Identity Theft : Protect Your Identity This Tax Season by Jessica Hodges
It’s tax time again, and that means it’s the right time to invest in a Fellowes shredder for your business. Why is it so important to shred documents during tax time? The answer lies in a few unpleasant statistics.
Identity Theft costs businesses an estimated $50 billion annually. Additionally, Identity Theft affects millions of Americans each year – every 3 seconds there is a new victim. Also, dumpster diving for paper documents, certain types of electronic devices, and a lack of formal security policies within businesses present criminals with the right opportunity to steal your information.
Use the Checklist Below to Reduce Your Risk Factor this Tax Season:
- Telephone / Cell Phone / PDA Phone : Conversations can be overheard or a device can be stolen.
- Never give sensitive information over the phone
- Do not give information to people you don’t know
- Keep devices in locked drawers when not in use
- Do not store important files on handheld devices
- Computer / Laptop : Pop-ups, viruses, and spyware can be used to steal information, and laptops/flash drives can be stolen.
- Do not give personal information to unsecured sites
- Do not click on pop-up messages
- Password protect or encrypt any files you send over the internet
- Do not take confidential files home with you
- General Office : Unlocked offices and file cabinets present the opportunity to steal information.
- Always lock your workstation or your home office
- Keep confidential files and projects on a need-to-know basis
- Get to know your coworkers
- Keep track of all visitors and vendors
- Documents / Paper Files : Important documents are left out on desks or in copy centers and trash cans.
- File confidential documents instead of leaving them on your desk
- Lock all file cabinets and drawers
- Keep a shredder in printer/copy rooms and shared workspaces
- Shred documents you don’t need to keep
Shredding documents you no longer need – especially tax documents – helps keep confidential information out of the wrong hands. The Fellowes Powershred line offers a shredder for just about every type of security need. Here is a list of special features to look for before making your shredder purchase:
- Most shredders can handle staples and paper clips, but confidential information isn’t only kept on paper. Fellowes® shredders also shred credit cards, disks, and CDs.
- For shared workspaces, choose a quieter shredder. The new Fellowes MicroShred with SilentShredª feature offers whisper-quiet operation for your peace of mind.
- If you need a higher level of security, consider upgrading from a strip cut to a confetti cut shredder. The Fellowes® Microshredª cut provides a much higher level of security by cutting paper into pieces smaller than the length of a staple – it’s virtually impossible for a criminal to reassemble and read a shredded document!
- For safety concerns, recommend a shredder with built-in safety features like patent pending SafeSenseª technology from Fellowes®. It’s a built-in smart sensor that instantly halts shredder operation when hands are too close to the paper entry.