With the increase of recycling in the UK, do you stop and think, when you throw that bit of paper into the recycling bin, what happens to it? With the recent pandemic there has been an increase of decluttering in homes – getting rid of the piles and files of paperwork throughout the house. The old electricity bill is out of date because you’ve changed supplier, you’ve checked your credit card statement so have no need to be reminded how much you owe!

But have you thought about identity fraud? How someone may pick up that sheet of paper from your recycling box in the front garden or even at the recycling centre.

Identity fraud (or ID theft) is when criminals use stolen identity information to obtain not only goods and services but to open bank accounts, acquire credit cards, new mobile accounts and loans – all in your name and all on your credit history. This can happen just by simply leaving an old bill in your recycling box.

Keep yourself safe and stress free by ensuring all important data that is no longer required is shredded and disposed off safely. Find out more about Total Shred’s residential shredding services by visiting our website. We also offer a hard drive destruction service if you are worried about data that is on your old PC/Mac drives.

If you think your identity has been stolen, you should contact the relevant bank and/or credit card companies as soon as possible to inform them of the situation.

Cifas offers a protective registration service which costs £25 for two years. This will place a flag alongside your name and personal details in its secure National Fraud Database.  The companies and organisations who are members of the database will see you have registered and are potentially at risk. They will then take extra steps to protect you, preventing fraudsters from using your details to apply for products and services.


What do you know about GDPR and your rights?

On 25th May 2018, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) became the toughest privacy and security law in the world. It was drafted and passed by the EU and enforces obligations to any organisation that collects data relating to EU citizens. The GDPR can, and has already, levied harsh fines against those companies and individuals who violate their standards.

The law is understandably very complex but in a nutshell all data processors must ensure you, as the data subject, has given consent to use your personal information including but not limited to name, address, telephone numbers, date of birth etc.  This consent must be presented in a clear and concise way so that you know you have given consent for them to contact you via telephone, mail or email. They must show you how you can withdraw this consent at any time you choose. Click to subscribe or send further information boxes must no longer be pre-populated and that it clearly shows that you are subscribing or giving consent.

This consent may be given on a website, when you fill in a paper form or when you are consenting over the phone when a message must be played so you know your rights and what you are agreeing to.

If you feel that your data is being misused, you are able to register your complaint with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office), who is the UK’s independent authority responsible for the UK legislation.

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