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Prevent Small Business Identity Theft With Data Destruction

Small business identity theft is a major problem in Canada. It isn’t just individuals who can have their sensitive and private information stolen for the financial gain of fraudsters. A thief can assume the identity of a business using their Employer Identification Number (EIN), like using one’s Social Security Number, to steal assets, apply for loans or credit, secure payments, and access the personal information of employees, clients, and customers. Other common information can be taken from a company’s website to fill in the remaining details. This nightmare scenario can cause much damage to a small business, including loss of finances, resources, ruining credit, and making it extremely difficult to acquire loans as well as public trust in the future.

Small businesses are larger targets than big corporations because they don’t have the resources to protect themselves. At Absolute Destruction & Recycling Corp., our primary concern is your business’s security. There are several things you can do to immediately improve and safeguard your company’s valuable assets. Make sure that staff passwords are routinely changed, and that no one records their password anywhere that can be accessed. Keep confidential customer information limited, password protected, and properly encrypted. Hire third-party professionals to take care of IT security and perform regular security audits. A business’s success also depends on proper data destruction like paper shredding and destroying old electronics and drives.

Hackers aren’t the only threat to your security. Identity theft can occur from stolen paper files or old electronics that are thrown away, improperly recycled, or just lying around. Never leave boxes of papers, files, storage drives, disks, etc. out in the open. These should be kept in locked locations with limited employee access and kept completely inaccessible to the public. Identity thieves could be complete strangers to the business; but they could also be employees, customers, suppliers, or competitors. It’s vital to regularly purge your business of old files, electronic devices, storage drives, and more.

Absolute Destruction is at the top of the list of the best shredding companies in Richmond Hill and the surrounding Greater Toronto Area. We provide exceptional on-site shredding and destruction services with the highest levels of security and the most eco-friendly policy in the industry. Our on-site services will provide you with peace-of-mind because you can physically and visually verify that we have completed your job on your premises. Our mobile shredding trucks will come to you and destroy any records, however they’re stored, where you can visually verify the job has been done. Our uniformed, bonded, and photo I.D.’d customer service reps will also provide you with a “Certificate of Destruction” and “Guarantee of Recycling”. For extra peace-of-mind, we’re certified by the National Association for Information Destruction – the official governing body for those providing information destruction. Be assured we’re always here to help with any questions that come up.

Identity theft is a growing problem for small businesses and individuals. Have a third party check your computer systems and e-commerce set-up. Regularly use shredding and data destruction services and restrict the access to the files and systems necessary to keep running. Be sure to lock up filing cabinets, password protect electronic systems, and never email or transmit important numbers like EINs or account numbers over the web without first checking the site’s security certificate. For more tips on how to protect your small business from identity theft, check out these tips.

Add comment April 24th, 2018

A Purge Can Improve Your Surroundings And Security

Do you find it’s difficult to be productive in the spaces where you live or work? Maybe you feel weighed down or not completely comfortable because your surroundings are cluttered and closing in on you? It doesn’t feel like a big deal to skip a clean-up here or there; at the time, it feels important to keep all of your paperwork and receipts. You hold onto useless items you imagine needing down the line. It’s important to give our offices and homes a good purge once and awhile to get rid of the unnecessary build-up of waste that collects slowly over time. Decluttering can improve the way you feel as well as your security.

The team at Absolute Destruction & Recycling is here to make this much easier with our secure, one-time clean-up and purge services. This can be a substantial job, especially if it’s been awhile! Doing some pre-planning streamlines the task and can even make the whole process feel good. Really! Make a list of the things you’d ideally like to purge by room. Start with easier things like trash and recycling bins. Move onto the items you might be more hesitant about: old files, clothing, mismatching décor, outdated technology, unfortunate gifts, etc. Anything that’s in good shape can be donated, given to someone else, or potentially sold. Any item that contains personal information needs to be handled properly. Once the list is complete, you can begin. Be sure to check off things as you go to keep you moving and motivated.

Going through paper files might seem overwhelming. Sit in a comfortable area and go through each file and separate into ‘Keeping’ and ‘Shredding’ piles. Anything that’s not necessary to hold onto but that contains any personal information should be shredded. Give us a call to schedule an appointment and we’ll take care of the rest: from picking up sensitive materials, to safe destruction on-site, to transporting it to be recycled. All of our services are performed by uniformed, bonded, and photo I.D.’d Customer Service Representatives. Our reps will issue an invoice with time in and out and provide you with a “Certificate of Destruction” and “Guarantee of Recycling.” Take care of document destruction in Oakville or in the surrounding GTA. Our services also extend to other areas in Southern Ontario.

It’s important to properly dispose of your old hard drives, CDs, and disks that are no longer in use, lingering around and taking up space. Identity theft is a major problem and the wrong people can access you, your loved one’s, your employees’, or your clients’ personal information from any of these sources. Once you’ve backed up any relevant information, Absolute Destruction can safely destroy your old electronics and disks. This regular process is a must for companies, government institutions, and businesses. Throwing them away, selling them after degaussing, or leaving them to collect dust is unacceptable. The liabilities are enormous: federal and provincial laws require the proper destruction of sensitive information prior to disposal and the repercussions in terms of customer confidence and legal compliance can be severe.

Visit our on-going service page to learn more and get your questions answered by checking our FAQ. A good purging of your home or office feels good and can offer peace-of-mind by getting rid of files and electronics that are risky to keep lying around. Do it right with our help!

Add comment April 12th, 2018

The Spring Cleaning Big 3: Clean It, Shred It, Crush It!

After a brutally cold, damp, and dark winter, we’re looking forward to spring. Spring cleaning refreshes our homes and our headspaces. The warmer weather won’t truly hit until late April, if we’re lucky, and it’s good to get a jump start on the cleansing ritual now to be done by then. For us, it’s prime time! We’re ready to help you with the real March Madness: tackling the junk, grime, and accumulation of stuff you don’t need in a safe, secure, and environmentally-friendly way.

Clean It

An annual deep clean pushes the reset button and allows you to take it a little easier the rest of the year. Be sure to clean top to bottom for efficiency. Excess dirt and dust tends to fall downward during cleaning, so you can finish things off with a good floor cleaning. That means take out the step ladder to reach ceilings, walls, and shelves first. Move on to using an environmentally-friendly all-purpose spray or make a simple vinegar cleaning solution to avoid spreading toxic chemicals around. Finally, give those carpets and floors a vacuum, and give bare floors a scrubby mopping. Make things less of a chore with an upbeat playlist or a set of comedy podcasts to lighten the mood.

Shred It

This next part is truly satisfying for Absolute Destruction & Recycling services. Gather up all the documents you don’t need and get ready to shred! We’ll come to you with our mobile shredding trucks driven by a uniformed, bonded, and photo I.D.’d customer service representative to handle it all for you. You’re completely safe getting rid of sensitive materials and personal information by shredding on-site, and you can verify the process with your own eyes. We also bring you free consoles and containers to use in advance. Once shredded, we’ll recycle it all! There’s no need to hang onto your tax returns from decades ago. In Canada, you only need to hold onto documents for six years. The rest are taking up space, and you’re increasing your security risks the more mountains of paper there are languishing in your basement or office. Holding on to everything ‘just in case’ is a bad habit that can lead to worse places. Hop over to our FAQs about document destruction to help with spring cleaning questions.

Crush It

Do you also have any old computers, laptops, tablets, or phones hanging around that you’re not sure what to do with? Keeping them and forgetting about them is also a security risk. If they’re accidentally thrown out by you or a clueless roommate, or, worse yet, someone breaks into your home, they’re ripe for the picking. We also handle electronic data destruction. There are ways to retrieve the data from discs that you think you’ve reformatted. Our ultra secure on-site hard drive crusher not only sounds awesome, it ensures that your confidential information is destroyed and irretrievable. Our recycling program extends to this e-waste as well, so you’re not in any danger of your old equipment leeching into a landfill. Have any questions? You can always contact us to learn more by email or phone.

These three steps will give your place a super purge and alleviate stress and build up you didn’t know you had. Absolute Destruction & Recycling Corp. serves the Greater Toronto Area, and we also offer services across most of Southern Ontario. Crush your spring cleaning with us this year!

Add comment March 21st, 2018

E-Waste Is Harmful To Your Health And Your Privacy

Our consumption of electronics, like phones, laptops, tablets, and TVs, continues to rise each year. Our devices aren’t exactly built to last, either. It seems like with every new update our phones get slower and our laptops get glitchy. If the picture quality on our TVs gets any higher, we’ll be able to see the actors’ thoughts! So, we frequently trade in the old models for the newer, the faster, and the shinier. But what’s also rising is the e-waste we generate. A growing population means more personal electronics, and this is big trouble for the environment and for our health if these devices aren’t disposed of properly.

In 2013, it was estimated that about 40 million metric tons of e-waste were produced globally each year. Improper disposal methods like throwing equipment in the garbage, having electronics bonfires, or using incorrect recycling methods can cause landfills to overflow, emissions to pollute the air with dangerous chemicals, and toxic waste to leak into our soil and water systems. Burning toxic metals like lead creates poisonous, powdery clouds that circulate far beyond the site of the fire; this can cause serious heart, neurological, and respiratory issues, among other frightening complications. You can help stop this from happening by using the expert storage and security services of Absolute Destruction & Recycling Corp. to recycle your old electronics. What’s more – you can protect your privacy and prevent identity theft at the same time.

If you simply send your old hard drives, discs, files, or equipment off to be recycled without destroying the data first, you’re risking exposure and theft of your personal information. Data can be retrieved from disks and drives even after you think you’ve wiped them clean. Only completely crushing and shredding sensitive materials followed by proper recycling methods ensures total security and safety for you and the environment. Leaving old files, data drives, and other equipment lying around risks their accidental, improper disposal, too. Tossing things away come moving day or during spring cleaning can easily happen, either by yourself, by a family member, or by a friend who’s kindly offered to help. Hire our document destruction experts to handle everything for you on-site, whether at your home or at your business. We also handle document shredding and recycle all the paper to save trees, as well.

Sometimes in this industry, companies will subcontract the destruction of your materials after collection. Disreputable firms charge for secure records destruction, but the materials are just sold for scrap. With our on-site services, you can visually verify your electronics are safely destroyed, and we give you a “Certificate of Destruction” and “Guarantee of Recycling”. If you’re looking for a local document destruction company in Markham or across most of Southern Ontario, we can provide you with a fast online quote. Because we’re a member of the National Association for Information Destruction, you can have total confidence in our services. Their mission is to promote the information destruction industry and the standards and ethics of its member companies. We’re also always happy to answer any questions you have about the process.

Don’t let e-waste leak into our ecosystems, and don’t let your sensitive data leak, either! Save the environment, save our health, and save your privacy, all-in-one.

Add comment March 15th, 2018

Don’t Be The Next Data Breach Headline

We’ve seen some big-name data breaches in the past couple years. Equifax. Yahoo. FedEx. Uber. OkCupid. This January, it was reported that between 2002 and 2014, US Homeland Security compromised the names, social security numbers, and staff job roles of its employees and people under investigation during that time. A quick online search for “data breach” brings up waves of companies who have been compromised, including ones you’d think and hope would know better!

There have been many costly thefts of hard drives and other business property containing the personal information of their clients’ and employees’. Washington State University had their old hard drives stolen in the summer 2017 from a storage unit. Storage facilities often have a few security measures in place, perhaps more than your own business or home, yet they still failed. Music artist Kendrick Lamar’s Producer had a hard drive stolen from his car, with content estimated at $1 million. Perhaps your business or home has a room off to the side or a basement filled with old technology, disks, CDs, and filing cabinets of papers just sitting around? This is dangerous, and perhaps you’ve considered this, but you’re unsure of what to do that is secure. The team at Absolute Destruction & Recycling paper shredding services offers safe document shredding and data destruction services that should be a vital part of your security strategy – commercial or residential.

Maybe your business has recently moved to the cloud (or maybe you don’t trust the cloud) and you have a lot of old hard drives suddenly piling up (to add to the other pile from the 2000s and from the 90s). Beyond taking up valuable space, they’re ripe for the picking if someone manages to break into your building, or, even easier, if a rogue employee or a roommate’s house guest easily swoops in. Old electronics and documents that have been long forgotten can be accidentally thrown away or improperly recycled. All it takes is one enterprising dumpster diver and your personal information is compromised. You might think you’re safe because you’ve formatted the drives and degaussed the CDs and DVDs, but the only sure-fire way to be positive data can’t be recovered is by physically destroying the hardware.

It’s important to hire IT professionals who can give you the best encryption services to protect you from hacks on your current system, and give us a call to handle proper disposal of your old ones. Our mobile shredding trucks conveniently come to your business or home to securely destroy computer hard drives and electronic media devices like compact discs, magnetic tapes, microfiche, credit cards, audio and video tapes. We guarantee that upon destruction no data on your device will be recoverable. We’re also dedicated to protecting the environment, so we have a recycling program that’s safe for the planet, too. Upon completion, our customer service representative will supply you with a “Certificate of Destruction” and “Guarantee of Recycling”.

Don’t be the next company or private individual with their employee, customer, or personal data stolen and exposed. Identity theft is common but avoidable if you take proper precautions. Be sure you’re protected with the expert staff and services of Absolute Destruction.

Add comment March 7th, 2018

The Top Things To Do In Toronto This Valentine’s Day

Even in the event that your phone no longer displayed the date and all your calendars and agendas disappeared, there’s no way you could forget it was February. The stores won’t let you. Decked out in red, pink, and white, your favourite shops do their beset to remind you that Valentine’s Day is on its way.

Now that the countdown to the love holiday is officially on, you may be wondering how you can spoil your special someone. Lovebirds all over the country are making reservations, pre-ordering flowers, and shopping for jewellery. But don’t worry if these stereotypical date ideas don’t make you feel butterflies in your stomach. The crew at Absolute Destruction & Recycling understands you might want to do something as special as your relationship. That’s why we’ve put together a list of fun Valentine’s Day alternatives for those romantics (and singles) looking to do something a little different this year.

Hooking Up: Second Base, a Second City production

Take your date to a show performed by the hilarious comedians at Second City. Hooking Up: Second Base is a fast-paced sketch comedy show that explores the highs and lows of dating in the 21st century. In just 90-minutes, they tell “their favourite tales of Tinder troubles, long-lost lovers, and all the sickening bliss that comes with new relationships.”

The show runs from February 12–18 at varying times in the afternoons and evenings. Tickets are $26 and are available to buy from the Second City website.

Valentine’s Day Couples Cooking Class at The Chef Upstairs

If you can stand the heat, get into the kitchen with one of the talented instructors at The Chef Upstairs. They’ll teach you and your partner how to make a romantic Italian 4-course meal that includes spaghetti alla carbonara and pan-seared halibut.

You’ve heard the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Now you can put this saying to the test with this decadent culinary experience. The Chef Upstairs only accommodates seven couples in one class to ensure each apprentice cook gets personal help from the chef, so make sure you book your attendance soon.

Tinder Tales Presents Cupidity

If a personal cooking class with a trained chef is too romantic for your blood, the Valentine’s Day themed Tinder Tales is just the punch of comedy your date plans need. Comedians and storytellers share their worst experiences using OKCupid and other dating services to find their true love, guaranteeing a hilarious night with your beau.

Even if your relationship status is single, you’ll laugh (and cry) over these stories of love and love lost. And if you’re one of the many people who Cupid gave up on, Tinder Tales is happy to hear from you. You can share your own romantic tales of woe by sending an email to their team.

Tickets are available online or at the door, but considering the popularity of previous Tinder Tales’ events, you should snag your tickets early.

Anti-Valentine’s Day Party

If you’re rebounding from your most recent breakup, consider checking out Toronto’s largest singles anti-valentine’s day party. Hosted by the Stirling Room, it’s where some of the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes go when they’re single and ready to mingle. You might just find someone you really hit it off with — which means you can finally bury the hatchet with the old flame.

Get in touch with us if you’re ready to move on. Our crews may help businesses around the GTA to dispose of their documents securely, but that’s not the only thing we do. With a dedicated environmental program, Absolute Destruction recycles all materials — including old love notes and Valentine’s Day cards. You can learn about our recycling program by checking out our environmental savings page on our website.

Before we send anything to our secure recycling facility, the material must first undergo our shredding process. Trust us when we say this is one of the most satisfying methods of disposal when it comes to any pictures of your ex or the love notes that they sent. Mend your broken heart with the help of a good shredding by calling us for a one-time purge before the 14th.

But don’t sweat it if you miss the big day. As your local document destruction company, we’re available any time of the year to help you with all your shredding and recycling plans. All you have to do is call or get in touch online to schedule your first pick-up. Until then, the crew at Absolute Destruction wishes you and yours a happy Valentine’s Day — however you celebrate it.

Add comment March 1st, 2018

Metrolinx Claims To Be Hacked By North Korea

At the end of January, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved its symbolic Doomsday Clock forward by 30 seconds. With its minute hand now resting at two minutes to midnight, the clock suggests the apocalypse is nigh. The last time it was this close to midnight (i.e., the end of the world) was in 1953, at a time when both the US and Soviet Union were testing hydrogen bombs during the Cold War. Today, the organization cites the dire nuclear competition between North Korea and the US as the reasons why the apocalypse could be near in 2018.

The nuclear rhetoric shared by Trump and Kim-Jung Un is concerning though no longer surprising. If you’re like the crew at Absolute Destruction & Recycling you read the news expecting to see mentions North Korea. It doesn’t take long, as the nation state is often the focus of political articles. But it may come as a surprise to learn that North Korea is now linked to the GTA.

At the end of January, Metrolinx claimed it was the victim of a North Korean cyberattack. Its spokesperson, Anne Marie Aikins, would not give many details regarding the attack, but she would say no customer information was compromised. She also went on to say investigators believe the attack first started in North Korea before it was routed through Russia.

The Ontario transit agency has failed to go on to explain why they think North Korea is behind this most recent attack. With no evidence to back up this claim, Metrolinx has gained many critics. That’s because cybersecurity researchers usually find it difficult to successfully attribute the source of most cyberattacks. Because it’s so hard, researchers typically give proof when identifying a culprit — especially when these claims involve a nation state.

Some of Canada’s leading cybersecurity experts criticize object

Among its critics is Eva Galperin, the director of cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). When she spoke to the CBC, she said, “simply saying ‘Hey, that’s North Korea’ with nothing to back it up, is not the sort of statement I would put a lot of faith in.”

The CBC also spoke to Mark Nunnukhoven, the vice president for the cybersecurity company, Trend Micro. He said that, “coming out publicly, saying it was a particular nation state, escalates the stakes for no apparent reason.”

Another critic is University of Toronto professor Ron Deibert. He told the Globe and Mail, “if North Korea was indeed responsible for the attack, that would be a major development necessitating a Government of Canada response, since Metrolinx is a Crown corporation.”

Metrolinx’s cyberattack acts as an important reminder

As Metrolinx cooperates with investigators, the recent attack — regardless of its source — underlines the value of maintaining robust security measures. It also serves as an important reminder for our readers to confirm the strength of their own security measures. Though the attacks on Ontario infrastructure is in an entirely different echelon than any potential attacks targeting your small business, your enterprise needs to take its security policies seriously. As we mentioned before, it’s your legal responsibility to protect your customer’s PI.

Small businesses are often more vulnerable to attacks because they don’t have the same budget to support comprehensive security infrastructure as larger businesses. Some security experts suggest adopting cloud-based data storage software if you don’t have an experienced IT security department. This transfers all your data to remote servers maintained by a larger company, which means you aren’t responsible for implementing or maintaining security infrastructure on your own.

Another way to increase your business’ overall security is by ensuring you have the appropriate shredding schedule for your business’ paper and electronic output. If you aren’t sure how often our team should be shredding your confidential material, we can answer your questions about the frequency of your pick-ups. When our services match your needs perfectly, we can work together to make sure your obsolete paper files and electronic devices don’t pose as security risks.

If you’re a small business owner in the GTA, contact us to learn more. One of our friendly customer service representatives will arrange a convenient shredding schedule customized for your business. Together, we can close the chain of custody once and for all with reliable document destruction.

Add comment February 23rd, 2018

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