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Posts filed under 'Electronic Data Destruction'

Safely Destroy Your Personal Data With A Certified Company

Your phone has been slow and buggy lately, and your laptop has seen better days – but what to do with them? Throwing them away not only contributes e-waste to the environment, but it’s a dangerous choice that could lead to identity theft. Keeping your old electronics, storage drives, and any useless paper files is a waste of space and it’s also risky. Having these items hanging around could lead to accidentally tossing them away or their potential theft. You could sell or gift your old phone, but even if you think you’ve wiped a drive, personal data can still be retrieved by fraudsters. When it’s out of your hands, there’s no telling what happens to it afterward.

Your safest bet is to use a certified shredding service for documents, old storage, and technology. But not all document destruction companies are doing what they promise. Disreputable businesses can take the items you’ve purged during a clean and potentially resell them to other consumers or sell them off to a third party for their materials. Sometimes old electronics are sent to a country overseas with improper and hazardous waste disposal techniques that can leak arsenic, lead, and cadmium into the ecosystem. To ensure proper shredding, crushing, and recycling is taking place, hire Absolute Destruction & Recycling Corp., a professional NAID (National Association for Information Destruction) certified company. NAID is Canada’s top body overseeing companies that specialize in secure information and document destruction.

We provide exceptional on-site shredding and electronics destruction services with the highest levels of security and the most eco-friendly policies in the industry. We provide on-site mobile shredding trucks that conveniently come to you, offering peace-of-mind because you can physically and visually verify that we have completed your job on your premises. In addition to document shredding in Oakville and the surrounding GTA, we offer services to many places in Southern Ontario. Your business or home needs regular maintenance that includes shredding and data destruction to avoid putting you, your family, your staff, or your clients at risk.

NAID’s certification program is voluntary and involves regular audits of mobile and plant-based operations in paper and technology destruction. This includes old computers, phones, tablets, CDs, disks, storage drives, and more. NAID explains, “protocols are in place to ensure the security of confidential material throughout all stages of the destruction process such as handling, transporting, storing materials prior to destruction, and destroying and disposing of materials responsibly.” The certification process and check-ups help organization meet laws and regulations required by governments to protect confidential customer information. The audits are unannounced, meaning companies stay compliant because an official check could happen any day. Using these same high standards for your home ensures your personal information and those of your loved ones’ is safe and environmentally-conscious, too.

Absolute Destruction’s paper shredding services in Markham and the surrounding GTA include one-time and ongoing options. If you’re curious, we offer fast quotes using our online portal or by phone. If you have a large job that you need to prep for, let us know, and we’ll provide free, lockable consoles and containers in advance of your appointment. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about the process.

It’s wise to properly dispose of your unused technology and piles of out-dated paperwork lying around your home or office. Avoid shady shredders who are promising one thing and doing another. Be sure to do it the right way with the guarantees provided by a quality NAID-certified company.

Add comment May 2nd, 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

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

In The News: Bell Canada Hit By Another Security Breach

Last year, the Absolute Destruction & Recycling blog started a brand-new feature called In The News. While many of our posts focus on world-wide security breaches that affect millions of people, In The News is an opportunity to cast a tight net and explore issues affecting the GTA. Moving once again from the macro to micro, we present our very first instalment of In The News of 2018. But perhaps today, it should be called In The News Again, as Bell Canada is once again the target of a cyberattack. The hack — which happened sometime in January of this year — has exposed fewer than 100,000 customers.

Our regular readers will remember Bell was the focus of our June 2017 edition of In The News. Then, it was revealed 1.9 million customer emails were stolen. Canada’s largest telecom giant would not say if there was a connection between these two hacks.

On the surface, January’s breach seems less dire. But, in delving a little deeper, the most recent hack could pose more danger to customers. Though fewer customers were affected overall — a tiny fraction of Bell’s total 22 million customers — those whose information was stolen had more details exposed than those affected by 2017’s breach.

The information obtained in the hack includes:

  • Names
  • Email addresses
  • Account usernames and number
  • Phone numbers

Luckily, no credit card numbers or other banking information was compromised in the breach. But the nature of the breach does increase these customers’ chances of being targets of future phishing attacks.

Email addresses attached to contact information and usernames tip spammers off to the fact that these customers have accounts with Bell. They can exploit this relationship by posing as Bell, sending customers false emails filled with accurate information regarding their accounts. When done well, these emails can trick people into thinking they’re real bills. There’s a danger if these customers click any of the links and send payments to these scammers.

There’s a silver lining to Bell disclosing the extent of their breach with transparency. It gives any Bell customers the opportunity to change compromised profile information, including passwords and usernames. Customers will also have the chance to check their credit report to confirm this recent breach hasn’t affected their finances.

Bell now joins the ranks of other large companies like Uber and Yahoo that have been the target of hackers. With data theft on the rise, consumers are increasingly wary about sharing their personal information online. If you own a business that collects this kind of data, it’s important that you use all resources available to ensure your small business protects its customers’ information.

As you patch your online systems, don’t ignore the risk your physical data poses. Paper files and obsolete electronics that hold customer information or corporate property can be exploited if disposed of incorrectly. Make sure you speak with us, the document destruction experts, before you throw out any confidential material.

Though we’re the best shredding services Toronto has to offer, we offer our full range of services all around the GTA. If you need our services in Vaughan, one of our local crews will make sure your company is secure.

Our crews are available even if you don’t own a small business. Many of our clients are homeowners who scheduled our paper shredding services in Oakville. They secured our help only after they had noticed suspicious activity on their credit report.

Whether you were affected by the Bell hacks or not, get in touch to see how we can schedule our pick-ups to best suit your needs. Once we arrive at a time that works for you, we’ll protect your company, your home, and your good name from threats of identity theft.

Add comment February 15th, 2018

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