How college students can protect their identity – Presidential Election or not

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While the US presidential election is heating up as it comes to the closing weeks, identity theft is still being committed at seriously high rates.

In this article we will take you away from the US Republic and Democrat debates, campaigns and news to highlight some handy tips for college students to protect their identity. It is more than simply availing of a confidential paper shredding service or completing your document destruction at home with an onsite paper shredding service

Amongst all of the people that are vulnerable of being victim of identity theft, college students are possible the highest risk sample. All young and mature students need to be made aware of this so they are armed with the appropriate information to protect themselves and their identity.

Even with the majority of students across the world tending to be “strapped for cash” this does not dis-incentivise these thieves from attempting to steal their identity. In the majority of cases these thieves only want to take advantage of a clean credit record. Below there some brief points on how students can become aware and safe against identity theft.

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  1. Always ensure that personal sensitive mail is only sent to your personal email address. College emails can be extremely vulnerable to hacking. When your old computers are being replaced, always avail of a hard-drive shredding service where the data bearing hard-drive is securely destroyed and the data is irretrievable.
  1. Store important documents under lock and key. Keep them safe and secure and once you no longer require them always, always have them securely destroyed through a shredding company. Never just throw these document away, there are a number of solutions available to have these document destroyed. Examples would be an onsite paper shredding service, an offsite paper shredding service as long as the service is certified for confidential data destruction service
  1. Never allow other people to borrow your credit card, even if it is a family member. Another handy point is to never be a co-signer for any loans.
  1. Always have up to date anti-virus on your computer devices.
  1. Credit card and debit card statements, review regularly for any suspicious activity.
  1. Only shop on familiar websites. You should always be certain that the business is legitimate.

For any further information upon how to protect your identity please contact one of the Security in Shredding team and visit our website www.securityinshredding.com

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Protecting your online privacy – Top tips (Part 2 of 2)

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As mentioned in our previous article, information in paper form can be destroyed through an onsite paper shredding service Ireland or an in-house onsite paper shredding facility.

Reputable paper shredding companies with the required certifications can also provide offsite document shredding services where your paper data is released to be destroyed under contract. The key points here are that the vendors providing the offsite paper shredding service have the required certifications and you have agreed under contract for the data to be processed which is the actual paper shredding process.

When talking about releasing personal paper files for offsite paper shredding the majority of people will always be concerned with whom they are giving the data to however when the data is in digital form and communicated through the internet the same level of caution does not always be applied.

Our first five tips to protect yourself online were;

  1. Do not give your info away inadvertently
  2. Use cookie management software
  3. Have a specific email account
  4. Do not share with unknown people
  5. Study privacy policies

In this article we will list our final five tips on protecting yourself online.

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#1.          Be aware of potential monitoring at work

In many Countries employees have little to no privacy protection from their employers. With this in mind, when discussing sensitive topics in email be sure of whom you are communicating to. Keep private data on your home network at home.

#2.          Be aware of rewards & prizes offered by sites.

More than likely these kind of sites are gathering information for direct marketing purposes. In this scenario your name and address s sold for marketing purposes.

#3.          Be conscious of your home computer security

If you home computer is set up on a DSL line that runs 24 hours be sure to turn off your computer when not using it. Many PCs will have poor security levels and system hackers will search for vulnerable computers and can invade them and get into your files and personal details.

#4.          Use encryption

Good encryption will utilise security codes that are difficult crack and protect your data. There are easy to use mail and file encryption services available out there. Hopefully all devices will come with security encryption built into their servers, until then, be aware and be safe.

#5.          Never reply to spammers

These Spam messages also known as unsolicited bulk email need to receive a response to tell their system that this email is being used. If you end up opening one of these messages check to see if there is anything in your outgoing box in case there is a return receipt attached to the mail. If you are getting spammed there are a great deal of filters and anti-spam services available out there.

Awareness if key, receive some education and proceed with caution are the best tips to have. Technology is every advancing and with it you also need to evolve, increase your knowledge and you will be in a safer position.

For more information on online security or confidential paper shredding service Ireland please contact one of our team on info@securityinshredding.com.

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Specialising in secure confidential document shredding services with a reputation for exceptional security, customer service. Delivering value for money and the utilisation of leading technology compliant to the highest security standards within the industry.

Protecting your online privacy – Top tips (Part 1 of 2)

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Unlike information that is produced in paper format that can be gathered and destroyed through document shredding services Ireland or an in-house on site paper shredding facility, information in digital format on the internet can be far more difficult to destroy and delete.
This article will go through the first half of our top tips for protecting your information online.

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#1. Do not give your info away inadvertently

Many people are allowing their information to be recorded without even knowing it. In order to battle this problem, it is always a good idea to configure your web browser settings to best suit your requirements. Examples would be not to use a personal email address or your real personal details that you do not wish to share.

#2. Use cookie management software or turn on cookie notices

What are cookies? Well, they are small amounts of information that web sites store on your computer. In many cases they can be helpful for example, if you log into a website regularly such as a customer login to a paper shredding company website, the cookies can be usernames and passwords to save you from typing them in every time you log in to view your confidential shredding service information.
Other cookies can be identified for data mining purposes that will track ALL of your activity upon a given website. Most of these cookies can only be translated by the entity that made them. Many companies that manage online advertising are simply cookie sharing rings that track all of your activity to effectively market and advertise to you. If you are not aware of the cookies, you cannot protect yourself.

#3. Have a specific email account for tasks

When you may be mailing to an unknown account or posting to forums or newsgroups it is best to do this from a second “specific” email address. Addresses posted to public spaces are at high risk of being discovered by spammers. If your email begins to get inundated with spam that you cannot just securely shred to get rid of you can kill it off and start a new specific email for your more public activities.

#4. Do not share with unknown people

In conjunction with the developments of the internet, new brief friendships have increased proportionally also with many people “befriending” people that they do not actually know. Be careful because you are allowing them access to certain information upon yourself and if ever meeting in person do so in a public place. Information that should not be shared with new people immediately include but are not limited to; your place of work, your full name, your personal address, your contact number and your date of birth.
In the commercial sector, be aware of “befriending” on the short term as it is a common social engineering form of spying to get them to reveal personal information.

#5. Study privacy policies and seals

When looking at any website to do business with you should always be aware of their details relating to data privacy. Points to watch include, does the site have a posted privacy policy, does the site have a physical address or postal address. Read their policy carefully to decide if they are an entity to do business with.
Online information and Data Protection are of serious importance and awareness is key to your protection. If you are not aware you cannot protect yourself. I hope this article helps you in becoming aware and in turn more protected.
We will cover five more points in our next article that will wrap up or top tips for online privacy protection. For further information, please contact one of our team on info@securityinshredding.com

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Identity theft – stats, tips and how to protect your information

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Paper shredding in Ireland is a growing industry sector and for good reason. Approximately 7% of all adults within the US have their identities misused with substantial financial losses equating to approximately €3,000.

Close to 100 million additional people have their personal identifying information put at risk of identity theft each year when records from Government & Corporate databases are misplaced or stolen. It makes total sense to see secure, professional, and regulated destruction services being introduced and increased in Ireland. Services such as on site document shredding, clear out shredding, purge clear out services and off-site document shredding services are there for all Corporates and Governments to implement to protect your and my identity.

The level of sophistication used by organised crime to facilitate identity theft is ever increasing. Examples of such sophistication to name but a few are; tailored vishing scams, hacks of corporate and government databases to elaborate bots designed to hack your computer without leaving a trace.

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The more historic/basic methods of identity theft are still out there with high numbers of people being a victim of. Simply pick pocketing wallets, going through your waste bins for sensitive paper, following waste trucks to sift through the waste material for paper and social engineering to trick innocent people into releasing personal information still work and work well.

Within this article, I will highlight some of the straightforward ways you can have your identity stolen with the hope that I can help some potentially targeted people in protecting their identity. There are also some tips to protect yourself when possible.

How you can be a victim

  1. People going through a pharmacy waste bin, unfortunately not all pharmacies avail of offsite document shredding services and their bins can contain significant amounts of personal information.
  2. People hacking into GP records, health records from a doctor’s office contain vital personal information. Many identity thieves will try to hack medical facilities electronic health records.
  3. Never use your place of birth as your security question, it is easy to find out this information.
  4. RFID scanner, many credit and debit cards are enabled for contactless payments. Yes, this is convenient but if a thief can get close enough to you he/she can make a convenient withdrawal at your expense.
  5. Using camera phones, always be careful when you are in a situation where you need to show personal details and information, a camera phone could be watching you.
  6. Accepting strange friend request on social media, if you do not know who they are, our advice does not accept.
  7. Leaving bills in your mailbox for pickup, always deliver your bill personally
  8. Putting cheques in the mail, if required always place additional paper within the envelope so the data cannot be seen under lights.
  9. Never changing your passwords, you should always change your password at least once a year.
  10. Failing to consider once off credit cards, it is a good idea if you are not a regular online shopper.
  11. Leaving receipts behind, you should always take your receipts with you even if it only shows the last four digits of your account number.

For more tips to stay safe please contact one of our team at info@securityinshredding.com

Specialising in secure confidential document shredding services with a reputation for exceptional security, customer service. Delivering value for money and the utilisation of leading technology compliant to the highest security standards within the industry.

Do’s and Don’ts on Social Media to protect your info

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Social media has grown where most people will operate across multiple social media platforms. While these such platforms have made us feel closer to friends and family that are far away it has not come without added risk.

Apart from secure document shredding Galway, secure document shredding Dublin and paper shredding Ireland, it is essential for all people using social media to be careful and diligent when using their platforms.

Online criminals can target these platform profiles to make use of our most private details, even details we may not class as “important” can be of high value to an online criminal. Simple “check in” details of our favourite restaurants can end up revealing more than was intended.

Next time before you tweet, click or share your next updates it is important to be sure that you are protecting your information.  Below is a brief list of Do’s and Don’ts that we believe will help you to ensure that your privacy is maintained.

DO’s…

  1. Create a strong and long password. We suggest that your passwrods should contain upper and lower case letters with numbers included also. Similar to paper shredding Ireland, a non-secure shred size will be reconstructed where a certified shredding service either a mobile paper shredding service or an offsite paper shredding service resulting in particle shred sizes cannot be reconstructed. Do not make it easy.
  2. Use a two factor login process for authentication purposes. We advise that the phone option where a time sensitive code will be sent to your phone to be entered when logging in on a new device.
  3. Keep all social apps updated, the latest versions will be up to date with all data protection risks at that current time.
  4. Edit your privacy settings on social media. Make sure your information is not being shared with strangers.
  5. Delete old apps from your devices fully. Make sure to go into the settings to fully remove the apps, removing from the screen may not delete all of your data.

Don’ts….

  1. Do not share location details, these include where you live, where you visit regularly and where you vacate to for holidays. This kind of information can put you at risk of identity theft and/or inform criminals of your whereabouts.
  2. Do not post mean and harmful posts online. It is good practice to post about other as you want them to post about you.
  3. Do not take cyberbullying lightly, it can be extremely damaging to your self-esteem and if allows to continue and grow will put your safety and privacy at risk.

For further information upon social media security and confidential paper shredding Ireland please get in touch with one of our team.

Email: info@securityinshredding.com

Specialising in secure confidential document shredding services with a reputation for exceptional security, customer service. Delivering value for money and the utilisation of leading technology compliant to the highest security standards within the industry.

Top tips; How to protect your IDENTITY from ID Theft.

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Secure document destruction Ireland and document shredding services Ireland provide a good level of security for your personal information however there are numerous ways that you can unintentionally provide access to your private information.

Not only does this apply to human citizens but even huge corporate entities have had their systems and processes hacked and private information leaked.  If full security teams within these large corporations have failed to protect against a data breach who is to say that your own personal computer is not at risk of being hacked and allow criminals access to your personal info?

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Easy tips;

  1. Do not provide personal info over the telephone

    1. Some crooks do pose as certain companies for example insurance firms and try to get you to release your PPS number. Never release this number over the phone.
  2. Failing to destroy old hard drives and computers

    1. Do not just throw them out or sell them to a company that offers you money for them. These re-sellers of IT equipment will not stand over protecting your data. It is important to always securely destroy hard-drives that you no longer use and remain secure. There are many hard-drive destruction services available to you.
  3. Protect your driver’s license

    1. All criminals need is to have a picture of your driver’s license, they do not need your physical license. At all times protect your driving license and be aware of who/where you are providing a copy of it to.
  4. Protect your children’s personal information.

    1. Through your child’s young years is essential to protect their information. As it can take years before finding out about this crime, criminals tend to try obtain a child’s identity. Never be too quick to provide your children’s personal details unless you are certain of what will happen to the data and when it will be destroyed through an industrial paper shredding service or another means of secure document destruction.
  5. Secure your mailbox

    1. Possibly one of the easiest methods for a criminal to obtain your personal information, simply robbing mail from your post box. Always make certain that your post-box is secure so deter thieves.
  6. Shredding paper Ireland

    1. Dumpster diving is not illegal and there is no law to stop people from going through your waste. In actual fact your recyclable waste is sorted during the recycling process. Sensitive information can easily be removed from your waste at any stage of the recycling process. For this reason, it is important to have a document shredding service within your business and when not working, make sure to shred all of your personal documents at home.
  7. Phishing emails

    1. These are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out your personal information such as bank details, passwords and credit card details portraying to be someone else.

We will continue this list next week. For further information upon identity theft, data protection and secure data destruction please contact us through email and one of our helpful team will get back in touch with you.

Email: info@securityinshredding.com

 

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Creating a Clean Desk Policy (Document Shredding Service)

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What is a Clean Desk Policy?

Well it is exactly what it says on your Data Protection Tin. It is an information security policy where all staff are to maintain a clean desk environment. We are all too used to a scenario of coming and going to the printer, taking notes from meetings, answering phone calls and responding to emails and before you know it your office desk has sensitive documents pilling up. We do not always place the importance of onsite destruction of that data into our busy days and we often tend to prioritise other activities.

Well with the introduction of New Data Protection Legislation increasing fines up to 20 MILLION EURO the priority for document shredding services to be in place has become No. 1, whether it is an onsite shredding service or an onsite paper destruction system implemented it simply has to be done and done correctly.

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 How to create the Clean Desk Policy (Onsite paper shredding)

It is recommended that all staff are made aware of the clean desk policy and the importance for maintaining their tidy environment and using your on site shredding service to get rid of unwanted and unneeded documents.

We at Security in Shredding constantly advice our clients to use our Triple “S” method for creating their clean desk policy successfully.

SCHEDULE your Day!!

First thing in the morning, all employees are to plan their day and/or make any needed amendments from planning made the previous day. Just keep things that are required on your desk and anything unneeded should be segregated and destroyed through your onsite shredding service. It will only take a few minutes but an accurate schedule is invaluable.

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Keep SAFE/SECURE!!

Never leave your desk with sensitive paper data left out. Most will have to leave their desks at some point during their day to fulfill their duties but whenever you do, file away anything no longer required for that day and securely destroy anything that is no longer needed at all. It is important to securely destroy the unneeded material through an onsite shredding service and receive your certifications of compliance.

SECURE SHRED!!

It is amazing how paper will pile up, just ask anyone who has completed end of year paper shredding clear outs. With this in mind, do not let paper that is no longer required to enter long term storage, whether that storage is in a filing cabinet, drawer of your desk of in a pile beside your PC, always make certain to destroy the paper with a document shredding service or an onsite paper shredding service.

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For more information upon our Clean Desk Policy and tips as to how to create one please contact one of our team, we are always here to help with your Data Protection concerns.

Contact www.info@securityinshredding.com

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7 Wi-fi Security Improvements To Aid Data Protection

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Data protection comes in many forms. While our confidential shredding in Limerick & Galway regularly operate a highly secure paper destruction service. It is however, hugely important to protect all forms of data both physical and digital.

Wi-fi networks both public and private networks (more so with public) have greater potential of data breaches or hacks. These hacks could be harmful to your device and also gain access to private or secure files.

Below is a list of steps to improve your Wi-fi data security:

 

1. Change The Default Name Of The Wireless Network

Hackers will prey on human error to gain access to networks. A router received from your internet provider will run on default settings. If these settings are not changed, hackers will use this to gain access to networks.

In case the SSID is not modified, a hacker has a better chance of breaking into a network, simply by knowing the manufacturer of the router. Use this guide to make the necessary changes.

Ideally change the name to something unique and NOT to use your own and or company name as the new network name.

 

2. Password Length = Strength

Again if using default settings on the router the default password can be gained if hackers know the default name.

When choosing a password, it is recommended that the password length is:

  • 15 – 20 characters
  • Contain Numbers
  • Contain Upper Case
  • Contain Special Characters

Avoid using “123456” and or “password” which is used more often than not. A random sequence of letters, numbers and characters is secure but harder to remember. If the password is unique and not repeated and contains the criteria mentioned, It will improve the password security.

Use this Wiki guide to setup a strong password for your network.

 

3. Enabling Network Encryption

There are a few popular encryption options for wireless networks, like WEP, WPA and WPA2. The latter form of encryption – WPA2 – is preferred for its improved security and especially if you have a home network.

The option to encrypt traffic is useful if you need to make your communication signals unusable for any unauthorised third party software.

 

4. Power Off When Not In Use

This option is useful especially when leaving home for extended periods of time, for holiday leave or for a few days.

This security measure, besides helping you to reduce power consumption, it will surely stop any hackers that could “listen” to your network’s traffic or might try to access it for malicious purposes.

 

5. Where The Router Is Stored Physically

Storing the router in a central location of the house or office will ensure even spread of connection and limits the hackers access to the wireless network.

For this reason, don’t place it too close to a window, from where the signal can be easily accessed from outside, even at some distance, and you may also follow our fourth rule to disable the router when leaving your home.

 

6. Administrator Default Settings

To set up your wireless router, usually you need to access an online platform or web page, where you can make modifications to your network settings.

As everybody knows, it is something normal to find a router with default credentials such as “admin” and “password”. And these default login credentials are not so difficult to break by a hacker.

Most changes we do on an online platform are things like setting a strong password for the wireless network or changing the network’s name, both changes being made to ensure a greater level of protection from online criminals’ malicious actions.

 

7. Update Router Software Regularly

Your router like any software device should be maintained and updated regularly.

The problem is that most routers don’t have the option to install the latest security updates and from time to time you need to check the official website for security fixes.

We must not forget that some of the worst security breaches came from security holes in unpatched programs and operating systems.

For more information on data protection and the laws governing them. The DPC has guidelines for your data security needs; Data Protection Commissioner Guidelines

For more information on confidential shredding,

email us at: info@securityinshredding.com

Specialising in secure confidential document shredding services with a reputation for exceptional security, customer service. Delivering value for money and the utilisation of leading technology compliant to the highest security standards within the industry.

Methods To Improve Data Security, Galway & Limerick

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Data Security is hugely important to businesses and organisations. Confidential shredding experts are readily available to handle and destroy your documents thus providing data security. Paper or document shredding is one method of data security but digital data is also important to protect.

Among US firms, reports only 2.4 percent of the organisations that experienced a breach had encryption or other strong protection methods in use, and only 8.5 percent of the breached information was password protected.

Which begs the question why aren’t more organisations password protecting and encrypting data? Some are complacent, while others falsely believe their data is already properly protected. Another is that some organisations fear having to spend large sums of money and time on new software or hardware to properly encrypt data.

Start With a Good Data Protection Policy

A good data protection policy involves just five things:

  1. Instituting good security and privacy policies for collecting, using and storing sensitive information.
  1. Using strong encryption when storing information on computers and laptops.
  1. Limiting who has access to sensitive information.
  1. Safely purging old or outdated sensitive information.
  1. Having an incident response plan in case a breach occurs.

In addition to the above, organisations should have firewalls, anti-spyware and antivirus protection in place and kept up to date; refrain from using wireless networking technologies (WiFi) where applicable; and truncate data so that sensitive information is not used where it is not needed.

Above all, make sure you have secure, encrypted ways of obtaining and storing sensitive information — and employ encryption protocols and encrypt all sitting / stored data.

Data Destruction & Data Encryption

Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt

Encryption has become a keyword regarding digital devices. Smartphones are now encrypted as standard and recent events have caused governing bodies to enquire with the smartphone companies to give them access as the encryption prevents them from doing so.

Laptops, mobile devices and USB’s can have disk encryption on them but due to their physical size, the devices can be target to theft and or lost easily. This form of encryption can be more expensive to purchase.

Software applications such as WhatsApp and now Facebook messenger are incorporating end to end encryption on their platform. Facebook’s is not incorporated yet but will be in the coming months. There are many more security apps out there with encryption and other security measures enabled as standard. Small bit or research will benefit your data security in the  long run.

With encryption software there is more of a focus on encryption of data rather than the device itself.

The Data Destruction Dilemma

To truly ensure your data is destroyed, hard drives are crushed into tiny pieces beyond repair. Formatting and purging the drive does not completely erase the data.

But what about the cost of purchasing self-encrypted drives? This is becoming a topical issue. Firstly self encrypting drives, do offer excellent security and equal performance to standard drives. They are also affordable.

If the data is stored and all the security and encryption enabled, still runs the risk of a data breach. Technology can do many things but human error will be an ever present issue. Prevention is better than cure. A hard drive destruction service will ensure data is destroyed with no issue of data retrieval.

Confidential shredding services in Galway or Limerick areas are available to for on site shredding. For more information on our shredding services,

Email us at : info@securityinshredding.com

 

 

Specialising in secure confidential document shredding services with a reputation for exceptional security, customer service. Delivering value for money and the utilisation of leading technology compliant to the highest security standards within the industry.

You May Not Be Warned Of An Online Security Breach

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Data is everywhere and how it is used should be monitored by your data controller and you. Secure document destruction in Ireland is one method of ensuring data security. Data breaches are an ever present issue when it comes to data protection.

Confidential paper shredding is one method our customers use when shredding documents. Another factor is data security and preventing data breaches.

How can they occur?

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Physically any document not shredded has the potential of a data breach. This will depend on what data is on the document sensitive or not. Dumpster diving is a risk to your physical data. In the wrong hands sensitive data can cause representational damage to a business or organisation.

Digital data is now more widely used than paper data and protections this data requires a more skilled hand to ensure its protection. Encryption and encrypted devices must be used if storing sensitive data. Data security is strong with most devices today but the methods of obtaining this data get creative.

“Phising” are email scams where the malicious software will mimic a well known and reputable site asking for a user’s details. If the details are obtained, the hacker can use this data for their own intent. There are other methods involved to obtain a person’s data and depending on the site or software’s security measures will determine what hackers can do with this data.

How Will I Know If A Breach Occurs?

The Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) has a guide on the steps needed to take if or when a data breach occurs. The DPC guide suggests data controllers inform the individual of the data breach.

What type of data was leaked will determine a data controllers reason to inform an individual of a breach. Fraud, identity theft, public humiliation and or public safety must be informed to the individual if the data lost contains information putting them at risk.

Nonsensitive data if breached does not need to be informed to the DPC. Breaches may occur without your knowledge and it’s up to the data controller to decide whether or not to inform you.

If / When A Breach Occurs

Prevention is always better than cure regarding data breaches. Be aware of where you put your information online. A reputable site will have security measures in place to protect your data. Sites are vulnerable to breaches. It’s the data encryption that ensures that the data obtained cannot be used in a harmful way.

If you suspect your account has been breached then inform the site provider so they can confirm.

Data Security is vital for businesses and organisations to succeed. Inadequate security measures are what cause biggest security breaches. Time is of the essence when a breach occurs. Cancel your card or inform your bank about the breach and the site admins also to prevent further damage.

At Security in Shredding, we offer more than secure document shredding service. Data protection advice and minimising data breaches are very important to us also. For more information please contact one of our team

Email us: info@securityinshredding.com

DPC Breach Guide: https://www.dataprotection.ie/docs/Data-Breach-Handling/901.htm

Specialising in secure confidential document shredding services with a reputation for exceptional security, customer service. Delivering value for money and the utilisation of leading technology compliant to the highest security standards within the industry.