Document disposal: we hear more and more about the importance of protecting your confidential information whether it be electronic or paper in format. Nearly all sensible businesses will have an antivirus protection software for their computer and phones such as McAfee or Trend Micro. In the same manner – it is of high importance that you protect your businesses confidential information when it is in printed format. Even though we are steadily moving to an electronic world (some countries are even thinking of phasing out paper cash!) there is still a long way to go and all offices produce some private, confidential info on paper that should be destroyed in a secure manner.


Document disposal – a case study in info recovered from bins in Melbourne


An article in the Herald Sun really highlights the risks of throwing away confidential info in your general waste or recycling bins. We quote from the article below:


“The Herald Sun was given exclusive access to a Melbourne recycling plant and saw sensitive documents, including bank details, share portfolios, medical records and company invoices, which careless businesses had failed to destroy.”


Documents dating to the mid-’80s were found inside the curbside bins, posing a serious threat to the personal identity of clients. In the wrong hands, thieves could use such confidential documents to siphon money from bank accounts or access personal or company information.”


According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, identity theft affects more than a million people a year and costs Australians more than $1 billion annually.”


Law firms were among the worst offenders, with one firm throwing out documents including medical records for a legal claim brought about by an employee. In another bin, the private investigators found detailed records including blood test results outside a medical clinic.


It takes only a second to look at a document and identify if it should be securely disposed of (shredded/cut to pieces) or discarded in a normal fashion.


Bob Johnson, chief executive of the National Association for Information Destruction, said identity theft was one of the fastest-growing crimes in the country and companies would likely never know their rubbish was being used for such sinister purposes.


Document disposal – 5 tips to protect yourself


The article also lists 5 useful and practical tips to help protect yourself from the Australian Crime Commission:


1.  Keep copies of key documents in a secure location (see blog on document destruction service)

2 . Destroy personal information before putting it in the bin

3. Treat requests for copying your personal documents with caution

4. Order a copy of your credit report annually

5. Check your billing and account records carefully


Waster offers low cost and reliable confidential paper destruction – see our blogs on topics such as secure document destruction and confidential paper disposal.


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See our blog on secure document destruction.