Posts Tagged ‘confidential data’
Legal and security experts are warning fraud victims to be alert for criminals claiming to be able to recover lost money.
People who have been cheated out of their savings are being approached by legal recovery companies promising to recover their money for a fee.
However, all too often the company is a front for the original fraudsters or another criminal who has been sold the victim’s details.
The Association of Chief Police Officers’ Working Group on Fraud discussed the crime and alerted forces to be aware of the threat.
Daniel Berke, head of fraud at law firm Lewis Hymanson Small, said;
“These are clever fraudsters, targeting innocent victims and conning them out of their last savings. Be wary of any firms that contact you directly claiming to be able to help, especially if they’re getting in touch before you have even contacted the police or your own legal expert.”
Jim Watson, managing director of Shred Easy, one of the UK’s largest confidential data destruction companies, said;
“You should avoid any company asking for cash to recover stolen monies. In order to stop fraudsters from getting hold of confidential information in the first place, you must always securely destroy confidential data such as bank statements, receipts and credit cards. Plus I would check the security of gadgets such as your computer/laptop, BlackBerry/iPhone and memory sticks. Try and make sure you create a password so only you have access to your private data.”
Official figures from the National Fraud Authority, which was set up in 2008, show that fraud costs the economy more than £30 billion a year.
Securely shredding confidential data is the best way for businesses to stay safe from identity fraud, according to experts.
A recent survey by the Association of Chief Police Officers revealed that £20 billion is lost through weaknesses exploited in information and data security. Companies House says between 50 and 100 cases of corporate identity fraud occur every month.
In light of these findings, Shred Easy, one of the UK’s biggest confidential data destruction companies, is urging businesses to step up their data security.
Jim Watson, managing director of Shred Easy, said:
“Businesses are risking millions by having no confidential data policy in place. Fraud against businesses is rising and will continue to do so during and after the recession.
Companies which protect themselves now will weather the storm of this increase in fraud.
“Creating or updating a confidential data policy must be a priority for businesses. It’s not just confidential paper documents that need to be securely shredded but computer hardware such as disk drives and data sticks.”
“With little knowledge or effort, a fraudster can change the registered office of the business, trading address and even names of directors. Companies with a good trading record are then vulnerable if orders for expensive goods are placed and not paid for.”
Shred Easy has produced ten top tips to help prevent business fraud:
1) Create a confidential data policy – if you don’t have one already you are already in the high risk category for being a victim of data theft.
2) Store data safely – don’t assume that bagging it up is the end of the matter. Criminals have rich pickings outside business premises where confidential data has been poorly disposed.
3) Destroy data properly – shred all confidential data and arrange for a professional shredding company to help store, collect and securely destroy confidential information.
4) Check identities – use credit reference agencies to verify the identity of business customers, suppliers and clients.
5) Secure your accounts – don’t allow details of your business banking to escape into the public domain. Thieves are well adept at impersonating signatures.
6) Inform staff – train staff on how to deal with confidential data properly and monitor their behaviour. Most business fraud is committed by people within the business.
7) Keep post safe – theft of post is a major issue for businesses. Scammers may try to redirect your mail without your knowledge.
Restrict key documents – don’t allow staff to have full access to all your company documents. This applies to paper and digital data.
9) Use anti virus software – businesses still get fleeced by online scammers. Installing credible anti-virus software is necessary to combat this threat.
10) Beware of carrying large amounts of confidential data on laptops, data sticks or mobile devices such as BlackBerrys and iPhones. These small portable gadgets are magnets for thieves who can exploit your confidential information.
As the UKs leading confidential document and data destruction company, we have boosted our team by employing a new compliance manager.
Nigel Boothby, 44, who has 23 years experience of maintaining security procedures, health and safety, operational procedures and quality systems, has been employed as head of compliance to maintain our rigorous professional and customer service standards.
Working with our existing environmental and quality management teams, he will also ensure a consistent and co-ordinated approach to maintaining our international ISO9001 and ISO 14001 accreditations.
We are at the forefront of the security sector and we are fully compliant with all professional, quality and environmental management systems, as well as health and safety and security regulations. By having Nigel in place ensures the highest levels of compliance going forward.
Jim Watson, managing director of Shred Easy, said:
“Nigel’s job is to ensure consistency and maximise security for clients. This demonstrates our commitment to providing the most secure solution in operation by consistently adhering to all security, quality and environmental standards for customers. Shred Easy are the only company operating in the secure destruction business that has set up this compliance role to ensure our customers benefit from the most secure and compliant service available. Our accreditations have all been achieved after completing intensive assessments relating to everything from the security of our facilities to the cutting width of the paper we shred.
“This issue has become increasingly important as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has increased penalties for businesses failing to destroy confidential data to £500,000. So it’s now more important than ever to be compliant.”
We are members of the the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), the UK Security Shredding Association (UKSSA), the European National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), and has UKAS accredited ISO 9001 and 14001 registrations.