Article Of The Day From ArticleMotron.com

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 spyware.dugancom.com and recommends using All Star Shredding 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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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

Building Your Own Computer

Filed under: Articles, build computer, computer, online shopping, pc, shopping, spyware, virus — dugancom @ 3:40 am

Building Your Own Computer by D. David Dugan

 The world of computers is constantly changing. It is one of the only industries that is different from month to month. If you’re in the market for a new PC, there are continually new options available. To get the best bang for your buck in computer technology, you may want to consider building your own PC.

Those with a little know how in the computer industry can save themselves tons of money by building their own computers. Companies such as Tiger Direct and mwave.com offer components that can create a top of the line system for a fraction of the cost. These stores offer all of the necessary components that reside in the “case” or main unit of the computer.

These include the motherboard, processor, cooling fans, hard drive, memory, keyboard, mouse, video and sound cards. There are motherboards available with integrated video and sound but not all do.

When you are buying a motherboard, make sure to check whether you will need to buy a separate video and sound card. Also make sure that the motherboard you are buying has extra slots so you can expand your system.

Another key to remember when building your own computer is to make sure all of your components will work together. Manufacturers make specific models to work together, so you may want to buy your parts from just one brand.

If you are going to use your computer to surf the Internet and play computer games you are going to need extra pieces. At minimum you will need an Ethernet card, CD/DVD drives and a graphics card. You can also benefit from gaming ports for joysticks or other game controllers.

The hardest part about building your own PC is installing the motherboard and the Operating System. This is the first step toward creating the unit. You must physically put the components into the case using screws. Begin with the motherboard and then connect your processor. Add the memory into the memory slots and install any necessary drives.

Once you’ve installed the drives, you can put in the install CDs for your operating system. Most PCs will guide you through the set up process to install the operating system. After making sure the operating system is up and running, put in your other devices one at a time.

Although it may be quicker to install all of your additional hardware at once, you want to test each piece as you go to make sure that piece is in good working order.

Even though building your own PC can give you a better computer for less money, the process is not for everyone. As a compromise, computer companies like Dell and Gateway allow their customers to custom build PCs on their website.

A customer can choose from different options regarding speed, memory and special portals. The additional benefit of buying from a company is that the PC is normally under a guarantee. You can also take advantage of technical support. This may be the best option for someone who has extra money to spend to get the custom components that they want.

D. David Dugan personally helps to maintain a computer shopping site at http://www.greatpcdeals.com as well as a Spyware Information site at http://spyware.dugancom.com.

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

May 30, 2006

Professional Help with Your Computer May Be Cheaper Than You Think

Professional Help with Your Computer May Be Cheaper Than You Think by D. David Dugan

 We all deal with them, those little computer problems that aren’t quite big enough to warrant a call to the Computer Guy.  You know, like every once in a while your camera won’t transfer its pictures the right way.  Or like the times when all of a sudden your computer shuts down for no apparent reason and with no warning whatsoever.  Don’t forget those odd “Run Time Errors” with the crazy numbers in them.  I love those.

The worst part is, you could probably fix some of these things yourself if you just had a little help or guidance.  Calling a professional, while sometimes necessary, can be both a greater inconvenience and of course a greater cost.  It may take forever to contact them, and when you do get in touch with the help desk, they always make you reboot the thing twelve times before you get any real advice.

Let me be clear on a couple things before we continue.  First, I am a professional computer technician and have been working in the industry for over 15 years.  There are numerous occasions where a professional is needed to help with or repair your PC.  It is often my advice to have your system evaluated at least one every three months.  On top of that, there are many things a novice should not try on their PC for fear of causing more harm than good.  Not everything is this way though.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Your best way to help maintain your computer is by staying informed and educated.  I’m not suggesting everyone run out and get a Computer Science degree, but I am suggesting you use some of the top notch free resources that are available to you.  The largest these days is of course the internet.

Don’t get nervous yet, I’m not suggesting you look up some super hi-tech article and study it until you know it inside and out.  You don’t have to.  The net is full of people who already understand these things and are more than willing to pass some of that understanding on to you.  They do this in forums.

Forums are a wonderful thing.  A lot of forums are actual cyber communities of people who love to talk about various topics.  They have people of varying skill sets, all interacting in a friendly supportive way.  I know there’s a free computer support forum out there with people in it just waiting to answer some of your questions.

So next time those pop ups are driving you crazy, and you can’t reach your favorite help desk, stop by a computer support forum.  You’ll be surprised at how good an experience it can be.

-Dave

D. David Dugan is the president of DD&C (http://www.dugancom.com) and personally helps to maintain their computer support forum at http://forum.dugancom.com as well as their Spyware Information site http://spyware.dugancom.com.

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

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