Queensland Airbnb host is a victim of identity theft.

 

In an interview with the popular show A Current Affair, Rachel stated that she
feels “violated, offended, invaded, taken advantage of and abused”.
“I opened up my home and my heart to this vile person who indiscriminately
chose to destroy, potentially the rest of my life, I’ve got no idea how long the
ramifications will go on,” she claimed.
“I’m so trusting, I’m a trustworthy person, I wouldn’t take things from other
people and I didn’t expect anyone who would take anything from me.”
Rachel lives in the beautiful fully equipped Brisbane property and only rents it
out anytime she is on holidays or house-sitting for her family or friends, the
house was booked by an Airbnb user who did not have a profile picture on his
account. These days profile pictures are no longer a necessary requirement
when creating an Airbnb account. Nevertheless, that should have raised the
first red flag for her.
Airbnb has a pretty strict identification protocol in place and Rachel trusted it
as she never has had a negative experience before. Even more now during the
Covid-19 crisis, as hosts are lucky to even have one booking on their properties.
“Remember Airbnb’s meant to verify all Airbnb users with three forms of
Government ID so even though there was no photo, I had to assume he had
been verified by Airbnb and it wasn’t mandatory to have a photo anymore,”
Rachel told the reporter.
The scammer went even further to gain Rachel’s trust by texting her each of the
five-day booking without any shame or remorse. Professional scammers know
what they are doing and know exactly what to do so they do not seem
suspicious to victims.
“The next morning, I SMSed him, ‘how did you go, how did you sleep?’ And he
said, ‘everything’s great thank you’, and I’m thinking, sure everything’s great
(he’s) living in a home full of an owner’s possessions and got free reign of it all,”
she said.
That is when what it seems like a normal Airbnb booking started to turn into
her worst unimaginable nightmare, she came back home to discover that all the
the place had been turned upside down, ravaged, and all her valuables were not to
be found.
“I felt like I was in a dream, I felt this was happening to someone else, this
couldn’t be real,” she said.
Around $18,000 worth of items were lost, among them, there was an apnoea
machine, a 55” smart TV, and her old laptop. But that was only the beginning of
what might be the worst experience of her life, as the old laptop still contained
private information and its identification details, allowing the scammer to
impersonate her. After gaining access to her identity details he was able to
make many purchases including a $5000 car on eBay and even he dared to
order a new credit card, which was mailed to her seven days later.
Even after changing dozens of passwords since the incident, her mother’s share
portfolio was jeopardized and the thief could have gained access to further
valuable information.
“He is not an amateur, he knows exactly what he’s doing,” Rachel said of the
scammer.
“I believe he’s a sociopath, he has no conscience whatsoever, doesn’t give a
darn about how the victim will feel.”
After she reported the incident the Queensland Police Department has opened
an investigation and is on the trail of a possible suspect.
“They believe he is doing this from place to place, identity theft from one place,
using that to book the next place,” she said.
Airbnb has a Million Dollar Host Guarantee that may cover Rachel’s losses. But
for now, Rachel’s claim for compensation to Airbnb is still being processed and
under investigation.

Document Shredding On-Site

To keep their company’s and their client’s sensitive data away from criminal hands, more businesses are opting to carry out regular paper shredding, Gold Coast and elsewhere. When you are dealing with any kind of confidential material, this is the best option for destruction and data protection. You can do it in one of three ways, off-site using a shredding company, on-site using a mobile shredding company or yourself in house, purchasing suitable paper shredding machines.

How much paper do you need to shred and how often?

When you are looking for the most responsible option to keep that data protected, shredding is it. It is far better than just chucking it away with regular garbage where it can be dug through and used for criminal purposes. Most companies opt to do some form of shredding as a way to protect themselves and the owners of that data. But some businesses do not generate a lot of paper, and certainly, if you are thinking of your home office, you likely do not have a lot of documents regularly. Personal shredding machines are great for this situation. There are also several types of larger machines suitable for the office. But larger quantities and a higher frequency of need means finding a great document shredding company is your best option.

Services for paper shredding, Gold Coast

The kind of services you require for your document destruction depends on how sensitive that data is. If you do not need to witness the process and it is okay that others working for a shredding company may handle some papers, you can have it collected and taken to their facility and shredded off-site. They send you a document confirming the destruction for your records. If your data needs absolute protection then you could have a service come to do on-site shredding. They bring a truck on which is a large shredder and dump their container you have on-site and store paper in, into the shredder as you or a member of staff observe it all. No-one gets access to the paperwork. The latter is the more expensive option.

Save time and money in the long run

While document shredding on-site is more expensive, having a service do it rather than having it done by your own staff, with machines you have to invest in, actually saves you time and money. You are not paying the wages of people spending time away from their usual work as they shred. You are not maintaining the machinery, paying for repairs, and having to replace machinery when it breaks down for good. You can still have it all shredded on-site by a shredding service. You can still witness that shredding.

Conclusion

Protecting the data you have collected from investors, customers, clients, employees, suppliers and so on is important. There are also now laws that make it your responsibility to destroy sensitive data properly. While buying document shredders is one option, it could be a lot easier and more cost-effective to invest in a reputable shredding service instead.

Preventing Identity Theft with Document Shredding

Now more than every identity theft is on the rise and this is not just something individuals need to consider, but companies too. Small, mid-sized, large, across all industries, the need to protect information is very real. Maybe it is trade secrets. Maybe it is client and customer credit card information. Maybe it is employees’ social security and banking information. You are responsible to protect it all, and when it is no longer needed, to properly destroy it. The information you collect and store cannot end up in the hands of criminals. Proper precautions are now a legal requirement. You can shred it yourself, or you can look into document shredding services.

Secure document shredding is essential

Having a secure system that deals with your shredding needs is important. Your reputation is partly based on how well you protect the people who buy from you and work for you. Throwing sensitive data into a recycling bin or trash bin puts people at risk, and it puts your business at risk. While there is a lot of electronic identity theft the fact is the easiest way to steal the information they need is for criminals to look through recycling and trash bins. With it, they can open credit cards in other people’s names, get loans, and live a high life, destroying someone’s credit and name. Businesses must consider the following;

Put in place a document destroying policy so everyone is very clear on what documents need to be destroyed and what can just be thrown away. It should also make clear what those steps for shredding are.

  1. You should never place sensitive documents into recycling without first putting them through the shredding process.
  2. Find service for document shredding Gold Coast, they know what they are doing, the good ones are trustworthy and reliable.
  3. Be as proactive as you can be. Create a culture in the office where the protection of data is usual and expected.

What to look for when hiring a shredding service

There are a few steps you should take before you make a final choice in hiring a shredding service. This is worth the small extra time and effort to ensure you make the best choice. Make sure the document shredding services;

  • Carry out real background checks on their employees and carry out regular inspections
  • Issues you with a destruction certificate to confirm your documents have been shredded securely
  • Carries out excellent training with all their employees so that they understand why things are done a certain way and how it protects the information
  • Are certified to shred sensitive documents
  • Has a chain-of-custody document procedure that is secure

Conclusion

When you need document shredding Gold Coast it makes sense to look for those who are certified and reputable, so you know the data is safe. You can also help prevent identity theft by making sure your employees are well trained and by having policies in place that protect sensitive data.

Importance of Protecting Sensitive Information & Commercial Shredding Services

Protecting Sensitive Information

When you consider the following industries they all have one thing in common. Law, government, healthcare, financial sector, technology, legal, manufacturing, entertainment and banking all deal with very sensitive information throughout their operations. This data need to have secure storage and when it needs destroying it needs professional commercial paper shredding.

What data is sensitive and why?

The kind of data that is sensitive includes things like bank account statements, wage information, sales receipts, personnel records, credit card data, social security information, blueprints and innovative designs, business letters and such. This is information used to commit identity theft, steal company secrets and it can do a lot of damage. It can mean bad publicity and a hit to the business’s reputation, it can mean the loss of employees, the loss of customers, clients and investors, the possible loss of the business and even potential indictment. Paper shredding those sensitive documents can prevent that.

Keeping it secure

The issue of shredding information-sensitive documents is not just about how you carry that out. There is first the concern of how those documents are stored before the shredding takes place. If you are doing it in-house you need to have somewhere that is secure to store it and your shredding machine needs to also be somewhere secure. If you choose to go the route of commercial paper shredding with a professional service they supply businesses with storage containers that are secure. That saves your business from having to waste precious office space.

Document shredding

There is some flexibility when it comes to paper shredding. If you do not often have the need you might get a small office shredder and have an employee take care of it when it comes up. When there is more to shred it might make sense to use a service. You can still use a service even when your needs are low though, most places are happy to accept infrequent or even one-off jobs.

Document shredding services offer both on-site options and off-site. The first one is good for the most sensitive material when you need to see it happen at your location. It does cost more, but it is the most secure method. They send a shredder on a truck to your premises. Off-site is when they pick up and take it to their own site, or in smaller cases when you send it to them. More affordable but you are not there in person. It is worth mentioning a small number of services to allow representatives to visit to witness it, and some have surveillance cameras from which you can observe the process. All certified shredding services should offer certification when the destruction is carried out.

Other advantages to using a commercial paper shredding service

There are many reasons to use a service for shredding. They include;

Save money in having to buy your equipment and maintain it. Save money on wages paid to your employees doing the shredding too.

When your employees have freed up time from shredding they can hopefully be more productive and efficient.

Better for the environment as when dealing with small pieces but in bulk amounts paper shredding services are usually able to have their materials recycled.

Destroy your uniforms in Brisbane

Destroying your old uniforms in Brisbane has never been easier than with Brisbane Document Destruction Service.

Brisbane accounts for more than 47 per cent of Queensland’s total jobs growth.

But if there’s one thing that associates an employee with the values of an organisation it is their uniform.

In recent years, there has been a series of crimes committed by ex-employees still in uniform. Any individual wearing a brands uniform can be seen associated with that brand.

One time, a former toll employee was seen racially abusing a politician in a Melbourne bar whilst wearing a Toll uniform. This damaged the brand and a major client of the company in return, cancelled their account, heavily impacting the revenue stream.

This poses a severe risk to your business, even more so if the uniform falls into the wrong hands.

We securely destroy uniforms and have shared the top 3 reasons why old uniforms must be securely destroyed.

Brand Reputation

Whilst this can not only happen to current employees, the impact is usually more detrimental when it occurs with former employees.

Should an employee hold a uniform after completion of a role, a public incident that is filmed or posted online can tarnish the brand reputation. Even employees with great history cannot be trusted to respect the company integrity.

Brand reputation can be tarnished by a uniformed person engaging in a bar fight/incident, traffic incident, disorderly conduct or any political rally/protest.

Security Risk

For some businesses, simply wearing the uniform is secure enough to gain access to restricted areas. Especially on construction sites and medical facilities, it is very common for trust to be given to someone in uniform. This can be detrimental if the former employee gains access to your data, operations or equipment due to this security measure.

Identity Theft

Not only can a uniform give someone the ability to steal a former employees identity, it also allows them to be associated with your company. This can mean they can engage with a regular supplier, such as Bunnings, and place an order on the businesses behalf whilst in your branded uniform. Your business would be left to hold the bill by this simply identity theft technique.

It is crucial to have a plan in place when turning over staff. All ID Badges, Uniform items/apparel, branded merchandise and recognisable equipment should be secured and then destroyed professionally.

Avoid reputational harm to your business. We offer uniform destruction and strongly advise this for all companies no matter the size who have a uniform.

You can contact the team today for more information.

Shred in Brisbane? These are the hidden costs

Do you shred sensitive information in your Brisbane workplace? The average office shredder seems like an inexpensive way to destroy confidential documents but the office shredder can be risky and more costly than you may think.

The impact of becoming victim to identity theft, fraud and other fraudulent crimes is devastating.

Hidden costs and risks of shredding documents in an office shredder:

The shredder: This may have a fixed, relatively low up-front price tag but there are additional maintenance, replacement and cleaning costs to be considered. The shredding of large amounts of paper in-house can also produce a fine dust, affecting employee health.

Human Error: It’s only human nature to make mistakes but a mistake when shredding can be detrimental. Office shredding often leaves the decisions on what to shred up to the employees. Negligence on an employees behalf can cause significant threat to information safety.

Compliance: When shredding is done in the office, the employees responsible for the process, often do not have suitable training in document security, retention and disposal. There is also no proof of secure document destruction when shredding in-office.

Labour: How could you forget about time and productivity costs of employees when they must spend their valuable time shredding documents. Office shredders can’t handle paper clips and staples (so these will need to be removed by the employees) and documents need to be arranged into easy to shred portions then manually fed into the paper shredder. The employees will also need to empty receptacles and clean up…on the clock.

Effectiveness: Paper is often cut into long strips by office-grade shredders. These can easily be pieced back together and increase the risk of a security breach.

Some of the benefits to using a reliable document shredding service:

* Sensitive documents are removed from the workplace for shredding with industrial grade equipment so employees are not affected by fine dust.
* A shred-it-all policy reduces the risk of human error and all documents provided to a reliable document shredding service like ours, are disposed under strict guidelines.
* Staff at our reliable document shredding centres have been cleared to a minimum required by the National Police Records Check
* Compliance requirements are met by using a reliable document shredding service as a Certificate of Destruction is provided after every shred for audit purposes.
* Whole files can be shredded by a reliable document shredding service so no need to remove paper clips and staples
* Documents are cross-shredded and destroyed into fragments that cannot be reassembled before they are transferred to a paper recycling facility where they will be recycled into
paper products

Ready to protect your Brisbane business?

Brisbane Document Destruction Service is 100% Australian owned and operated.

To learn more about how we can protect your documents and security, please call us on (07) 3167 6190 or email sales@brisbaneshredding.com.au

Does your Brisbane office destroy documents in an environmentally friendly way?

What better feeling than safe-guarding your sensitive information and doing your bit for the environment?

Brisbane Document Destruction Service’s process is environmentally friendly and approximately all of the material shred in our secure location is recycled on a daily basis.

Recycled paper is paper that has been reconstituted into paper again. We have produced millions of tonnes of shreds that are fed into paper recycling. Documents are cross-shredded and reduced into tiny fragments before being transferred to a paper recycling facility where they will be recycled into new paper products.

Each tonne of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic meters of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy and 7000 gallons of water.

In order for our process to work, businesses need to do their bit to ensure the paper they no longer need gets to us and their sensitive documents and information are securely destroyed to avoid consequences like identity theft and corporate espionage.

Research has found the location of your shredding bin has an influence on the rate of use. If your shredding bin is in an inconvenient location, it’s importance to employees will be less. It’s also a handy tip to locate your shredding bin next to or close by to a general waste bin or other recycling bin so that employees are inclined to make use of it as it is convenient to them.

Employers and businesses can also do their bit by ensuring staff and associated personnel are educated on the shredding policies in place and are also motivated to take part in the initiatives.

A ‘Shredding Hero’ award could be given out or perhaps feedback and acknowledgement at staff meetings on how the shredding collection process is going are both examples of good ways to motivate the workplace to participate.

Choosing us to shred your sensitive documents and information so that we can benefit the environment does not only make economic sense but it makes environmental sense. Think of all the time employees could save from leaving tedious, time-consuming administrative work like shredding to the professionals.,

It’s simple to get a suitable shredding collection service from Brisbane Document Destruction Services to free your office from document clutter, boost it’s recycling capabilities and avoid a privacy breach or identity theft.

Phone us on (07) 3167 6190 to find out how we can remove the hassle and provide your workplace with the shredding tools it needs to get it’s shredding process up to scratch.

Sources:

https://businessrecycling.com.au/research/barriers.cfm

4 Steps to Cleaning your Office Desk

While we all enjoy a clean and orderly place to work, the fact is life happens. Despite our best attempts, we often find ourselves sitting at our desk with disorganised files, old coffee cups, more stationary than Officeworks and a surprising number of teaspoons. Having a simple desk cleaning routine in place will not only make you look and feel organised but also be beneficial to your health and productivity.

Studies have shown that an organised workspace can ultimately improve worker productivity by more than 50%1. It is also frightening to know that desks, where office workers spend a large proportion of their lives, are full of germs. In fact, two-thirds of office workers put themselves at risk of illness by not cleaning their workspace properly2.

A simple 4-step routine to a cleaner desk includes:

1. Remove rubbish daily – includes coffee cups, post-it notes, plates, mugs, cutlery and anything that belongs somewhere else in the office.
2. Declutter the desktop – remove anything from the desktop that is used less than once a day. This should really be limited if possible, to a computer and its peripherals, phone, notepad and one workable pen.
3. Empty drawers – File or shred old paperwork properly and throw out non-functional stationary. Returning any excess items that are reusable to the stationary cupboard or give to other staff.
4. Clean the desk properly – give the desk, office phone, mouse, keyboard, PC and chair a good clean using an anti-bacterial spray or disinfectant wipes.

Paperwork is likely to be your biggest nemesis when it comes to keeping a clean and orderly workspace. Ensure you make use of the company filing system and waste paper is disposed of safely and securely.

Brisbane Document Destruction Service takes the hassle, risk and the guesswork out of document shredding. We offer easy, convenient and cost-effective services, with lockable security bins (minimum order of two) delivered to and picked up from your premises by secure transport. All documents are taken to an approved site for total destruction, erasing all data.

Call us today on (07) 3167 6190, let us tailor a document-destruction solution for your business.

Sources:

1. https://hbr.org/2015/01/why-a-messy-workspace-undermines-your-persistence
2. https://www.printerland.co.uk/germs-in-your-firm-E412.aspx

How to Reduce Identity Theft at Tax Time

Picture this, it’s the end of the financial year. You are doing your end of year tax return and going through endless receipts and financial records. Once all the relevant bits of paper are collated correctly, a pile of irrelevant and now unwanted paper remains. The way you choose to dispose of this waste paper will impact your risk of being exposed to identity theft.

Up to 75% of Australian’s throw away seemingly innocent documents which could be used to steal their identity[1]. Fraud from identity theft in Australia is growing and currently costs the nation over $1.6 billion each year[2]. With most people focused on digital security of personal data, discarded waste paper could just as easily allow an unwanted criminal into your life.

You may guard financial records, bank statements and photo identification carefully in your home. Yet, other less formal documents may appear innocent. Cunning thieves will use many sources of information to quickly stitch together enough information to commit fraud.

Old tax returns, even if no longer needed by the ATO can reveal vital personal information like income employers and tax file numbers. ATM receipts hold key transaction data useful in identification. And, utility bills prove your name and address which for some financial transactions contains significant identity points.

Getting in the habit of storing all your paperwork securely until it is time to be disposed is important. Having a secure disposal system is vital to ensure all your discarded personal information is safely destroyed.

Brisbane Document Destruction Service takes the hassle, risk and the guesswork out of document shredding. We offer easy, convenient and cost-effective services, with lockable security bins (minimum order of two) delivered to and picked up from your premises by secure transport. All documents are taken to an approved site for total destruction, erasing all data.

Call us today on (07) 3167 6190, let us tailor a document-destruction solution for your business.

Sources:
1. Newspoll Survey 2010
2. Australian Federal Police: Identity Crime https://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/crime-types/fraud/identity-crime

Shredding: the best way to recycle documents

Two major issues we hear about in the media every day are risks to our environment and risks to our personal security. They might not seem to be connected, but did you know there’s an easy way you can do your bit to protect our planet AND protect you privacy?

Most of us dispose of our paper in council recycling bins. It’s the right thing to do, we all assume. However, is that paper really going to be turned into new paper products? Unfortunately it turns out there’s no guarantee of it. Much of our recyclable paper ends up being contaminated by non-recyclable material, rendering it useless for processors. Sadly that means it will probably just end up in landfill, creating greenhouse gases as it decomposes.

Then there’s the problem of overseas processors increasingly refusing to accept Australian material, leasing to the accumulation of vast stockpiles of waste. There’s a good chance much of this will also end up in landfill.

What about the security connection? Well, any paper document you toss into a council recycling bin will be treated to the same security standards as a beer carton — not a very reassuring thought! Sensitive data can easily fall into the wrong hands exposing you or your business to identity theft and other fraudulent activity.

A professional document-shredding company like Brisbane Document Destruction Service can address both of these problems in one simple, cost-effective solution. Our security is second to none, ensuring your sensitive documents never fall into the wrong hands. You can also be sure you’re doing the right thing for the environment, as your documents will be shredded then recycled into new paper products.

Contact us today on 07 3167 6190 and let us organise green AND secure document-destruction for you.