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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

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

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

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

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

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