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Posts filed under 'Document Shredding'

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

See You In 2018!

Get ready with the champagne and party hats, it’s that time of year again! It may feel like only yesterday we were ringing in 2017, but it’s already drawing to a close. Before you raise your cup to another rendition of Old Lang Syne and welcome 2018, the crew at Absolute Destruction wanted to reach out and wish a happy and healthy New Year to you and yours.

One of the greatest joys of the season is the opportunity to express our gratitude for the people we serve, so we wanted to take the time to thank every one of you for another great year of document destruction. It was just as much a pleasure meeting new faces as it was returning to longstanding clients of document shredding in Vaughn, Markham, Barrie, and across the GTA.

Wherever you are, our crew wants to remind you that Absolute will continue to offer on site shredding services as usual in the New Year. Whether it’s a one-time residential purge to help you reach your de-cluttering resolution or a regular pick-up for commercial shredding, we’re ready to safeguard your personal information in 2018 and beyond. All you have to do is pick up the phone and speak with one of our friendly representatives. Until then, here’s a toast to success and good fortune in the New Year!

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

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

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

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

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