Article Of The Day From ArticleMotron.com

June 6, 2006

Document Security? – Why?

Document Security? – Why? by D. David Dugan

 Why should document security be so important to me? What exactly is it anyway? These are just a couple of questions you might have when someone mentions document security to you. With today’s technology, thieves are getting smarter and attacking both large and small businesses.

Where it used to only be financial institutions, security firms, and those working on government contracts that had to worry about document security, now it involves everyone. Even if you don’t own a company, document security is important to you as an individual.

Ever hear the phrase, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? Well in today’s world, your trash is treasure to identity thieves, con men, corporate spies, forgers, blackmailers, and others. What you throw in the trash can get you ripped off.

Identity thieves today can find information on documents, bills, canceled checks, and other items that you throw away. Sometimes they use that information to apply for credit cards in your name and other times they can simply use technology to make a duplicate of the credit card you already have. Most stores don’t even check ID when taking a credit card, so once a duplicate is made, they are in business.

Con men need only to learn a little bit about you in order to cook up some scheme involving you. The personal information in your letters, bills, and other documents can give them all they need to con you into believing they are someone other than who they really are. The personal information they obtained from your documents enhances their story to make it believable.

Forgers enjoy the documents you throw away even more, since you probably signed some of them and they now have a copy of your signature. However, copying your signature is not the only definition of forgery. They can take canceled checks and make a new checkbook with all the proper numbers. They can forge other documents and do a lot more damage than you might think.

Corporations make big money. Not everyone who works for or runs a corporation can be trusted to be ethical, as we have seen with all the recent scandals involving big corporations. Some corporations use spies to learn what their competitors are up to. This is so common today, that some don’t even think it is unethical. They see it as a business necessity.

That means document security for your corporation is now a business necessity you have to take very seriously, if you haven’t already done so. Your competitors may not hesitate to obtain documents from your company in any way possible. They may use bribes, go through the trash, have the trash hauled to them directly, or simply sneak in and take them.

This is not just some stuff from a spy novel. Corporate spies get paid big money for the information they can get from the documents they can steal or “find”. You have to take document security seriously, especially where your plans will only be successful if kept secret until you can legally protect them. If it involves intellectual property, document security is even more important.

Don’t think this leaves you out if you only own a small business. If your ideas are patentable, copyrightable, or trademarkable, then your document security is important as well.

Even if you don’t plan to patent, copyright, or trademark anything, your financial document security is still very important. A thief knows as a small business owner, you probably don’t have very good security for your documents. Some thieves especially target small businesses because they are much easier targets.

Well, now that you know document security is important for various reasons, what do you do about it. How can you be sure you have a good plan for document security and document disposal?

There are several options for you, each depends on your specific circumstances. There are companies that are specifically in the business of document security for large and small businesses. They actually come to your business and do all the shredding and document disposal.  This is one of the most convenient ways of being sure your documents are destroyed properly.

Is document disposal all I need to know about document security? The answer is no that is only the beginning. It all depends on what type of company you run.

Do you allow your employees to take sensitive documents home with them?  Do you allow them to photocopy anything they want with no record of what they copied? If you are a financial institution, do you use new Pantograph methods for your documents? Many of the old Pantograph methods no longer stop today’s thieves from copying your sensitive financial documents.

There is a lot more to document security than just shredding documents and disposing of the material securely. I plan to address more of those methods in future articles about document security. In this article I just wanted you to see that everyone needs to take document security seriously.

D. David Dugan helps maintain a Spyware Security site at http://spyware.dugancom.com and recommends using All Star Shredding http://www.allstarshredding.com for you paper shredding, document destruction and on site document security needs.

Article Source: http://www.articlemotron.com

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1 Comment »

  1. Good article. Whilst document security is foremost on the minds of just about the entire business community, it is far from the top of the list of concerns of most people around the world. This despite a growing number of articles in the media. Most people would say they feel their trash is secure… but there are accounts out there of home trash bins being sorted to find personal information to exploit. And who knows what happens to the documents we throw out un-shredded once they’re on a truck headed to the city dump. Probably just a matter of time until we see an article in the media detailing how some refuse worker was taking and selling personal information from the truck or dump. I’ve been tracking ID Theft for a long time now, and it is now way to easy to exploit the proliferation of “documents” from creditors, public record (such as property sales or taxes) and such compared to 5-10 years ago. I guess this is one negative facet to the “Flat Earth” and technology. Scary indeed!

    Comment by crushbox — August 31, 2006 @ 2:41 pm


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