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Identity theft is biggest fear when handling confidential data

Last month, UNTHA’s popular online poll asked participants to identify their biggest fear, when it comes to the unsecure destruction of confidential waste.

Whilst those of us in the office predicted the overriding concern would be a financial penalty for breaking the law, the results in fact uncovered more pressing worries.

‘Identity theft’ came out top, achieving 67% of the votes. And it was a tie for second place, with ‘reputational damage’ and ‘the leak of sensitive/secret personal/business information’ each scoring 17% of the remaining tally.

Commenting on the findings, UNTHA UK’s managing director Chris Oldfield said: “We know there are numerous risks associated with the ineffective handling and destruction of confidential waste. But, given the scale of the fines associated with breaches of the Data Protection Act, we naturally felt this would be everyone’s biggest worry.

“Yet we must remember that all of us have our own sets of sensitive data too – including bank details, internet passwords, and employment records, to name just a few. Data protection is therefore a top priority for individuals as well as businesses, which I think goes some way to explaining the nature of the results our latest poll has uncovered.

“We read a lot in the media about the devastating effects of fraudulent activity resulting from identity theft – and undoubtedly this is becoming more prevalent with ever-increasing usage of the internet, mobile devices and unsecured wifi connections.  It’s something we are all very mindful of.

“As businesses, we therefore need to do our utmost to reassure our employees as to the efforts we go to, to protect their secure information. This goes for all types of records too, not just paper-based documents. If you handle, store or archive personal or private information electronically on hard drives, CDs, databases or otherwise, they need to be treated with the same level of careful consideration, to ensure your employees’ data, and your business reputation, remains safe.”

If you need any assistance to ensure the legislatively compliant destruction of confidential waste within your business, please call our team of secure shredding experts to discuss your requirements, or simply to pick their brains.

If you have 10 seconds to spare, why not take part in our new poll for August, which asks: “Energy efficiency – a priority or a profitability penalty?” All votes are anonymous. The results will be published in early September. Thank you for your participation.

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