All Points Mobile Shredding Blog
Could Your Private Documents End Up in a Landfill?
Why This is Dangerous & How to Prevent It
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? But the last thing you want is for someone to obtain discarded documents containing your private information. If you’re like most people, you’ve thrown away or recycled papers that have your name on them. Some documents may even have your address, phone number or birthdate. Without even thinking about it, many people throw credit card statements, old bank statements, outdated insurance papers or other documents in the trash. After all, they are no longer relevant to you and will just end up either recycled or in a landfill. And no one looks at the stuff that ends up in landfills—or do they? In a recent incident in Georgia, it became very clear that the landfill is not a safe place for confidential documents. Take a look:
Boxes of Private Documents Found in Aiken County Landfill
In January an anonymous tip revealed that numerous boxes of documents from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services were found at a landfill in Aiken County. The boxes contained hundreds of red folders of paperwork for the agency. These included intake reports for the Children’s Protective Agency, forensic evaluation reports and much more. The documents contained social security numbers, names and birthdays of both children and adults and other confidential information. Although investigators have not reported how they ended up in the landfill, it’s clear to authorities and experts that the files were improperly disposed of. The documents have since been recovered, and Aiken County administrators are hopeful that the information was not further compromised—but they are investigating how the incident occurred. County regulations require that documents of this nature are securely shredded.
Secure Shredding Eliminates Risk of Theft
Government agencies, hospitals and numerous other organizations understand the severity of improper disposal of documents that contain personal information. Most have set procedures for discarding outdated and unnecessary files and paperwork. But anyone who throws away or recycles papers needs to understand the risks associated with these items ending up in a landfill. Although the improper dumping in Georgia was mitigated, most times these types of events are not reported. Confidential information sits in plain view—leaving you at risk for ID theft. ID theft is dangerous, not just because someone can use your name and social security number to get credit, open a loan, etc. but also because they can gain access to your bank accounts, credit accounts and more. ID theft leads to financial loss and damage to your credit report.
When Recycling is Not the Responsible Thing to Do
While recycling seems like the responsible thing to do, in cases where documents contain your private information, even just your name and address, it’s not. Instead, get in touch with a certified shredding company in your area and set up a shredding. If you’re a business owner, regular shedding schedules can save you time and money. Mobile shredding trucks come to you and shred documents onsite. Residents and businesses can ensure that sensitive information is never compromised because documents are destroyed right in front of you. Once documents have been shredded, your shredding and destruction company will then bale them and recycle them responsibly.
All Points Mobile Shredding has been serving residents and businesses in South Florida since 1994. We provide onsite shredding and destruction of documents, devices and products.
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