After 30 years of running a shredding company and ten years writing about identity theft issues the same themes come up time and time again. There are two that come up in our news of the day. But to get you caught up here is what happened this week in Payson, Arizona.
The Gila County WIC program in Payson, Arizona was cleaning up a storage area. They had so much that they didn’t bother to go through it but instead just through all the documents in the trash. The files included the medical files and applications of women applying for aid.
The documents were discovered by two women digging through the dumpster “looking for deals.” They reported the incident to the local media. They brought their camera out do do an embarrassing story about the office. The office said they normally shred but couldn’t prove that and said it was too much for them.
What Can We Learn?
There are two themes that come out in this story. The first is that your trash is not secure. It never ceases to amaze me how many people dig though the trash. These two were “looking for deals” but they are not alone. Many people go through trash looking for cans for cash or boxes for moving. It is common for waste haulers to sort through trash to remove the recyclables. There are also people who dig through the trash with more nefarious intents. They may be looking to get information for identity theft or corporate espionage. In the end the number of news reports about documents found in the trash is only a portion of what is actually being found.
The second theme is that if the shredding is inconvenient it won’t get done. Small shredders under desks rarely get the job done. They are loud and and slow. The common practice is to store it up for another day. Then when the pile is too high to get done they give up and dump it in the trash. It is not until the you get a HIPAA or FACTA notice that you realize the work has not been done. Without a certificate of destruction you don’t have the backup to defend yourself.
The problem is exacerbated for larger shredding jobs like the one in the story. A small shredder just isn’t going to get the job done. The time and cost make this a poor option. The best way to handle this is with a document shredding service. The job is done quickly and economically, and don’t forget the certified document of destruction that provides legal documentation.
Shred Your Important Documents Today with Help from Shred Nations!
There is no better way to protect yourself than to shred your old files with personal information. If you have a substantial amount of paperwork to shred, call us at (800) 747-3365 or fill out the form on the right for free quotes. Our local contractors can shred anything from 1 to 100 boxes in no time!