A clamp-down on companies leaving confidential data available to prying eyes is earning criminal records for the individuals responsible, fines for firms and, in extreme cases, the closure of businesses.
And one of the most common places where companies fall foul is in their bins – leaving old information in the general waste is strictly against data protection rules as it means you lose control over who has access as soon as it leaves your building.
High profile prosecutions in the banking and finance sectors have brought the issues to light, with confidential data left lying in general waste for others to find.
Neales Waste Management, the Blackburn-based company, is highlighting shredding as a secure way of disposing of information.
One of the most effective ways of destroying data is with one of its purpose-built shredding vehicles, which flit from business to business destroying vital data before employees' eyes.
The Data Protection Act 1998 covers computer records, CDs and disks, ID badges and SIM and credit cards, all of which can be destroyed by the vehicles.
Police estimate that failing to properly dispose of critical information – which can range from bank statements through to innocent emails bearing sender and recipient addresses – is costing the UK £20 billion each year.
“This type of fraud, along with identity theft, is on the increase,” said Neales Waste Management's Steve Jones.
“If someone has access to your details, they have the type of power over your business which they shouldn't. And if they have access to your customers' details, then the penalties are severe.”
“This is a pointless worry as a service like ours would typically cost less than paying someone to shred documents in the office – and we can guarantee our service.”
The advanced waste management technology incorporated within the vehicles vastly reduces the mass of paperwork into small and compact packages. It is then taken to be recycled and a Certification of Destruction is produced for the company.
Collections are available as a one-off operation or can be organised for weekly or daily collections. For more details of the law regarding confidential data, or to enquire about mobile shredding, contact Neales on 01254 506300 or visit www.neales-waste.co.uk