The Risk of Identity Fraud
Identity fraud is a risk to all of us, both as individuals and as businesses, simply because we deal with so many pieces of information on a daily basis. To criminals, a discarded bank statement or photocopy of a passport could be enough to allow them to start building up a picture of you, your customers or your business and eventually can lead to them stealing this identity they have recreated.
All it takes is one mistake.
A single act of complacency can result in endless explanations that it wasn’t you. Despite increasing awareness of the threat of identity fraud, data breaches are still a frequent occurrence. Shredding all confidential paper waste is strongly advised to ensure sensitive documents don’t fall into the wrong hands; to protect identities and safeguard reputation.
With paper based fraud still so rife, we are sharing some definitive guidelines and top tips on how best to shred. It’s time for you, your family or your business to act on the importance of protecting confidential information and understand better shredding practice.
Research has shown that employees are not taking care of company information in a safe way and leaving confidential data about themselves, clients and their businesses in plain view. With more than half (52%) of UK employees failing to take basic precautions such as consistently shredding paper documents with private or personal information before discarding, shredding needs to become embedded within company culture.
Around a quarter of office workers (23%) leave behind confidential paper-based information belonging to the company on a train or bus, some 15% recall leaving behind confidential paper-based information in a pub and a further 12% in a café or restaurant.
Better shredding practice would not only better security but also improve productivity in the workplace too. Research showed that a third of employees think troublesome and faulty equipment takes time out of their working day and impacts their productivity. Whilst 61%* stated their computers had been updated in the last two years, shredders are not. When asked what would help most to improve productivity, 18% requested for more automated equipment and technology, offering faster speed and reliability.
What To Shred.
Every day you deal with thousands of pieces of information such as reports, business plans, financial data, customer pricing, names and addresses. One example of how identity fraud happens is via bin raids. Identity thieves will “raid” your rubbish bin to steal this information – they may even steal your bin bags to rummage through them at their own leisure. It’s faster, easier and can be more lucrative than burglary.
Shred anything you wouldn’t want in the hands of a stranger!
Information and resources below are courtesy of Fellowes (South Africa).
Download these helpful posters on identity fraud that you can display in your office. Click on any of the images to download the PDFs.