What looks like a sack of trash to you can be a gold mine for an identity thief. Leaving credit card receipts, papers or CDs with personally identifying information in a dumpster can facilitate fraud and expose con- sumers to the risk of identity theft.

■ Effectively dispose of paper records by shredding, burning or pulverizing them before discarding. Make shredders available throughout the workplace, including next to the photocopier.

■ When disposing of old computers and portable storage devices, use software designed to securely erase data.


Taking steps to protect data in your possession can go a long way toward preventing a security breach. Nev- ertheless, breaches can happen. Here’s how you can reduce the impact on your business, your employees, and your customers:

■ Have a plan in place to respond to security incidents. Designate a senior member of your staff to coor- dinate and implement the response plan.

■ If a computer is compromised, disconnect it immediately from your network.

■ Investigate security incidents immediately and take steps to close off existing vulnerabilities or threats to personal information.

■ Determine who to notify in the event of an incident, both inside and outside your organization. You may need to notify consumers, law enforcement, customers, credit bureaus and other businesses that may be affected by the breach. In addition, many states and the federal bank regulatory agencies have laws or guidelines addressing data breaches. Consult your attorney.

Visit the Federal Trade Commission website ( for additional valuable information on protecting per- sonal data, including training tutorials, videos and more.

Source: Federal Trade Commission

For over 50 years, Woods & Aitken’s labor and employment attorneys have represented local, regional and national businesses in a broad spectrum of

industries. We provide services in human resources counseling, employment litigation, and traditional labor law.

Jerry Pigsley, Woods & Aitken LLP

INEDA Human Resources Helpline (855) 277-5575

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