A case of mistaken identity

12 October 2009

Did you know this week is national identity fraud prevention week?

(It’s also national chocolate week, and national reflexology week in the US, but they are slightly less relevant.)

According to a survey, around a third of employees throw “sensitive” data in the bin. And three quarters of staff think their company can do more to protect sensitive information.

This isn’t particularly surprising, if a little convenient for the purposes of the week. What really counts as “sensitive data”? Financial details sounds sensible, but what about names, addresses and phone numbers, which are already available elsewhere as Jeremy Clarkson found out to his cost?

Should we be shredding anything with a name on? Plus there is now also the sustainability aspect to consider. With the myriad recycling initiatives around the office paper doesn’t tend to get thrown away, but deposited in boxes and bins. Is this safer than throwing things away, or less safe? Who knows?

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