Most of us know we have a responsibility under the Data Protection Act 1998 to ensure that data containing information on a living person is processed correctly and disposed of securely when no longer required. However, apart from the obvious, such as medical, legal, personnel and financial records – what other documents should be considered confidential?
It might surprise you to learn that any document, even a scrap of paper with someone’s name scrawled across it is legally protected and must be disposed of correctly.
Recently, several high-profile legal cases have exposed companies that failed to protect the personal data they hold. This has resulted in substantial fines and damage to their reputation – not to mention the irreversible distress of those whose personal details have been lost or stolen.
In addition to the requirements of the Data Protection Act, every business has a commercial responsibility to its customers, stakeholders and employees to manage the secure containment and disposal of sensitive information.
‘Bin Raiding’ is a term used to describe the activity where someone deliberately rummages through your rubbish on the hunt for confidential data that can be used or sold on. At home this could be a utility bill or bank statement and is generally associated with Identity Theft. At work this could literally be anything: An invoice, client/supplier information, financial data; even a letterhead or signature is valuable to a criminal who can utilise it to impersonate your business and fraudulently obtain goods or services in your name which in turn could damage your financial status. Bin Raiding is also a method used by unscrupulous individuals who seek out client information from their competitors’ refuse to gain an unfair advantage. And as we all try to be greener, ironically we are making the criminals job easier as more of us separate our paper documents for recycling.
One way we can all safeguard against Bin Raiding and contravening the requirements of the Data Protection Act is to employ a secure shredding contractor.
Reading based Select Environmental Services is a UKAS ISO 14001 accredited contractor that specialises in the secure containment, shredding and recycling of all confidential waste. Our certified, cost-effective service is tailored to suit individual requirements and a validated Certificate of Destruction is provided once the waste has been securely destroyed. One-trip data destruction sacks and lockable storage consoles that keep confidential information secure from the moment it is discarded are also available.
To find out more please visit our website www.selectenviro.co.uk