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Posts filed under 'Document Destruction Recycling'

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

Security: A New Year’s Resolution

After the whirlwind of celebrations took us for a ride this past holiday, it’s nice to know that we have a little bit of time to recover at the start of the New Year. The crew at Absolute Destruction, the document destruction services in your area, would like to take this moment of calm to welcome you back to the blog! It’s with warm sincerity that we wish all the best in 2018 for you and yours.

After a year like 2017, we can appreciate how necessary this downtime is for our mental health, but don’t revel in relaxation for too long before you tackle the New Year. Though you may be tempted to see how long you can stay in your blanket burrito as you binge-watch the Alias Grace mini-series, this is a special time of year that shouldn’t go ignored!

The New Year is an opportunity to put the past behind us and embark on the next twelve months with enthusiasm — once we get over our post-holiday blues, of course! (See our upcoming guide to beat just that later this month). After some much-needed R&R, it’s easy to feel optimistic about the year ahead, especially as we frame it with the healthy changes we want to make in our lives.

New Year’s Resolutions: they’re every bit a tradition as singing Old Lang Syne at the stroke of midnight. Many of us prioritize our weight and fitness as we arrive on the other side of the holidays with our waistlines showing the evidence of our overindulgences in sweets and leftovers. Others will look to their finances as they realize just how much they spent on the holidays.

From our perspective behind our paper shredders in Richmond Hill and the rest of the GTA, security gets the highest priority. Experts say everyone will be a victim of identity theft at least once in their lifetime, and it’s easy to accept this factoid as true when you consider the number of commercial security breaches that happened in last year — many of which our blog covered as these cases unfolded in the public eye.

The good news is, with the right defence, you can avoid becoming a victim of identity theft — even when this crime is at an all-time high. The sharp blades of our mobile shredding trucks can’t help you get shredded like a superhero, but they can keep you safe from a potential attack from a criminal fraudster. Every truck in our fleet meets NAID (National Association for Information Destruction) standards, so it’s one of the few ways you can permanently destroy documents and electronic data.

For the last 16 years, these trucks have let us service Toronto and the GTA with reliable document destruction for businesses and individuals alike. With one-time purges and regular pick-ups available, you can join our customers and experience the benefit of superior document destruction.

If you have room for one more goal on your list of New Year’s Resolutions, make it security. As the threats of identity theft increase each year, you need to start thinking about how you can protect your personal information. So give us a call once you catch your breath this January, and together we’ll make 2018 the most secure year yet!

Add comment January 29th, 2018

Millions Affected In An Uber Security Breach

At a time when tapping an app has replaced hailing a cab, most of us have relied on the ride sharing firm, Uber, to get around Toronto and the GTA at least once. Though a convenient alternative to taxis, the app comes at a cost to cybersecurity to millions now that Uber revealed it was the target of a significant security breach.

The crew that makes up Abacus’ on call data destruction services was disheartened to hear nearly 50 million customers had their names, emails addresses, and phone numbers exposed in the hack. Hackers also accessed personal information of 7 million drivers — 600,000 of whom had their licence information exposed. So far, the company has yet to reveal how or if the breach affects its Canadian customers. While the Federal Commissioner’s Office is working with regulatory and government authorities to uncover the truth, there’s no evidence to suggest Uber plans on sharing this number.

So far, Uber claims there is no evidence of fraud tied to these exposed identities. It’s still offering up free credit monitoring protection to its drivers, though the same offer isn’t extended to customers. These drivers also have access to an Uber resource page regarding the incident should they have any questions about their next steps.

Last year, our team reported on the breaches that affected Equifax and Yahoo, the latter of which affected billions of customers. By comparison, Uber’s 57 million is a modest number. What is perhaps the worst part of this is the breach’s timeline. News of the hack went public in November of 2017, but the breach happened much earlier.

Uber first learnt of the attack in October 2016 — a month after hackers first accessed the company’s data. This isn’t the first time the company tried to conceal a security breach. Earlier this year, Uber was fined $20,000 for failing to disclose a smaller breach that occurred in 2014.

It was actually during October of last year that Uber was negotiating with U.S. regulator over the 2014 breach. Instead of reporting the new breach from 2016 during the proceedings, Uber stayed mum about the latest hack and chose to pay the attackers $100,000 to delete the acquired data.

Now Uber is under investigation led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Since the reveal, the new CEO, Khosrowshahi said, “While I can’t erase the past, I can commit on behalf of every Uber employee that we will learn from our mistakes.” In doing so, he’s calling for the resignation of the company’s security chief, Joe Sullivan.

Historically, this isn’t the worst case of privacy violation; however, it does pose as a significant reminder about the online security. Always be careful with the apps that you share your information with. When you cast a discerning eye towards an app’s request for information, you can avoid those apps that seek to do you harm.

Uber, on the other hand, is one of the many apps that seemed like it was a safe addition to your phone. While there’s nothing you can do to change the way hackers target companies or how these companies react to these breaches, you can focus on the steps you can take. Protect your personal information by scheduling our secure paper shredding and electronic data destruction services. As a local GTA company, we offer our services in Vaughan, Aurora/Newmarket, and London — just to name a few. Check out our homepage to find the full list of cities we service.

The “Certificate of Destruction” we present at the end of every job means any physical documents or devices storing your personal information is destroyed to such a degree that it can’t be retrieved. This, along with developing safe online habits, is one of the best ways to protect yourself from identity theft.

Give us a call when you’re ready to take the next step in your defence. In addition to on-site pick-ups, we offer consoles and containers to collect your documents, electronics, and recycling in between our visits. Each console and container is locked to prevent any tampering, so you’re safe at every step of the destruction chain. If this sounds like something you or your business could use, let us be your safeguard during a volatile time for cybersecurity.

Add comment January 25th, 2018

Break These Holiday Shopping Habits

If you’re like most people, this page isn’t the only tab open in your browser. As you begin your holiday shopping in earnest, you probably have at least eight tabs going at one time. Some are set to the homepage of your favourite online retailer, while the others are open to shopping guides and review pages about your potential gifts.

A recent survey conducted by Canada revealed 62 percent of Canadian hate the Christmas crowds while shopping for presents. That could explain why 82 percent of those surveyed said they’ll skip the malls by shopping online.

Whether you’re filling in last-minute purchases online or you’re shopping for your full list from the computer, stop what you’re doing. Before you add any more items to your digital shopping cart, our crew wants to make sure you’re properly prepared. We don’t just offer document shredding services in Toronto and the GTA. As an electronic data destruction service, we have an interest in online security.

Now that the countdown to the big day is on, the ticking of the clock can wind you up tighter than a toy soldier. It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re stressed, so our team wants to remind you to break these online habits when you head online.

Don’t visit unusual sites to get a deal

If you like a deal, then you’re probably already searching for the best price on the items on your list. You can find discounts and other great deals if you shop with care, but don’t let a low price deceive you. Sometimes a deal is too good to be true, just like the scam that promises a free iPhone X if you like a Facebook page.

It’s around this time that cyber criminals send emails promising unbelievable prices to get people to click fraudulent links and share personal information. Don’t get sucked in by it. Only follow links when you can verify the sender. Meanwhile, only visit retailer’s official sites and confirm they have SSL (or Secure Socket Layer) encryption before you type in your credit card number.

Retire any passwords that rely on your child’s birthday or pet’s name

Once you get shopping, you’ll notice how retailers will ask you to create a profile before you continue with your purchase. You don’t have to accept this invitation, but it may improve your shopping experience. As a member, you often receive emails notifying you of deals or sharing with you special coupons. If you decide to create an account with your favourite retailers, be careful with the password you use. Your child’s birthday is not a secure password, nor is any other detail of your life that’s easily guessed. Avoid names, phone numbers, and dates, and replace them with a password made up of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Stop letting your browser remember your info

When it seems like every website requires a profile, it can be tricky to remember login credentials for each account. Many of us rely on our computers to remember them for us by authorizing a browser or website to retain your details. While this may save you time typing things in, it can increase your risk of a breach. When credit card numbers, contact information, and passwords are saved on your computer or in your browser, this information can be accessed by anyone who uses your computer or who uses the same network as you.

That’s exactly the kind of data we would destroy when you secure our paper shredding in Richmond Hill, so why would you offer it up to strangers online? Keep your information safe by using a password manager instead. These programs encrypt passwords so only you can access their information. There’s just one caveat: you’ll have to remember your password for this app to get in.

In conclusion

Remember these tips when you start shopping this year, and you’ll strike a perfect balance between being a generous gift-giver and a secured shopper. But don’t let your commitment to security stop there. As your parcels begin to arrive, remember those invoices carry important contact and financial information.

If you live locally, we’re one of the best mobile shredding companies in Oakville, in Barrie, and in the GTA at large, and we can help you destroy these documents safely. Schedule an appointment and you can enjoy the big day without the threat of identity theft. Give us a call now or in the New Year. Until we hear from you, we want to wish you and your family a happy holiday and safe shopping!

Add comment December 28th, 2017

A Gift Idea That Shreds The Competition

The decorations are up, the gingerbread is cooling, and the stockings are hung with care. There’s no mistaking the signs: the holidays are on their way. But there’s still time before the big day is set to arrive. That means two things. One, we’re not too late to wish you and your family season’s greetings. Two, you still have time to cross off the last of your holiday chores.

As your dependable document destruction company in Toronto and the GTA, Absolute has a unique perspective on the season as we help businesses and homeowners shred. With every visit, our team sees how busy people can get around the holidays. You know you can rely on us for secure document and electronic data destruction this December to help free up your schedule, and we’re ready to take on any commercial or residential purges this month and beyond. Whatever you need done, we can coordinate it — even a last-minute gift of security.

Though unorthodox, a gift from Absolute is a surprisingly thoughtful gesture. For those on your list who have a goal in the New Year to become more organized, a one-time residential purge comes with the promise of a clutter-free home. As for the business owner in your life, our regular commercial pick-ups help them create a clean and secure office space.

Whether it’s a singular appointment in Barrie or recurring document shredding services in Richmond Hill, your gift of security comes with the backing of a NAID-certified company. Standing for National Association for Information Destruction, this certification proves that we meet each and every standard for safe document destruction.

Each of our team is fully vetted, bonded, and trained in information destruction standards, and they use state-of-the-art mobile shredding trucks to eliminate paper and digital documents in their entirety. In a world where identity theft and corporate security breaches are on the rise, this kind of security is priceless.

This commitment to our process means you can feel confident about the “Certificate of Destruction” our teams hand out after every job. It’s then paired with a “Guarantee of Recycling”, since our company is committed to eco-friendly practices.

Compare this to other popular gifts left in stockings and deposited under the tree. While many of us have exciting things like the new iPhone X or the Xbox One X on our lists, very few of us get what we want. In reality, these expensive devices are replaced by novelty kitchen appliances that, though interesting during the first use, quickly lose their appeal; practical white tube socks that anyone could buy for themselves; or off-the-mark clothing choices that are set for an immediate return.  These stereotypical gifts can’t match the security, sustainability, or organization shredding promises.

If you already know who could benefit from a gift like this, give us a call. Together we can coordinate an appointment that works for your loved one. Whether we send out our mobile shredders based in Oakville, in Burlington, or in another part of the GTA, there’s a local team ready to get started. So get in touch and give a secure, eco-friendly gift this year.

Add comment December 18th, 2017

3 Basic Tips To Start Your Holiday Shopping Right

With the holidays only about a month away, many of us start our annual pilgrimage to the malls right about now. November plays host to Black Friday, so it’s a good time to start, but when the thought of it leaves you shaking in your boots (and not because of the late November chill), Cyber Monday is a logical alternative. You can snag some of the greatest deals of the year from the comfort of your own home. There’s no need to pause that Stranger Things 2 episode playing in the background or even to change out of your pyjamas. It’s the easier, less crowded, and far more relaxing option.

While you’ll avoid the lines, crowds, and grumpy sales reps, Cyber Monday isn’t without its risks. As one of the most popular online shopping days around the world, criminals will be on the lookout for unsuspecting shoppers. The crew at Absolute Destruction & Recycling Corp. want to remind our readers that no deal is worth sacrificing your online security. That’s why we’ve developed a no-fail guide to your holiday shopping.

Use trusted devices and network

Variety may be the spice of the life, but when it comes to online security, familiarity is safer. You’ll want to apply this rule to every step of your holiday deal-hunting, from the device and Wi-Fi connection you use to locate sales to the retailer and items you buy.

Never use a public computer or unsecure Internet connection. Both habits, performed separately or together, open you up to significant risk, as an untold number of people have access to this device and connection. Each purchase requires you to share personal information like your address and credit card number. If shared on the wrong device or network, it’s easy for criminals to find this data. You may browse all you’d like at Starbucks or the library, but wait until you’re home to make the sale.

Be critical of ‘too-good-to-be-true’ deals

As we approach the big day, your inbox will fill up with messages and reminders about Cyber Monday’s greatest deals or a last-chance Christmas Eve sale. Most of these will be legitimate notifications from trusted retailers, but sometimes a fraudulent email will get past your junk filters. You’ll notice them right away, as they’ll promise unbelievable sales like the free iPhone X scam circulating the web right now. At least with this one, it should be obvious a handset otherwise priced over $1,000 wouldn’t be free!

When alarm bells go off, don’t click on any link, but don’t rely on your gut alone. Sometimes seemingly normal emails are scams, so keep an eye on the sender. If you’re ever suspicious, simply google the offer, item, or retailer. If it’s real, you should find other links about the sale than just the one in your email.

Monitor your accounts

Your job isn’t done once you make your purchase and wait for your parcel to arrive. You need to keep track of your finances to make sure none of your Cyber Monday or holiday shopping has compromised your security. You can do everything right in the lead up to the sale, and — due to circumstances out of your control — your personal information gets hacked in a breach targeting the retailer you shopped with.

Check your statements for any unusual purchases you can’t explain. Many of the homeowners who scheduled our document shredding services in Mississauga have secured this service because they found suspicious activity in the accounts. Destroying sensitive invoices and statements is an important step in protecting oneself against identity theft, before or after it happens.

Usually only the GTA’s businesses, government agencies, and multinational corporations need regular shredding services, but individuals can benefit from our one-time residential purges, too. Our uniformed, bonded, and photo I.D.’d customer service representatives can help anyone destroy confidential materials, like old credit card statements, invoices, or even obsolete gadgets used during holiday shoppings of yore.

Give us a call to see what frequency would best fit your needs this November. Until our reps hear from you, we wish you the safest Cyber Monday possible as you begin to shop for the holidays in earnest!

Add comment November 28th, 2017

Yahoo’s Security Breach Is No Halloween Trick

Grocery stores have their seasonal walls of chocolate and candy, your neighbour has his elaborately designed cemetery on his front lawn, and Netflix has their classic horror films on their main menu again. These are just a few of the many signs that Halloween is coming — sooner than you think!

As the GTA is gearing up for the spookiest time of the year, here at Absolute Destruction, we don’t need to wait until the ghosts and ghouls come trick or treating to get a fright. With the latest new reports about majority security breaches, we find real life scary enough!

Let us give you a bit of context. Our regular readers know that, in addition to paper shredding Toronto and the GTA can rely on us for the latest news on identity theft and cybersecurity. As such, we reported on the most recent security breach affecting Equifax customers. The attack impacted an astonishing 145.5 million people — 8,000 of whom are Canadian.

While these numbers are staggering on their own, they aren’t the worst when it comes to security breaches. Equifax’s cybersecurity failures have been overshadowed by the latest new reports from Yahoo.

To refresh your memory, Yahoo was the target of two massive cyberattacks dating back to 2013. The breaches landed a devastating blow to the web services company, as it had to undercut its final sales figure by $350 million when selling its main business to Verizon.

Despite it being several years later, Yahoo’s streak of bad luck is far from over. In what Yahoo is calling “recently obtained new intelligence”, the world has learnt the impact of this fraud is far greater than anyone expected. Initial news reports said over 1 billion of its customers were affected. Now, its ongoing investigation reveals all 3 billion of its accounts were compromised, cementing its title as the largest breach in history.

As with most of these security breaches, poor security is to blame. Account information was protected by out-dated encryption techniques that were simple to hack. While most of the information exposed in the hack didn’t include passwords or any financial information like credit card numbers, the breach did reveal backup email addresses and security questions that could make it easier for criminals to hack additional accounts.

Already facing 41 consumer class-action lawsuits in the US, Yahoo can expect more shareholders and account holders to file against them. Meanwhile Verizon — which has combined its newly owned Yahoo with its AOL subsidiary to create Oath, a new digital media and online advertising company — promises renewed commitment to transparency and online security. As you would expect, the latest news has had negative impact on Oath’s reception.

As with Equifax’s security breach, the attack on Yahoo serves as a reminder of how important effective security is in the fight against identity theft. If you’re ready to beef up your personal or business security efforts this fall, call us anytime. As the GTA’s trusted paper shredding and electronic data destruction experts, we can develop physical security techniques that keep important information safe, even after you don’t need it any more.

Add comment November 20th, 2017

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