• Identity Theft

    Identity Theft

    Identity theft occurs when someone wrongfully obtains and uses someone else’s personal information such as their social security number, credit card numbers, or driver’s license number, to achieve financial gain. It is a serious crime and it can inflict severe damage on one’s financial stability and personal life. In 2012, there were 12.6 million victims of identity fraud in the U. S. This is equivalent to 1 incident of identity fraud occurring every 3 seconds, according to Javelin Strategies, a research firm who annually reports on identity theft incidence rates. Read More
  • Security Shredding & Recycling

    Security Shredding & Recycling

    Are you shredding your documents in-house? Today you hear a lot about securing computer and electronic information, but do you realize that most of the confidential information your company generates is still contained in paper documents? Contact us and we can help you properly contain and dispose of confidential information. Read More
  • Contract Packaging

    Contract Packaging

    When you choose VIP Vocational Services as your contract packager, you have the confidence in knowing that your project will be completed at a competitive cost aligned with your time schedule. We can help solve common start-up problems such as limited production space, equipment costs, and personnel training. Do you have a marketing test product or a seasonal item you need assembled or packaged? Whether it is a long-term or short-term contract, we can provide a solution to meet your needs. Contact us today to discuss how we may assist you with your business needs. Read More
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Monday, May 29, 2017

Identity Theft

computer_thiefIdentity theft occurs when someone wrongfully obtains and uses someone else’s personal information such as their social security number, credit card numbers, or driver’s license number, to achieve financial gain. It is a serious crime and it can inflict severe damage on one’s financial stability and personal life. In 2012, there were 12.6 million victims of identity fraud in the U. S. This is equivalent to 1 incident of identity fraud occurring every 3 seconds, according to Javelin Strategies, a research firm who annually reports on identity theft incidence rates.

There are many ways in which an identity can be stolen, such as “dumpster divers” who go through personal trash, and online scams which access your unprotected files. The good news is that there are many strategies you can employ which can help deter thieves and prevent identity theft.

Check your monthly bills and bank statements right away to see if there are any unauthorized charges. If you do not receive your bills on time, contact the company right away. It’s possible someone intercepted it and is using the information.

  1. Do not carry your social security card with you. Store it in a safe place until needed.
  2. Check your credit report once a year to see if any credit cards have been opened in your name.
  3. Stop pre-approved credit offers to prevent someone filling out the information and receiving a card with your name on it. Go to: www.optoutprescreen.com or call 1-888-5OPTOUT.
  4. To prevent online identity theft, use secure passwords and utilize firewall security and scanning measures to detect unauthorized users. When using a public Wi-Fi hotspot, do not enter passwords or financial information as other users can hijack your information.
  5. Protect your trash. Potential thieves will go through the trash to retrieve account information, credit card offers, and other information to use for illicit financial gain.

The best way to help protect your trash and your personal account information is to shred all financial and health statements. The Federal Trade Commission recommends shredding as an excellent way to prevent any paper documents containing your personal information from landing in the wrong hands.

What should you shred?

  • Tax returns older than three to four years (some experts suggest keeping up to seven years) - they have your social security number on them, as well as the numbers of your spouse and dependents.
  • Credit card offers & convenience checks – just throwing them in the trash makes it easy for anyone to fill out and receive a card or cash in your name.
  • Bank statements – do not keep statements older than a year (unless related to taxes or mortgage payments). A better idea is to request e-statements and receive them via email or online, as many thieves steal bank statements right out of mailboxes.
  • Pay stubs – do not keep for more than one year.
  • Credit card statements – do not keep statements older than two months, except for ones you may need to prove a purchase.
  • Medical statements – may want to keep these records for one to five years.
  • Old ID’s or canceled credit cards – shred them to prevent someone using them or copying the numbers and using them.
  • Anything with your account numbers, birthdate, passwords, signatures, or social security numbers that you do not need.

Identity theft affects both private and commercial users. Now, more than ever, businesses are

fingerprint required to employ reasonable practices to safeguard the personal information of their employees and customers. Laws which address proper information handling, document destruction, and data breeches vary from state to state. Regulations such as the Fair & Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act provide guidelines for protecting consumer information and there are stiff penalties for noncompliance. HIPAA requires medical institutions to prevent unauthorized access to personal information. While shredding documents is not required, it is considered a reasonable precaution to safeguard data. Just shredding the documents is not enough, as the material could still be used by identity thieves. Compliance and data security is not the same thing. Shredding documents and then tossing the material into a dumpster behind the building could be interpreted as compliance, but is not considered data security. Improperly discarded equipment or paper documents containing personal information is considered a breach of security.

Whether you are a business or a private consumer, consider shredding your documents as a solid step in protecting your identity and the personal information of those whom you represent. Buying a shredder and doing document destruction in-house is one choice, but equipment can be messy, noisy, and expensive. More and more companies choose to outsource their shredding needs as it is a more convenient and efficient alternative.

If you are interested in outsourcing your document destruction needs, contact VIP Vocational Services and let us show you how we can help safeguard your data. We have drivers who can pick-up your documents on a scheduled basis and return it to our plant for proper destruction and recycling; or, if you need additional security, we have mobile shred trucks which can provide on-site shredding at your facility. For local customers who prefer to drop off their documents, we have three locations to serve your needs. Explore the website tab, Shredding & Recycling to see more options about recycling containers, a video of an on-site shred, or to better understand the shredding and recycling process.

Identity theft is a growing concern across the globe and data security and compliance is extremely important. Discard outdated documents you no longer need, but make sure you properly destroy them so as to prevent unauthorized access. Be safe and protect your identity!

 

VIP Vocational Highlights

  • Benefits

    Benefits Save Money. It may cost your company $25/hour to own and operate your own shredder. In-house shredders take up valuable
  • Drop-Off

    Drop-Off We offer a low rate to customers who have the means to bring their materials to us. We charge a
  • Pick-Up

    Pick-Up Service area: We have routes scheduled throughout Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Northern Arkansas.Types of accounts : Depending on
  • Security Shredding

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  • What to Shred

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