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Posts filed under 'Document Shredding Regulations'

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 Move onto the items you might be more hesitant about: old files, clothing, mismatching décor, outdated technology, unfortunate gifts, etc.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

How To Get Over Your Post-Holiday Blues

After months of preparation, the holidays are over in the blink of the eye. It’s a little anti-climatic for those of you who revel in the season — those who takes great pleasure in decorating their houses, watching their favourite films, and finding every excuse to nibble on some gingerbread. Once it’s all over, you can feel a little underwhelmed and overexposed in the cold, harsh light of January.

The crew of Absolute Destruction paper shredders understands how visceral the post-holidays blues can be for most people, so that’s why we’ve put together a short guide to beating the winter doldrums. Despite it being the coldest months of the year, the winter is a time when Toronto heats up. There are a lot of things to see and do in the upcoming weeks, and we’re willing to bet any of the following events will get your mind off the blues.

Winter Village: December 2017 to March 2018

You may have already heard about the Evergreen Brick Works’ Winter Village during the holidays, as it’s been up for the holidays since December. But it runs until March of 2018, at which time it leaves behind any signs of Christmas to embrace the sights and flavours of winter. The Winter Village offers a perfect weekend outing for friends and family with outdoor activities around the Don Valley and an opportunity to taste-test your way through the GTA’s finest street-eats. There’s also a farmer’s market that operates every Saturday.

Toronto Light Fest: January 19 to March 11, 2018

The Toronto Light Fest is back at the Distillery District for another year, and it’s bringing an illuminating art installation to light up the historic cobblestone streets from January 19 to March 11. Head down to the Distillery District to see how 17 artists from Canada and around the world design inventive light displays that cast the neighbourhood in an entirely different light. Best of all, it’s free, so you can get a little bit of culture without paying a dime.

Winterlicious: January 26 to February 8, 2018

The area’s biggest foodies will already be aware of Winterlicious, a time when restaurants all over Toronto design creative menus at prix fixe values for two weeks in January. Over 220 restaurants join in on the fun, and there’s no limit to the cuisine, making it easy to tour your way through the diverse flavours of the city. There’s something delicious waiting for you at Winterlicious, but you’ll have to act fast if you expect to sample any dish. The food festival is incredibly popular, so reservations can be difficult to nab. If you want to experience these handcrafted menus, don’t wait — call your favourite restaurant now.

It’s alright to mourn your long-gone holidays, but don’t let your grief ruin the rest of the season for you. There’s a lot to see and do around town, and the three examples above are only a very small sample of what’s going on in Toronto this winter. Check out your local listings for events, and look up extensive winter guides for more ideas. From singles to families, there’s something for everyone.

Soon enough your calendar will be full of things to do, so you won’t have time to think about anything else. Just remember to leave enough time to schedule one of our shredding services or our professional recycling program this winter, so you can keep safe as you explore what the city has to offer this winter.

If you aren’t sure which one would best suit your needs, check in with our FAQS about document destruction. It’s a quick and simple resource for the services we offer. Get in touch once you have a better understanding about your options, and we’ll make sure your privacy stays protected in 2018. In the meantime, get out there and explore the big city!

Add comment January 16th, 2018

Mail Fraud Is On The Rise Before The Holidays

Ask any child at this time of year, and they can tell you the number of days left until the holidays arrive. Whether it’s because of the family get-togethers, presents they get to open, or just the time off school, most children in the GTA are already excited for the upcoming month’s festivities.

Feasts and gifts aren’t the only things we look forward to in December. With each day we come closer to the holidays, we can expect more cards, letters, and parcels in the mail. Before you know it, you may be overrun by delivery notices, bills, and postcards. When you’re already busy with the season, the contents of your mailbox may not get your full attention, but as Absolute Destruction & Recycling Corp.’s blog has mentioned before, you need to turn a keen eye on your mail.

According to the latest data collected by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre(CAFC), the number of mail fraud complaints lodged in 2016 was seven times higher than the year before. These scams result in a criminal assuming your identity and rerouting your personal mail to a new address.

If you see a mail-forwarding notification nestled between your bills and holiday cards, and you didn’t personally enlist this service, then your identity has been compromised. This means a criminal has used your contact information to change your address, and they’re using this address as home base for any application for new identification, credit cards, or loan.

At this point, you’ll want to contact Canada Post to alert them of what’s happened. You’ll also want to check your credit report and past financial statements to see if there’s any suspicious activity in your accounts. If there is, you’ll have to alert your financial institutions, the police, the CAFC, and your local document destruction company.

For a more detailed run-through of the steps, check in with our post, “Identity Theft Resources: A Guide for When the Unthinkable Happens” from October 2016.

Identity theft is a devastating blow to your security at any time of the year, but it’s especially stressful during the holidays. Rather than experiencing what it means to celebrate as you handle fraud, early prevention can help you avoid such a fate this season.

Shredding old financial statements and tax records you no longer need is one strategy. Protecting your online data by sharing your info only with trusted venders is another. You should also make sure you keep track of your finances as you ramp up your holiday shopping. A regular and detailed check of your accounts, loans, and credit cards can help you identify any unusual activity and alert the authorities before the theft spirals out of control.

If you’re ready to get a jump on your shredding, contact us anytime in the lead up to the holidays. One of our crews will be happy to destroy and recycle any mail before it leads to identity theft. In the meantime, keep an eye on your mailbox to make sure it’s free of any forwarding notices as you welcome the many cards and parcels of the holidays!

Add comment November 28th, 2017

The Security Behind Apple’s New Face ID

Launched to limited release on November 3, the iPhone X is an exclusive handset in every sense of the word. As the handset commemorating the 10th anniversary of the very first iPhone, it represents the pinnacle of Apple design after a decade of evolution. Its production delays mean very few people will get their hands on the X initially, and its price tag (a whopping $1,319 here in Canada) further restricts how many people will make the upgrade.

Although the crew at Absolute Destruction & Recycling Corp. is surprised by the price of the new iPhone as much as anyone, there’s another special feature of the X that tweaks our interest, considering our line of work. The iPhone X comes with a brand-new unlocking mechanism: Face ID.

How it works in the simplest terms:

How is a good question! The handset’s camera is more than just a tool to snap the perfect selfie. Equipped with the company’s TrueDepth sensor, it combines several functions. In addition to a straight-up camera, it has ambient light and proximity sensors, an infrared camera, flood illuminator, and dot projector.

This means several things. For one thing, the dot projector sends out 30,000 infrared dots to record the contours of your face on its first scan. On every subsequent scan, it will compare any face to this original map. As a result, it won’t be fooled by look-a-likes (unless you have an identical twin) or a flat photograph of your face. It needs all 3 dimensions to unlock the phone.

The ambient light sensor, infrared camera, and flood illuminator makes the TrueDepth capable of scanning faces in the dark. It’s also been specially designed to avoid facial recognition bias, so it can scan a variety of skin tones successfully.

How secure is it?

Despites its innovative tech, the iPhone X has drawn a lot of concern over its security. Last month Senator Al Franken asked Apple ten multi-faceted questions about the security around Face ID. In response, the Cupertino-based company published two documents, the Face ID security white paper and the Knowledge Base article.

While we suggest anyone using Absolute’s shredding services in Barrie and the rest of the GTA to read these documents in full, we’ll summarize the points here. In essence, Apple stores any biometric data and mathematical algorithm based off of your face in something called a Secure Enclave. This a protected part of each individual device that has no communication with the cloud, meaning no data ever leaves the phone. Any data stored on the Secure Enclave is encrypted.

With this protection and the subtlety of the TrueDepth scanners makes the iPhone one of the most secure phones in the world. Apple claims the chances of someone being able to hack your Face ID is roughly one in one million, compared to one in 50,000 for Touch ID.

 Are you ready to upgrade?

If you’re at the end of your term and looking for a new phone, the iPhone X is an enticing handset — and not just because of its security features. Just remember, when you’re ready to upgrade, don’t throw out your old phone. Like any obsolete electronics, we can destroy it to eliminate any chances of someone finding your data. We’ll also recycle it properly to make sure your old tech doesn’t pollute the world as e-waste.

Our commitment to recycling is just one of the many services we provide to our customers in the GTA. To learn more about what we do, check out these FAQs. Then give us a call on your brand-new X or a scuffed-up Galaxy S5 — anything works! We can set up a convenient shredding time that works with your busy schedule.

 

 

Add comment November 20th, 2017

Cyber Security Tips For Cyber Monday

Welcome back after the Thanksgiving weekend! If you’re anything like the crew at Absolute Destruction, then you’re returning to business as usual with a full belly and a full fridge. It can be a challenge getting back into the regular rhythm of the work week after a holiday, so we want to thank you for taking time out of your day to visit our page. If you’re looking for a document shredding company in Toronto, you’ve certainly come to the right place.

Now that we’re back at the grind, we may have had our fill of turkey and cranberry sauce here in the True North, but our neighbors to the south are still looking forward to their Thanksgiving dinners. Timing isn’t the only thing that differentiates our two holidays. American Thanksgiving is quickly followed by two of the biggest shopping days of the year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

They’re as red, white, and blue as NFL football following the Thanksgiving Day feast in November, but after years of being the quintessential American shopping event, things are changing. According to the latest data, roughly 50 percent of Canadians took advantage of these American deals last year.

Though a low loonie means they aren’t hopping the border to shop in-person, many still plan to hit up the Cyber Monday deals online. Before you fill your digital shopping cart, the team at Absolute Destruction wants to remind you of proper online shopping etiquette, so you don’t get burnt this year as you search for amazing deals.

Create a Secure Homebase

Don’t let a pumpkin spice latte and free Wi-Fi fool you, Starbucks is not an ideal place to check out Cyber Monday deals. Neither is the GTA’s library system or their community computers. When you use a public computer and unsecured Wi-Fi, you’re opening yourself to risk. Anyone with a bit of computer knowhow can eavesdrop on your online shopping by tapping into unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Not only will they see your accounts’ log-in information, but they’ll also able to see any financial and contact info you type in to make a purchase.

Take that latte to go, and do your shopping at home on a trusted computer using a secure network. Beef up security by equipping your laptop with a reliable anti-virus software, and you’ll be better protected from malware as you shop.

Be Password Savvy

Most retailers make you create a profile before you can go through with your purchase. Many of us don’t think twice about these log-in credentials, but you should consider them as important as any heavily-guarded account.

If you can choose your username, choose a distinct one for each retailer, and pair them with unique passwords every time. Don’t get lazy. Try using a mixture of upper- and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers that isn’t immediately recognizable. That means your child’s name and birthdate, followed by an exclamation mark, isn’t good enough. If you aren’t sure how you can develop several individual passwords (without forgetting them!), check out a password manager for help.

Use Trusted Apps Over Web Browsers

Convention says we shop from our desktops and laptops, but things are rapidly changing. In 2016, nearly a third of Cyber Monday shoppers (or 28%) carried out their purchases on mobile devices. If you’re one of the mobile-savvy shoppers, don’t complete your purchase through your web browser. Many retailers have their own mobile apps that give them more control over the security features embedded at every step of the transaction. Go ahead and search for items on the browser, but download the official app before you present your credit card number.

Be a Critical Shopper

Though nothing compared to the extraordinary Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals enjoyed by our neighbors in the south, our sales still offer considerable savings, but don’t get caught up in the season. There’s a limit to what retailers are willing to offer through these deals, and if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Cybercriminals will take advantage of our penny-pinching ways, so be wary of any emails, pop-ups, or texts that promise unrealistic savings. They often have links that lead you to scam sites or viruses, so don’t click anything from a sender you don’t trust. Even then, be critical of the content of any email sent, regardless of the sender. If you’re ever suspicious, start googling the deal or the retailer to see if it’s legit.

Review Your Credit & Bank Statements

Keep an eye on credit card statements to ensure there isn’t any suspicious activity on your accounts. You can easily check in on these accounts online, but many people around the GTA still receive their statements through the mail.

If you have paper copies of these statements, use our document destruction services in Mississauga to make sure they’re disposed of correctly. With your contact and financial details recorded on their pages, these invoices are the bread and butter of identity thieves. Keep this critical personal information out of their hands by contacting our local services in Mississauga or any other municipality in the GTA.

We’re also available for electronic data destruction in case you have old devices you once used to store private financial information. Wiping these gadgets before throwing them out or selling them isn’t enough. Hard drives have a permanent memory system that computer scientists can access despite your best efforts to delete files. Only through complete and utter destruction can you ensure data can’t be retrieved.

Give us a call if you want to learn more about our physical or electronic data destruction services. We’re happy to answer your questions this fall, before or after you shop till you drop. Until we hear from you, we hope you take our cyber security advice as you take advantage of Cyber Monday deals.

Add comment October 17th, 2017

Where Will The Civic Holiday Take You?

The Civic Holiday — a lackluster name given to the August long weekend — exceeds the boring reputation that its name implies. Synonymous with British Columbia Day in BC, Heritage Day in Alberta, and Regatta Day in Newfoundland, the Civic Holiday marks the start of the dog days of summer in Ontario, and people all over the country aim to get the most out of the season over this weekend.

Here in the Toronto and the GTA, tradition holds we leave behind the smoggy air and the pot-holed streets of the city for beautiful blue skies and dirt roads of cottage country. Those in need of our document shredding help in Toronto and the surrounding municipalities often postpone or reschedule our services around the holiday. They have plans to lounge dock-side with a cold beer in hand. And we don’t blame them!

Soon enough city-dwellers will stock their cars with meat primed for the grill, craft brews chilled on ice, and pool noodles awaiting the lake. That’s the easy part. The biggest challenge the Civic Holiday poses is where to go. As one of the biggest weekends for cottage country, it can be difficult to enjoy the holiday as you envision it. If your family doesn’t own a vacation rental, you’ll fight with all of the other cottage-less Canadians over the remaining rentals available.

Hopefully, you already secured your place. If not, let Absolute Destruction help you with your holiday hunt for a cottage. Check out our quick guide to cottage country. All options are within driving distance from Toronto.

Muskoka

Chippewa for “not easily turned back in the day of battle”, Muskoka has evolved far from its violent roots. Now known as one of the most famous cottage country locales, the area between Port Carling and Gravenhurst is synonymous with summers spent relaxing at the cottage. We’ve even renamed the Adirondack chair for its ubiquitous presence on Muskoka docks.

It’s made up of 6 municipalities, including Bracebridge, Huntsville, Lake of Bays, Georgian Bay, Gravenhurst, and Muskoka Lakes. There, you can find over 1,600 lakes, and locals aren’t the only ones to find some peace and quiet on their shores. Hollywood stars like Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Goldie Hawn spend their summers here, too.

Lake Simcoe

It’s only fitting to drive to Lake Simcoe on the Civic Holiday. After all, it also goes by Simcoe Day in Toronto. In the 17th century it was known in Wyandot as “beautiful water”. As the fourth largest lake found entirely within the province, we think it earned that particular name. A popular summer spot, most cottages can be found around the lake itself.

No stranger to our team, Lake Simcoe is a just short drive from the GTA. We offer document shredding in Barrie, which is one of five municipalities that make up the area, including Innisfil, Keswick, Orillia, and Georgina. Though it’s much less famous than Muskoka, it’s still a great place to spend the long weekend.

Kawartha Lakes

It isn’t just known for its ice cream. The Kawartha Lakes are also a destination for cottage goers throughout the year. Just over 100 kilometres northeast of the big city, it marks one of the closest options for those customers who use our document destruction in Markham.

Make sure you play The Tragically Hip’s Bobcaygeon on full blast on your way up. Not only is it a Canadian cottage anthem, Bobcaygeon is just one of the many towns that make up the Kawarthas, including Bolsover, Fenelon Falls, Woodville, Omemee, and Lindsay. Though barely a stone’s throw from the GTA, it promises a tranquil setting for your long weekend.

Whether you choose Muskoka or someplace different, it’s important to start hunting for that rental soon. Cottages go quickly any time during the summer but the Civic Holiday is an especially busy time of year. Blink and they’ll be gone so hop onto AirBnB and other vacation rental websites to find your cottage in time. And don’t forget to call us in case you need to reschedule our services while you’re away.

Happy cottaging!

Add comment July 17th, 2017

6 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

At the beginning of the month, Donald Trump withdrew the United States from The Paris Agreement, making America one of only three countries in the entire world to turn its back on the environmental action plan. It’s a decision that even Kim Jong Un, the notorious leader of North Korea, calls, “the height of egotism”.

But here at Absolute Destruction, we think there may be a silver lining to Trump’s hubris. A number of the state’s largest city mayors have published their cities’ commitment to the goals of the agreement, and Hawaii has become the first state to defy Trump’s rejection of the accord. The president’s choice has also motivated businesses and private individuals to step up where the American government has failed, resulting in innovative answers to the issue of climate change.

It’s another story here in Canada, as Parliament is fully committed to the Paris Accord. But that doesn’t mean we’re wholly unaffected by our neighbours to the south. While American politics affects Canadian policy, we should choose to let those environmentally friendly American mayors, businesses, and individuals inspire us.

Be the change that you want to be. Use this guide to cut your carbon footprint in 6 easy ways.

  1. Get Moving!

If you think nothing of hopping in the car whenever you need to get somewhere, even if it’s just around the corner, it’s time to start! Our cars are responsible for a 26% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. When you choose to walk or bike, you can help cut down on the amount of pollution you personally contribute. As an added bonus, this extra activity is a heart healthy choice.

  1. Use Our Recycling Services

Here at Absolute Destruction, we are committed to the welfare of our natural environment. That’s why we offer recycling services alongside our secure document destruction. Our recycling services include professional pickup of paper, cans, cardboard, and glass bottles. To learn more about how our eco-friendly practices has helped the GTA, check out our Environmental Savings page.

  1. Make it a Meatless Monday

Emerging studies have shown agricultural farming, much of which supports cattle farms used to raise meat, is one of the worst contributors of global greenhouse gas emissions. The UN and WHO suggest we try to limit the amount of red meat we eat in order to help reduce its effects, so try introducing vegetarian meals into your weekly diet.

  1. Support Local

You’ve heard this before. In fact, we’re huge proponents of this shopping method, as we’re one of the local shredding services in the GTA! When you buy groceries, household wares, and clothes produced locally, you’re cutting out the greenhouse gas emissions created in hauling these items on our country’s highways. As a result, your shopping trip won’t have such a high environmental price tag. Luckily, we’re approaching farmer’s market season, so this should be easy to do!

  1. Use Your Water Wisely

Summer is approaching, which means those readers who have green thumbs have already started plotting their gardens. Be wary of how much water you use to water your plants and consider investing in an irrigation system so that they only ever get as much water as they need. Though it’s tempting to water your babies, don’t pull out the hose if your city has called a water ban.

  1. Insulate Your Home

Draughts and air leaks can force your air conditioner and furnace to work harder than they have to in order to maintain the temps in your home. Seal these openings using weather stripping, caulking, or insulation to make sure the air stays where it should be, so you don’t have to use as much energy for your home.

If you want to shave down the size of your carbon footprint, this guide is a good way to start. Give us a call if you have any tips to share or if you’re ready tick of #2 from this list. We’ll send

Add comment June 30th, 2017

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