According to the BBB, most identity thieves still obtain personal information through traditional means, rather than electronic means. Where the method of theft is known, almost 70% of information was obtained by dumpster diving and physically stealing the data, versus 11% obtained online. This includes dumpster diving, theft of mail, wallets, checkbooks etc.
One of the best self-defense measures businesses can implement is to shred information before discarding it. Even the smallest business can afford an to outsourse their shredding to a professional shredding company. Staff members should be instructed to place all confidential information into a locked bin or other location until it can be picked up and shredded by a professional.
Securing the services of a professional document shredding company can be done for a few dollars per day. The shredding company usually provides a locked bin or container to be placed in your office. The container or bin has a slot to insert your confidential but outdated material, but it cannot be opened until the shredding company arrives to shred the material. You might want to protect the material from disgruntled employees, contractors, vendors and others, by placing it in the container until the shredding company can shred the data.
Shredding will be required with the disposal of certain consumer report information and records. The Federal Trade Commission finalized a provision of The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 that will impact businesses of all sizes.