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A Green Way to Thank Your Customers

Shredding your confidential documents with saves your identity from getting into criminal hands, but did you know how much it saves in our natural resources?

At XpresShred, we shred and bale in excess of 100 tons of paper each month. All of our shredded paper is shipped directly to pulping mills which recycle the paper into tissue paper products such as facial tissue and paper towels. For each ton of paper that we recycle, 7000 gallons of water is saved. In addition, between 17 to 31 trees are also saved.

One way to share these savings is to offer a green event to your customers as a thank you for their business. Shred Events can be arranged through XpresShred during the week or weekends starting at a minimum of two hours for a dedicated shred truck and Security Technician. Shred Events are very popular and repeat events are often booked one year in advance.

 

What Are You Doing With Electronic Information & Equipment?

If you are reading this blog, then you most likely understand the importance of shredding your paper documents to protect your identity and privacy. The repercussions of your personal information or the information of others in your control, falling into the wrong hands is timely and costly.

Oddly enough, there is typically a “disconnect” in most people’s minds when it comes to destroying hard drives and other electronic equipment. We know this, because XpresShred is in the business of destroying information. And the amount of paper documents that we destroy, far outweighs the number of hard drives, tapes, disks, etc.

If you are diligent about destroying your documents, you should be even more diligent about destroying the information on your electronics. The typical hard drive can hold hundreds of thousands of files. Imagine the consequences of your information being accessed by criminals.

XpresShred has specialized equipment for the physical destruction of hard drives and other magnetic media. They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words, so we’ve attached a picture of what shredded hard drives look like after going through our equipment. We stage the shredded hard drives in large 2,000 lb. capacity containers and ship them to metal refiners. Like our shredded paper, it is 100% recycled.

Unfortunately, unlike the recycling of shredded paper and hard drives, the magnetic media is landfilled.

There are currently five different processes in the marketplace for the destruction of information on hard drive. Knowledge is the key to choosing a method of destruction that meets your goals and budget. The five basics are:

  1. You can purchase software to “wipe” your data. The software replaces your data with meaningless characters. Many variables affect the outcome of this process with the biggest obstacles being the varied effectiveness of the multitude of software as it relates to the variables in your hard drives.
  2. Your hard drives can be degaussed which means using magnetic fields or electromechanical pulses to erase the data stored on your hard drive disks. Similar to disk wiping, the applied magnetic fields need to be strong enough to overcome the variables in your hard drives. What may work for one, may not work for another.
  3. Punching through the hard drive chassis and platter with specialized equipment. The information is still retained on the platter, but the device has been rendered inoperable.
  4. You can hire a NAID Certified third party to shred your hard drives on specialized equipment. Hard drive shredders literally shred your hard drives into many smaller pieces. And on commercial projects, the volume of shred alone makes this a very secure solution.
  5. Lastly, your hard drives can be disintegrated on specialized equipment. This method is like shredding on steroids. The particle sizes are much smaller but is typically very costly and time consuming.

Another option that is routinely applied is to combine a combination of the different methods described above. Some government agencies require degaussing first and shredding or incineration second.

At XpresShred, we apply stringent operational policies and procedures in the safe and secure handling and destruction of hard drive and other magnetic media. Our NAID certified method of destruction is physical destruction through shredding on specialized equipment. Unless a customer “opts out”, XpresShred will record the serial numbers on shredded hard drives, physically destroy the hard drives and recycle 100% of the hard drive shred. We use img_1627a closed loop chain of custody which means that your material is always secured from the moment that we begin handling it, until it is melted at the refiner.

 

We Have The Best Certifications In The Industry

naid-aaa-certifiedXpressShred is proud to be an AAA NAID Certified provider for the destruction of documents, hard drives and magnetic media (tapes, dvds, cds, etc.)  What is AAA NAID Certification?  NAID (National Association for Information Destruction, Inc.) is the trade primary association for the information destruction industry.  To be NAID Certified, XpresShred must adhere to and comply with strict operational and ethical standards.  XpresShred offers offsite services as well as mobile shredding services, which are both AAA NAID Certified.

As part of NAID certification, NAID sends security consultants on an announced and unannounced basis to audit our procedures and records.  They follow our shred trucks and collection trucks on the road as well as our warehouse.  In the 2016 calendar year alone, XpresShred has already had two of these types of audits.  One audit was announced, so we knew ahead of time….the other was unannounced, so it was a random visit. This third party review is the equivalent of the “gold standard” for businesses or individuals looking for document destruction services, hard drive destruction services or media destruction services (such as tape destruction services) who’s processes have passed NAIDs specific and strict guidelines.  You know that if you are dealing with AAA NAID Certified shredding company that you have a committed and professionally run organization.

Some of the Certification requirements include:

Employees

  • Employees must have a 7 year background and employment history search
  • Employees must pass routine drug/alcohol screening upon hire and thereafter
  • Employees must sign Confidentiality Agreements
  • Employees must review and pass a NAID Access Training Program annually
  • Employees must read/review annualized and updated Operational Policies & Procedures
  • Employees must wear ID Badges and Uniforms

Warehouse

  • Our warehouse/office facility is secured and all entry points are under video surveillance for at least 90 days in arrears
  • All entry points are secured 24 hours a day
  • Our warehouse is alarmed during non business hours
  • Offsite shredding material from security containers must be shredded within 3 business days of receipt
  • Offsite shredding material from one time purges must be shredded within 15 business days of receipt
  • All visitors entering the warehouse must sign a log and be escorted

Recycling

  • Shredded paper must be responsibly disposed of in a manner that it can not enter the public realm and be reconstituted. In addition it can not be used for packing material or animal bedding. (XpresShred recycles 100% of our shredded documents)  Our shredded documents are transported directly to pulping mills which recycle the shred into tissue paper, toilette paper and paper towels.
  • Shredded Hard Drives must be disposed of by a ISO 14001:2004 Certified Recycler. Our recycler melts down the medals for reuse.

Compliance

  • XpresShred must have a written policy in place regarding notification to customers of a potential security breach.
  • Customers must be provided with a receipt or Certificate of Destruction indicating the type and quantity of materials as well as the method of destruction.
  • All materials for destruction are either attended at all times by XpresShred employees or are physically secured from unauthorized access while in our custody and before they are destroyed.
  • All materials for destruction are securely contained during transfer from Customer’s custody to our vehicles to prevent loss from the wind or other atmospheric conditions.
  • All vehicles used for transportation or destruction have lockable cabs and lockable, fully enclosed security containers.
  • Particle size on all shredding is monitored and logged on a monthly basis to ensure compatibility with NAID standards.
  • Hard Drive destruction must have specific written procedures verifying the process of destruction and the recordation of serial numbers.
  • Shredded materials are viewed and measured on a monthly basis to confirm particle size

Most importantly, don’t be fooled by shredding companies that say they are NAID members…as if to imply that they are AAA Certified.  Anyone can be a member, but not everyone can pass the strict standards to become AAA NAID Certified.  XpresShred proudly displays this symbol on our website and documentation.

Please go to www.xpresshred.com to learn about all of our services.

Archived X-Ray Destruction for Greater Denver

x-ray-picture

XpresShred has been buying archived X-Rays for the last 5 to 6 years. XpresShred utilizes the secure handling methods that we use for our core document destruction business. X-Rays are picked up at our customer’s locations throughout Colorado and our bordering states, in our secured vehicles. We sort the X-Rays according to their silver content at our secure shredding facility in Denver, CO.   From our secure facility, the x-rays are transported directly to our refiner, Commodity Resources & Environmental. CRE is the largest scrap metal refiner in the Western United States and is R2 and ISO 14001 certified. As a scrap metal dealer, CRE also buys and recycles our scrap hard drives.

As a leading shredding company in Denver, XpresShred is in the unique position of not just buying archived x-rays, but we can also shred charts and jackets in our secure facility. We typically do this at no charge for our archived x-ray clients.

XpresShred receives calls from medical practices throughout Colorado and our bordering states which include but are not limited to New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming. From speaking with our clients or prospects, we have often learned that there is a preponderance of dealers based in Florida and Texas….and they are typically “too good to be true.” Many customers and clients have been left without payment.

HITECH impact on X-ray recycling

x-ray-recyclingX-ray recycling has become more regulated with the final rule for HITECH which was published earlier this year.  The penalties for improper disposal of jacket and reports, as well as information bearing film have been established and enforcement detailed to the Office of Civil Rights and state attorney generals.  Negligent disposal has serious financial penalties which will start to be assessed this year.

It is more critical than ever that the diligence must be employed in the selection of a responsible and certified partner when recouping the value contained in archived x-rays.  Many operators are only interested in the film and will expect the provider to separate the film from the jackets, thus incurring additional labor or will take the jackets and reports and then dispose of them in a landfill.  This will expose the provider to breach notification requirements and penalties, even if a BAA (Business Associates Agreement) is in place with the recycling entity.  The risk to entities that possess confidential information that is contained in x-ray jackets and reports has increased and steps need to be taken to ensure that they are working with a responsible, certified business partner in the recycling of X-rays or performing shredding of any confidential information.  A Certificate of Destruction should be obtained and kept on file to demonstrate that the policies and procedures for the protection of PHI (protected health information) are being observed and followed.

For Everyday Folks, there are Three Ways to Shred

389316212shredding-300x160As a highly reputable resource for document shredding in Colorado, XpresShred has become very popular among small to mid-sized businesses. Medical offices, legal offices and retailers love the convenience and security that locally owned XpresShred provides with document shredding in Denver metro area.

However, document destruction isn’t just for businesses; it’s for everyone. Homeowners, renters, workers, parents, adult children…everyone needs to shred documents at various times in order to maintain information security and privacy. The problem is that these people may not have the ability to desire or ability to invest in routine paper shredding services. Fortunately, this is a problem with a very easy solution.

In fact, there are three shredding options that everyday folks can choose from. The first is to take advantage of a one-time shredding appointment. XpresShred can provide mobile shredding in Denver and throughout the Front Range, by going to a customer’s home and shredding right outside the door. Customers can watch the entire process, to be sure that their information is being protected until it has been completely destroyed.  Alternately, we can dispatch one of our secure trucks to pick up the materials for transport to our plant for shredding.  With each approach, a Certificate of Destruction is issued after the paper is destroyed.  XpresShred is AAA Certified and audited for compliance by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID).  You can rest assured that your documents and sensitive materials are protected and destroyed according to industry standards.

Another option is to drop papers off at our offices.  You can visit our plant in Englewood for quick, affordable drop off document shredding. You are welcome to witness the destruction, if you would like.

For a one-time shredding appointment outside your home, call XpresShred at 303.592.6000, and for easy drop off shredding drop by our plant between 8:00 and 4:30 from Monday through Friday.  You don’t need an appointment or advance notice.  We are ready to assist you when you are ready to come by.

Destruction Issues with Solid State Hard Drives

Flash-based memory has been an industry standard for years, but solid state drives (SSDs) are just now becoming affordable enough to be included in original equipment manufacturer (OEM) devices. Solid state hard drives replace the traditional hard disk drive for storing system data as well as user documents, settings, records and credentials. SSDs are particularly favored in mobile computing, due to their resilience, portability and low voltage. The Macbook Air, the Acer Chromebook and the Samsung Chromebook all rely on flash storage, for example.

But in spite of the benefits for the end user, solid state drives pose new challenges for data security. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego concluded that securely erasing data on SSDs is more difficult than on HDDs for a number of reasons. Important takeaways from the study include:

Solid State Drives Cannot Be Degaussed

For years, degaussing was an important and highly effective step in decommissioning hard disk drives and other digital media. Data on tapes, hard disk drives and floppy disks is stored magnetically. By exposing these types of media to high powered magnets, the data was erased or rendered completely irrecoverable. Because of the way solid state drives store data, degaussing has little to no effect on them. This includes mass solid state drives as well as USB thumbdrives, SD cards and USB pendrives.

Secure Deletion Methods on SSDs Don’t Always Work

Software-driven secure file deletion methods usually involve formatting a drive and then overwriting the sectors where the data was stored. This process is sometimes called sanitization. You can buy commercial software that automates this process for you. The problem is, however, that the majority of such software is designed for hard disk drive interfaces. Because the method by which solid state drives physically write data to sectors is fundamentally different than the read/write process for hard disk drives, the secure deletion commands often do not get carried out properly for SSDs. To remedy this issue, some SSD manufacturers have implemented built-in secure erasure mechanisms for SSDs, but even these features are less than 100% reliable.

Physical Destruction is Still the Most Secure Practice

As with hard disk drives, solid state drives that contain or formerly contained sensitive information should be shredded. The lesson that we’ve learned from other types of digital media is that no file can truly be eradicated electronically. With today’s technology, this is even more true for solid state drives.

What is card Skimming?

What is card skimming?

‘Card skimming’ is the illegal copying of information from the magnetic strip of a credit or ATM card. It is a more direct version of a phishing scam.

The scammers try to steal your details so they can access your accounts. Once scammers have skimmed your card, they can create a fake or ‘cloned’ card with your details on it. The scammer is then able to run up charges on your account.

Card skimming is also a way for scammers to steal your identity (your personal details) and use it to commit identity fraud. By stealing your personal details and account numbers the scammer may be able to borrow money or take out loans in your name.

Warning signs

  • A shop assistant takes your card out of your sight in order to process your transaction.

    Handheld Skimmer

  • You are asked to swipe your card through more than one machine.
  • You see a shop assistant swipe the card through a different machine to the one you used.
  • You notice something suspicious about the card slot on an ATM (e.g. an attached device).
  • You notice unusual or unauthorized transactions on your account or credit card statement.

Protect yourself from card skimming

  • Keep your credit card and ATM cards safe. Do not share your personal identity number (PIN) with anyone. Do not keep any written copy of your PIN with the card.
  • Check your bank account and credit card statements when you get them. If you see a transaction you cannot explain, report it to your credit union or bank.
  • Choose passwords that would be difficult for anyone else to guess.

As well as following these specific tips, find out how to protect yourself from all sorts of other scams.

Do your homework

If you are using an ATM, take the time to check that there is nothing suspicious about the machine.

Ask yourself if you trust the person or trader who you are handing your card over to. If a shop assistant looks like they are going to take your card out of your sight, ask if it is really necessary.

Decide

If an ATM looks suspicious, do not use it and alert the ATM owner.

If you are in a shop and the assistant wants to swipe your card out of your sight, or in a second machine, you should ask for your card back right away and either pay with a check or cash, or not make the purchase.

Report them

If you think you have seen a card skimming scam, you should contact the bank, credit union or credit card provider that has been targeted.

If you think your card has been skimmed, contact your bank or credit union immediately to report it.

Reducing identity theft risk through document shredding

Mailings for unsolicited offers of pre-approved credit cards present a significant risk to identity theft if they fall into the wrong hands. Applications are completed under the name of the person identified and the address is changed so that the bills are sent to a different address. The victim, in this case, may not find out about the identity breach until the collection agencies start to contact them. Another significant risk area is Dumpster diving. Thieves simply search trash for important information and use the data to steal the identity of the target.

Shredding mail and documents that contain sensitive information is a recommended way to reduce the chance that your identity may be stolen. All documents that contain personal information such as social security numbers, address, billing statements or tax information should be properly disposed of. Shredding documents not only reduces that chance of identity theft, it also is environmentally sound, since all of the shredding materials are recycled.

Identity theft can be an exhausting problem to rectify, identity theft prevention is best. Police reports, notification to credit bureaus and repairing the damage done can take a significant amount of time to fix. In the meantime, bill collectors and denial of credit are very frustrating and difficult matters to handle. Therefore, it is important to take the proper precautions with identity information, such a shredding properly, which will reduce your exposure to being a victim of identity theft.

Paper Recycling Risks

Everyone has turned on the local news to see some local company that improperly discarded client’s files in the dumpster.  Most of the time it is an employee who did not receive the proper training.  Another poor business practice is recycling without destroying.  We see it on a daily basis.  Loading docks all over the city with unlocked recycling bins waiting for pick-up.  These recycling bins are filled with company proprietary information along with their client’s personal and confidential information.  Any individual walking the street has complete and legal permission to rifle through these containers and take whatever they find.  That is not the only risk.  You need to think about what the recyclers do with the contents of those bins.

Recyclers tell their clients that when paper is recycled it is destroyed during the process.  This is true.  What recyclers do not tell their clients is the route the paper takes to be recycled.  Recyclers will send their transfer trucks around the city to collect paper deposited in their containers.  The transfer trucks return to their facility where they unload the paper into the balers.  Information is baled fully intact and staged for shipment.

China and Mexico are the largest purchasers of raw material to be recycled.  Those bales with company and personal information land on the docks of foreign countries perfectly intact.  You are probably saying “there has to be laws against such things!”  We have many laws on how sensitive information is to be maintained and destroyed.  From HIPAA, Gramm-Leech-Bliley, FACTA, Sarbanes-Oxley and HITECH, regulators have worked hard to protect the consumer.  The fact is that many companies believe they are destroying because they have not been given the correct information in regards to recycling.  There are plenty of good companies for Denver shredding services.  Please visit http://www.naidonline.org/ to find a directory of companies.  Shredding is very cost effective and not only protects your company, but it protects your clients who have put their trust in you.

Would you like to consider electronic recycling in conjunction with your paper shredding event?

YES!