Identity theft is a major problem that is growing each year. Criminals want to use your name, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal or account information to steal your identity. You can minimize the chances of being an identity theft victim by using safe and secure methods to dispose of important, confidential or sensitive paper or electronic media storage devices, such as computers, CDs and flash drives.
Set a goal to keep your information secure and avoid identity theft by taking advantage of free community shred events to dispose of your information. These events take place throughout the year, particularly during the month of April to support Earth Day and the deadline to file income taxes. Listen to your local news, read your local paper or search the Internet to find an event in your community. You can eliminate a major source of identity theft by participating in these events.
The shredded paper is recycled in an environmentally friendly way into secondary paper products such as paper towels and tissue. In addition, environmentally safe electronics recycling contributes toward a zero landfill goal. You’ll feel good about helping the environment in addition to protecting your identity. When choosing an electronic device recycler, look for e-Steward and R2 certifications. The vendor should be fully committed to data erasure and recycling efforts for e-waste.
Paper or electronic storage device disposal/recycling
Whether you’re shredding paper or having data from a defective or obsolete electronic device destroyed, make sure you choose a recycler that:
- follows the privacy laws and standards
- understands your data security needs
- uses the proper destruction methods for shredding or sanitization and disposal, based on your security needs
- is an environmentally friendly recycler
Submitted by Dawn Alcorn and Debi Baker