Article Of The Day From

August 14, 2006

Important Document Security Regulations

Filed under: Articles, document security, identity theft, onsite, paper shredding, spyware, virus — dugancom @ 7:58 pm

At our current technological level it is easy to forget some of the security basics.  Identity theft, bank fraud and other so called modern crimes have been around for some time, they just have new ways of being committed.  That said, it’s a good idea for all of us to review some of the laws and regulations that are currently in place.

Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA)
HIPAA was enacted in 1996 and the mandatory compliance date is April 14, 2003. All hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, health plans, medical billing companies and any other business entity involved in the health care industry must comply. The rules apply to all protected health information. The Standard for Privacy of Identifiable Health Information requires that covered entities put in place administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect the privacy of protected health information. One example given of a safeguard for the proper disposal of paper documents containing protected health information is that the documents be shredded prior to disposal. Find out more >>

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (1999) Financial Services Modernization Act
This Federal legislation went into effect in 2000, the privacy provisions in the law require that financial institutions and insurance companies give consumers prior notice of an intention to share personal information and a chance to opt out of the sharing of such information. The law states that these institutions and companies need to “respect the privacy of its customers and to protect the security and confidentiality of those customers’ non-public information.” The language suggest that paper documents containing such personal information should also be protected and safely destroyed. Find out more >>

Federal Privacy Act of 1974
This law was established in 1974 to insure that government agencies protect the privacy of individuals and businesses with regard to information held by them and to hold these agencies liable for any information released without proper authorization.

Supreme Court Case
California v Greenwood, The US Supreme Court ruled in 1988 that any item placed in the trash is considered public information.

These are just the major ones.  Do you, your family and your business a favor and look into some professional document security and paper shredding options.

D. David Dugan helps maintain a Spyware Security site at and recommends using All Star Shredding for you paper shredding, document destruction and on site document security needs.

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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 and recommends using All Star Shredding for you paper shredding, document destruction and on site document security needs.

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Document Security – Not Just Paper Shredding

Filed under: Articles, document security, identity theft, onsite, paper shredding, remote — dugancom @ 3:37 am

Document Security – Not Just Paper Shredding by D. David Dugan

 What is document security? Why is document security important to me? What are the best methods my company can use to enhance document security? Is it expensive to do? These are some of the questions you may have about document security.

In this article, I will explain more about document security and why it is important that your business implement some sort of policy or plan to improve the way your employees and you handle documents.

Almost every business has documents that they have to process on a daily basis. Contracts, Invoices, Receipts, Purchase Orders, In-house Memos, and documents related to sensitive information are some of the examples of documents you may use.

Document security includes how those documents are stored, backed up, processed, delivered, and disposed of. First we will talk about storage and backup of your documents. This involves a lot more than just which type of filing cabinet you want to buy.

Even in this electronic age, paper documents are a necessity. The storage of these documents safely and securely is often ignored. For sensitive documents, you do need locked file cabinets. You need to be aware of who in your company will have keys to those file cabinets and they need to be stored in a secure location. Fireproof filing cabinets are also a good idea.

This might seem to be inconvenient, expensive, and time-consuming, but the loss of your documents is going to cost you a lot more time and money than having security in place for them.

Transferring all of your documents into electronic format is essential to document security. Either through data entry or through scanning of documents you can back them up in electronic format to help ensure their safety and recovery if you lose all the paper.

Many of your documents today are already in electronic format. Those and the electronic backups of the paper documents you make also need to be backed up besides just on your computer. There are electronic data storage services you can use online that will give you storage space on secure servers.

Some of these can be relatively inexpensive, others charge too much. I suggest you research several of them to find the solution that is right for you. You can burn those documents to CD, but then must find a secure way, off of your business premises to store those CDs.

You can store the data on other computers you have at home or elsewhere, but need to keep in mind who might be able to access them. The companies that provide secure storage for electronic documents and data are usually a much more secure method.

You need to implement a specific security policy in regards to every type of document your company uses. Your employees need to follow these specific document security guidelines at all times.

Document and data delivery is also an important consideration. Do you use encrypted email when sending and receiving documents? Do you require a receipt from the receiver of your emails to show they have gotten the data you sent them? These are easy to implement. PGP for email is one of the best methods. Do a search for PGP and you will find more information about it.

When you mail sensitive documents, do you use registered mail? Do you insure it? These are important pieces to your document security policy. Your employees should know which specific types of outgoing mail are to receive special attention.

Who opens the mail your company receives? Is it ever left out in the open where just anyone can pick it up? Your employees should be aware that document security extends to incoming mail as well. There needs to be specific instructions as to what happens to all incoming mail.

Now we can move on to document disposal. Do you have an office shredder? You may want to have one in each employee’s work area who might be handling or creating sensitive company documents. Have a policy of shredding the documents they throw away. Better to be safe than sorry. Thieves and others will go through your trash to find any information they can use to their advantage.

If you have a lot of sensitive documents or wish to be more careful, there are services that come to your office to shred and destroy documents then remove them to be incinerated.  These companies guarantee the safe disposal of your documents.

I hope this article has helped answer any questions you may have had about document security. I further hope that it has made you aware of the need for you to have a document security policy at your business.

D. David Dugan helps maintain a Spyware Security site at and recommends using All Star Shredding for you paper shredding, document destruction and on site document security needs.

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