Getting through Covid 19 Intact

Covid 19 has triggered the worldwide stock markets to crash, which means you will be affected regardless of whether you get the virus or not. It has infected us all; it has changed the way we live and now the world feels smaller than ever. It is a dire situation, however how we deal with it can mean the difference between utter despair and hope for the future. The sheer community that is now finally visible among the people of the world is an optimistic result to come from this. While we are all keeping our distance physically, we have never been more connected.

As an entrepreneur there are many choices you must now make, should I stay running as normal? How can I implement procedures to reduce risk to my employees and clients? Will my business survive this? There are decisions to be made which may seem impossible but there are options, there are possibilities.

Covid 19 Hard-drive shredding service

Adapt

Changes need to be made in how we work and how we conduct our day to day business. Working from home, while not always possible, can be an option for many people. If your business is very computer based and relies heavily on this regardless of what is going on in the world, is it possible to maximise this to your benefit and the benefit of your team. Can you remove physical interaction entirely? We now have so many options for conducting business online, from apps for meetings to document editing software that allows collaboration across the seas if necessary. Digital data can be destroyed in a similar way to our paper documentation. We have a hard-drive shredding service which is available in order to remain GDPR compliant regardless of the method you use to conduct your business; digital or paper.

Procedures

Not everyone can work from home and not everyone can remove paper or physical contact from their company’s daily activity. You still have power to put procedures in place which ensure safety among your employees and consumers. Posters informing all who enter the premises of best practice for avoiding infection i.e. Hand-washing techniques, sanitising work stations regularly, keeping distance and respecting social distancing. Providing anti-bacterial hand wash and sanitisers by sinks and at work stations if possible.  Ensure that all employees are respecting these procedures explicitly. If you are a large organisation with enormous traffic, cleaning regularly will be required. Allow for a slightly slower pace since all these things will take extra time and require diligence. If an employee is unwell ensure they are aware that they must stay home regardless of how minor it seems, this virus appears in a variety of ways and some may not think they have much wrong with them. Communicate policies in a clear and calm manner, your employees are just as anxious about this situation as you are and adding to the fear will not be beneficial in the long run to you or them.

Reports

This virus is rapidly changing our economy daily and it will be the same for anyone trying to keep a business running through this time. Daily reports are a necessity in order to keep on top on the rapidly altering situation. These reports will inform your next step. We have to all take this one day at a time and be ever changing in order to keep up.

Future

This virus attacking the world right now is a temporary situation, however the impact of this will be visible for many years to come. In most cases your business will be permanently affected. You will need to plan ahead and prepare for the future. In general adapting is how we will get through this. Humans are designed to adapt.

Why an In-House Paper Shredder Is Not the Answer

Shredding your own documents is all well and good however there are many negatives to this which may make you reconsider. Bulky paper shredders with fed up employees shredding for hours, wasting time and money and possibly raising their stress levels to the point where their loyalty may be tested to the extreme. Then the paper gets stuck or some other maintenance issue arises. The shredder is left to the side until someone can get around to having it repaired and the paper begins to pile up and up.

paper shredder

Cost

Personal paper shredding costs your company more money. You will have to fork out for upkeep and repair, which doesn’t even take account of the employee you will have to pay to operate it. This employee will have to be someone you trust completely. There is no need to even consider procurement fee, equipment upgrades, electricity consumption, labour etc with a contracted shredding company.

Certification for Compliance.

To make in-house paper shredding a policy within your business, you will need to have a safe and accurate document destruction strategy. Additionally, you must record the removal and destruction of records in question, otherwise you and your operator become liable. A contracted shredding company takes on all of these associated risks so you and your team don’t have to.

Reduce risk of employment fraud.

A business seldom hires a specific team or employee to feed the shredder and ensure the destruction of the documents. The operator is typically an employee who works unaccompanied and there is no supervision in place. An untrustworthy employee can be a risk when they see the possibility of a lucrative way of making money in selling personal and confidential information. In-house shredding increases the risk of employment fraud unless you put safety measures in place. With outsourced shredding, destruction of documentation is always observed and documented from the moment the documents are lugged from the location to the time they are securely destroyed.

Correct Disposal of Data.

In-house shredding usually translates to materials ending up in normal waste. When the shredder bag gets full or if the shredder breaks down, sometimes the temptation to throw things in the normal rubbish can be too high. With outsourced shredding services there will be secure procedures put in place in order to ensure something like this will never happen. The paper is securely destroyed and disposed of, eradicating any possibility of data being salvaged from the waste.

It is clear that contracting outside of your company is safer than in-house shredding. When a corporation does this, they are eliminating the risks of data being released into the wrong hands.

Successful Free Shred Event

We here at Security in Shredding were absolutely delighted with the turn out for our free shred event which took place on Saturday the 1st February. Our team shredded in excess of 5000 Kgs of sensitive data and 60 Hard drives.

It was a very positive experience over all, regardless of the weather. It gave us the opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of complying with GDPR and what it is to have piece of mind that your data is securely disposed of.

We want to thank everyone for their support in particular Limerick City and County Council for facilitating such an event, Live 95 FM for their interview and the Limerick Leader for their article.

We look forward to next year to our next free shred event.

Free Confidential Shredding Event

Confidential Shredding Event

On the first of February 2020 there will be a free confidential paper shredding event taking place at Mungret Recycling Centre, Bunlicky, Co. Limerick to celebrate Data Protection Day. The one-day event takes place from 11am until 3.30pm.

Security in Shredding in conjunction with Limerick City and County council are facilitating the ‘Free Shred Event’ to celebrate European Data Protection Day 2020. We wish to promote awareness of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and encourage good waste management practices.

Security in Shredding staff will be onsite to destroy up to four hard-drives per individual attendee free of charge in addition to up to four bags of confidential documents free of charge. We are the first Irish Data Processor to design and introduce a mobile hard-drive shredding technology.

Householders and Small to Medium Enterprises are encouraged to bring a maximum of four bin bags of confidential paper material. Confidential material can include personal information, bills, customer records, insurance records and income statements, to be shredded on site on the day.

Albert Kelly, General Manager of Security in Shredding said: “It is an event we have been running in conjunction with Limerick County & City Council for the past five years to celebrate European Data Protection Day and we are delighted to provide such a great facility to businesses in the region. Not only are we creating awareness of The GDPR Legislation, providing a facility to securely destroy both paper and Hard-Drives for business, but we are also protecting the environment. We are thrilled to have built such a great relationship with Limerick County & City Council for the event and we will continue with the event into the future”.

Confidential Shredding Event

Gaining the Confidence of Your Clients

Consumer confidence is lacking in recent years mainly due to scandals that have exposed that some of the most popular brands are actually failing their clients in keeping their word. Therefore, it is more significant than ever before to portray a trustworthy and reliable stance in relation to all aspects of your company. A good start to this is to ensure you have a regular document shredding service.

trust document shredding service

Security is the basis for confidence

Data security is a vital for all businesses, irrespective of industry or customer base. Consumers need to trust those who they share their information with, without the basis of trust, there can be no transaction. This is evident when we look at cases of data breach in the past, large brands have come tumbling down due to various scandals over the years. Therefore, industries need to be able to demonstrate that they can handle, store and dispose of their consumers’ information in a secure manner. Secure document shredding services are a perfect way to do this. It is paramount to display to your customer base that there is a standard in place to achieve this level of security. This will build confidence in your service/brand.

Environmental Respect

There is an exceptional number of waste paper passing through our offices every day. Allowing this to end up in general waste is just irresponsible. Not only can it cause serious issues with data breach it also is not environmentally friendly. Your shredding service can provide you with the peace of mind that all your documentation is securely destroyed and recycled. You are not only protecting the security of your company you are also protecting the world we all live in. The greener your company can be while protecting the clients you value the more trust you will build.

What needs to be Securely Shredded?

Document Destruction

No one questions the necessity of secure paper shredding for documents such as a person’s financial, medical or legal details. However, they are not the only papers that require elimination in order to protect sensitive data. If you are having a company come to shred on site or off site, for your own sake and to get the most out of your document destruction service, it is important to know what documents specifically require shredding.

Receipts

Sometimes they will include part of your account numbers or card numbers and even part of this information being leaked can give those out to do your business harm a leg up.

Job Submissions & CVs

Countless businesses retain applications and CVs of individuals they did not employ at the time they applied, but would consider down the line should the need arise. When this document is eventually no longer needed, it should not be merely thrown in the bin. It requires shredding as it contains personal information.

Old Bank Statements & Credit Card Bills

It is important to treat your company’s financial information as delicately as you would anyone’s personal financial information. When records are no longer required, it is time to shred.

Sensitive Information for Marketing & Research on the Competition 

This is information that you do not want to fall into the wrong hands. It could easily be misused should an employee’s loyalties drift from the company.

Old Utility Bills

These bills have your account information on them therefore they can be misused by those wishing to do your company harm.

Old Personnel Files

You are entrusted with very classified personal information about your workers. It makes sense to keep certain accounts of past employees as you may be requested for a reference however only keep the necessities.

Out of Date Service Contracts

Those that scam have discovered numerous methods of impersonating legitimate service providers. Allowing your old contracts to be disposed of incorrectly will give them another advantage.Always make use of your document destruction service.

Is it time to declutter your office?

Messy Desk

A cluttered office can negatively influence the drive and productivity of employees. Disorder also means that confidential information will be exposed very simply by just being left out where anyone can see.

An orderly office can actually enhance employee productivity as employees should feel more confident and in control.

Here are some tips to declutter your office space and better safeguard confidential data:

  1. Allocate specific space for personal items such as bags/coats etc. 
  2. Clear your desk and only have the absolute necessities for your workday within reach.
  3. Declutter by asking the question “Does this have a use?” and be brutal. If it does not have a specific reason to be there then clear it from your space.
  4. Do not stockpile items such as hard drives etc. When you get a new hard drive, destroy the old one.
  5. Have a specific place for incoming documents that require processing. Paper trays are useful for this.
  6. Organise all digital data into folders and categories too, a cluttered computer can be just as stressful as a desk full of papers.
  7. Schedule in a regular shredding service or request on demand shredding depending on how much paperwork builds up and how regularly.
  8. Sticky notes are super handy and I have to admit I use them all the time however where possible digital reminders for events and notes are tidier and more secure.
  9. Where possible convert your documents to digital format and put paper into protected consoles for secure destruction or locked filing cabinets when it is necessary to keep them.

Some People do thrive in the chaos and clutter however, most would say that a clean working environment equates to a tidy mind. Not only that, it is also safer for the protection of information within your company.

CCTV & GDPR

CCTV data destruction services

When we think of GDPR data protection, most of us have a tendency to consider organisations retaining specifics, such as our name, date of birth, address, financial details etc. But there is a manner of attaining data that is so prevalent we scarcely notice it anymore – CCTV.

If your company makes use of CCTV, you must know that the images compiled are categorised as personal data and subject to GDPR data protection regulations. In order to be GDPR compliant you need to have a clear policy stating the reasoning behind it, security, risk of theft etc. People need to be aware they are being recorded on CCTV so it is necessary to place signs in areas that are observed with CCTV.

Your policy should also include how long you intend to keep the footage for which is generally accepted as 30 days. If you need to keep it longer your policy will need to include why it is necessary for it to be kept this long. Here you can find detailed information on the code of practice for CCTV.

Eventually it will be necessary to delete old footage, your system will most likely have a setting that will auto delete over a number of days depending on what you set it to. However, if you decide to upgrade your entire system your hard drives will need to be destroyed as data can be recoverable long after it is deleted and removed from your system. This can be detrimental to your compliance with GDPR. I would recommend the use of data destruction services. Here at ‘Security in Shredding’ items received for destroying data are logged on our asset tracking software; our clients receive a comprehensive report during the invoicing stage in order for complete traceability. This will allow you peace of mind and keep your business at the highest standard of security and compliance.

Reducing the Risk of Human Error

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Human error is a huge threat to any industry. It exists in all walks of life from the medical to the legal and service professions. Avoiding this one hundred percent of the time is unavoidable because at the end of the day we are all human, but there are strategies that we can put in place to limit it at all costs including the vital step of confidential shredding.

1.      Have centralised control

Don’t allow everyone and anyone easy access to your documents within the company. Have a specific information security officer who will be responsible for giving access to employees who request it.

2.      Train your Employees

Staff Training

There should be a standardised practice in place in which your employees are fully trained in. It is important that they understand the necessity for the secure disposal of documentation. Your policy should specifically address what needs to be disposed of and when it needs to be disposed.

3.      Locking Documents away

Anything that is to be kept needs to be kept in a secure filing cabinet or drawer. If the Employee has work to do the following day, documents need to be locked up and secured sufficiently. A general rule for your employees should be to never leave documents in plain sight.

4.      Email Correspondence

Sending Email

Accidentally emailing confidential information to recipients in error is such an easy mistake to make. It is important that your employees are fully alert and double check everything before they send. Always encourage your employees to recheck their recipients and ask themselves before they send ‘is this going to the right person/people?’ This should be included in their training and emphasised.  

Taking all these steps and shredding any data devices or documentation that is no longer required will ensure that human error is minimised as much as possible.

6 Habits that put your Data in Jeopardy

1.      Leaving documents on your desk

You may be leaving these out so that you remember to work on them in the morning however this is not recommended. It can leave you vulnerable to theft and at risk of information being misused. The best thing to do is to have a secure locker or drawer to put any documents you are currently using. When they are no longer needed don’t forget to use your secure shredding services.

2.      Using passwords that are too easy to guess.

Change Password

It can be difficult to remember all these passwords however using the same password for everything or using very basic passwords can be detrimental to the security of you and your business. Try to use a password which consists of at least 9 characters and combines upper case, lower case, numbers and symbols. Avoid writing passwords down anywhere as these can easily be misplaced and fall into the wrong hands. I use a password manager because I just can’t remember them all off the top of my head.

3.      Throwing out old mobile devices or laptops.

Even if you format your device the information can still be recoverable. These must not be disposed of incorrectly. You may need to use a hard drive destruction service or a digital data destruction service. 

4.      Delaying updates

Delaying Updates

I find I am always asked to do updates at the wrong time. It is always when I’m busy or engaged in something on my computer or phone that I am asked to do them. Regularly I am guilty of postponing these updates for any length of time. This is risky in both a personal and professional setting. When your device needs an update it is most often an update that deals with any security issues or threats. It is important to keep things up to date so you are protected to the utmost degree on your digital devices.

5.      Opening Email attachments from unrecognised sources

Sometimes these look like emails from legitimate sources and they may be attempting to trick you with a phishing scam. Recently I received one to my personal email about my Netflix payment not going through and could I please resubmit my payment information. My Netflix was due at that time and had I not been aware of what to watch out for I may have fallen victim to it. Usually the email address will give them away and won’t have the expected domain name of the business. They will often have spelling mistakes somewhere in the email or in the link if you happen to click on it before realising what it is. Only open attachments you are expecting and from sources you recognise.

6.      Throwing documents into the recycling bin or rubbish bin

Rubbish documents

If you do not dispose of your paper documents correctly, you are creating a massive breach in the security of your company. Recycling waste and rubbish are easily accessible to anyone. Information can be pieced together that can be dangerous for your business. It is also against the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to dispose of this data incorrectly.