Data security – ensure a Christmas clean-up

A shocking 67% of UK businesses leave confidential data out on display when they go on holiday over Christmas, reveals a data security expert.

Confidential data experts are warning companies to shape up their security measures and destroy all private papers before the holidays, especially if they contain bank details, names or addresses.

Each year, identity fraud in the UK costs more than £2.7 billion and affects over 1.8 million people, according to new figures from the National Fraud Authority (NFA) [1].

At least £1.9 billion of this is the amount gained by the fraudster. That means that on average, fraudsters gain over £1,000 from every stolen identity [2].

Jim Watson, managing director of Shred Easy, a confidential data destruction expert, predicts that rates of theft will rise over Christmas.

Shred Easy questioned a selection of businesses across the country on their security procedures and found that many admit to getting caught up in the festivities and forget to clean up confidential information before the great office shut down.

Jim Watson said: ‘Office revellers will undoubtedly be sidetracked by festive fun in the last week of work but, on a serious note, I advise all office employees to destroy all private papers before the holidays.

‘Companies are now faced with their busiest trading times, so there is less time to scrutinise every transaction. Before closing the office, workers should shred all confidential office papers, lock away memory sticks and laptops.

‘Thieves are opportunists and are often on the lookout for easy items to grab. Make sure that your business is insured properly to cover any crimes that cost your business.’

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[2] The National Fraud Authority

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