one shred of sensitive information makes it into the wrong hands, go with a qualified, secure document destruction service.Back