June 01, 2018

Secure Recycling: Avoid the Blue Bin

Many employees think that recycling confidential documents and simply tossing them into a blue bin is enough to keep them out of the hands of fraudsters. But because the bins are often left unattended in the workplace, it actually poses a big risk of a data breach occurring.

Here is a list of the most common business documents found in blue bins that can put you at risk:

Travel Documentation

Business travelers carry documents such as boarding passes and itineraries that hold confidential information including frequent flier data and credit card numbers This information could put them at risk of identity theft if it fell into the wrong hands.

Invoices and Payment Information

Employees often handle and process invoices and other billing documents that contain account information, bank and credit card data. This is exactly the type of information that fraudsters look for. Be sure to keep them out of the blue bin.

Contracts and Agreements

When contracts and other agreements have been signed, they are then considered legal documents. Because these items often outline important confidential details and clauses, they should not be public knowledge and should always be kept private.

Confidential/Sensitive Emails

Digital communications often contain specific details and other information that is meant to be strictly confidential. Printing such emails may increase the risk of them being discovered if thrown in the blue bin.

Business Presentations

Many employees are notorious for printing extra copies of presentations that may contain insider information. Doing so may leave confidential data, such as business strategy, budget, and timelines, accessible for anyone to see. This insider information may prove to be beneficial for fraudsters who wish to leverage this new-found knowledge in other ways.

Financial Results

A company's financial results are considered extremely confidential and are often released publicly only at regular intervals (i.e quarterly, monthly etc.). This type of information is key to assessing the performance of a business and if it gets into the hands of the wrong person, it can be detrimental to that business.

HR Documents

Resumes, cover letters, background checks, and employment contracts are all confidential documents that should be kept secure as they contain personally identifiable information (PII) that is specific to each employee.

Here are 4 important tips to help ensure Secure Recycling in your workplace:

Tip 1 - Make Recycling Part of Your Company Culture

Use a top-down approach to communicate the importance of recycling and sustainability to your company.  By showcasing the priority being put on recycling initiatives specific to paper, e-media, and other recyclable materials, you are more likely to get buy-in from employees. It will also help to reduce your carbon footprint.

Tip 2 - Set up Office Recycling Stations

Partner with a third party document destruction company to install secure consoles and recycling containers for other materials throughout your workplace. Installing secure consoles will ensure that documents remain confidential when they are not needed anymore. Furthermore, it will give you peace of mind knowing that they will be shred and recycled.

Tip 3 - Implement a Shred-it All Policy

By implementing a Shred-it All Policy in your workplace, you make it easy for your employees by taking the guesswork out of what should and should not be shred. This policy suggests that every document should be shred when it is no longer needed allowing for ALL information to remain safe and out of the hands of fraudsters.

Tip 4 - Provide Ongoing Education and Training

Continue to inform and educate employees about the impact that their actions are having on sustainability and information security for your business. Use newsletters and other internal communications to share recycling results and communicate any new initiatives and the results of previous initiatives relating to the recycling program.

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