Shredding 101: Individuals, businesses should destroy documents to stay safe

June 21, 2019

This paid piece is sponsored by Novak Sanitary Service.

Not all identity thieves work online.

Some still target victims the old-fashioned way, digging through trash for documents with information that can be used against them.

“You’re much more likely to be caught robbing a bank and come away with less cash than if you steal a document that allows you to then steal someone’s identity,” said Gary Gascoigne, operations supervisor for Dakota Data Shred.

“Identity thieves are only caught about 20 percent of the time, and the average theft is $50,000 to $60,000, so it becomes an easier crime, especially if people don’t take the proper precautions.”

If an event this spring is any indication, many Sioux Falls residents understand the need to destroy documents with personal information.

Dakota Data Shred, a subsidiary of Novak Sanitary Service, teamed up with Crime Stoppers of the Sioux Empire and shredded almost 69,000 pounds of paper between two sites on a Saturday.

“Everybody says we’re a paperless society, but last year we shredded 6 million pounds of paper,” Gascoigne added.

If you missed the annual event or if you’re a business with ongoing document disposal needs, Dakota Data Shred is here to help.

Residents can bring their documents to 5000 W. Eighth St. from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Novak residential customers can shred five boxes of documents for free annually. For others, it’s 17 cents per pound. Businesses can call 800-717-6761 to discuss pickup options for large amounts of shredding.

“All our drivers are background-checked for your security,” Gascoigne said. “And we destroy it, and once we have it shredded, it goes to Wisconsin, where it’s ultimately made into tissue paper.”

What should be shredded

Residential customers should consider shredding anything with a name and address, Gascoigne said.

In his home, he has three containers: garbage, recycling and shredding. Anything with a name and address, including junk mail, along with other personal information goes into the shred box and then is brought to Novak for shredding.

“It’s not uncommon to see people put their trash or recycling out, and then papers start to blow, and they’re going across the driveway or the yard, and if they fall in the wrong hands, it becomes very easy for someone to access your information.”

Businesses should be mindful of shredding anything with personal information, customer information, employee information or information related to research and development or proprietary to the business.

“I remember in the trucking industry watching a salesman for a competitor dig in the dumpster to get freight bills in order to solicit the freight customers,” Gascoigne said.

Dakota Data Shred also is a member of the National Association for Information Destruction and has been certified for its responsible destruction of paper/printed media, microfiche and film, computer hardware and non-paper media.

For information on the services offered, click here.

Shredding 101: Individuals, businesses should destroy documents to stay safe

Not all identity thieves work online. Some still target victims the old-fashioned way, digging through trash for documents with information that can be used against them. Here’s how to protect yourself and your business.

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