Keeping your identity safe in the office

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Identity crime is becoming increasingly common with criminals gaining access to sensitive information both on and offline. By cloning your identity through stolen personal information and subsequently opening new bank accounts, taking out loans, tampering with documents, or purchasing items on your behalf, cyber criminals can rack up extensive bills and damage your personal and professional reputation.

According to Fraud Prevention Service, Cifas, 41% of all fraud is identity fraud, which is continuing to rise.

Not only can identity fraud have harsh consequences on your personal life, it can also affect your professional life if it occurs within the workplace. A survey conducted by PwC documented that 48% of respondents reported to having being a victim of fraud in the workplace. Directly costing organisations £1.75 billion, it can also cause loss of management time and further consequences down the line.

Occurring in online and offline environments, the different types of fraud are extensive and include IT fraud, petty fraud and manipulation of accounts, to name a few. Opportunity, pressure and rationalism are all triggers for fraudulent activity according to the Chartered Management Institute.

What guidelines apply when dealing with sensitive information?

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, companies are legally bound to ensure that any personal data, whether this is on its employees or customers, is correctly disposed of when no longer required. In cases of security, the seventh data protection principle states that: “Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.”

In a survey commissioned by HM Government, it was found that 39% of organisations, despite being a victim of an incident, have not changed their investment in cyber security.

What types of sensitive information should be destroyed?

Highly sensitive information and documentation should be shredded in the workplace to help prevent identity fraud and security breaches. Materials such as invoices, business cards, reports, receipts, marketing plans, employee records and many more should all be destroyed once they are no longer needed, otherwise organisations face a potential fine of up to £500,000, issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office. Micro shredding ensures that standard size A4 documents are shredded into 2,000 pieces making it impossible to retrieve any information – providing high security to all.

Improving your workplace

Prevention against identity crime is best once fully understood by those who are most vulnerable. There are a number of ways to help prevent the act of identity fraud with shredding being one of them. Auto Feed shredding is an effective method in preventing fraudulent activity. It’s there to protect your business and employees from identity fraud, avoiding fines and potential legal action. Not only do Auto Feed shredders save time with an automated feeding element, they also save money by allowing employees to focus on other jobs at the same time.

For more information, visit: http://www.rexeleurope.com/en/gb/home#.VhPXUenI47c

Sources:

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/principle-7-security/

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents

http://www.shredding.info/resources/what-should-you-shred.aspx

http://www.wbcoft.org.uk/Attachments/Articles/Employment/Workplace%20Fraud.pdf

http://www.pwc.co.uk/assets/pdf/2015-isbs-technical-report-blue-03.pdf

https://www.cifas.org.uk/identity_fraud

http://www.techworld.com/news/security/uk-identity-theft-affected-125000-people-last-year-says-cifas-3605383/

https://www.gov.uk/data-protection/the-data-protection-act