Are you keeping your data safe? With international Data Privacy Day taking place on January 28, 2019, now is the perfect time to assess your efforts and make sure you are doing everything you can to keep any confidential information safe, secure, and out of the hands of people who would misuse it.
Data Privacy Day has been held annually in the United States on January 28 since 2008 and is run by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to educate consumers on how they can own their online presence and show organizations how privacy is good for business.
One of the most important aspects of protecting your data is properly disposing of paper documents that contain confidential or sensitive personal or business information. Electronic data breaches and online identity theft is often in the news, but improper handling of paper documents is just as dangerous to the safety and security of your information.
According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report (PDF), 17% of data breaches are caused by errors including not shredding confidential information, and a recent study found that paper records were the most frequent cause of data breaches in hospitals.
If you do not dispose of unneeded paper documents by having them professionally shredded or destroyed by a reputable company using the latest shredding technology, the information in those documents can be lost or stolen, leaving your company open to fines and even criminal prosecution.
Personal information includes anything that can identify a person (name, Social Security Number, date of birth, etc.) as well as any sensitive data, such as financial or medical information.
As of September 2018, personal information of Colorado residents also includes student, military or passport identification card number; medical health insurance identification number; biometric data such as measurement or analysis of human body characteristics; and usernames or email addresses in combination with a password or security questions and answers that would enable unauthorized access to an online account.
It’s easy to forget how much sensitive information is contained in paper documents. This year, let Data Privacy Day serve as your reminder to have all paper documents professionally shredded.
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