If you’re like the average American, chances are you’ve heard about identity theft. Perhaps you’ve read about it online or heard about it from a friend. Or maybe you’ve even been a victim of it. Whatever your situation may be, it’s well-known that identity theft is a terrible, traumatizing crime and that you need to protect yourself from it. If you run any type of business, it’s now important for you to protect the identities and private information of your customers and employees as well. That’s because of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 (FACTA).
FACTA is a set of federal rules and regulations that require business owners and employers to carefully destroy any unneeded documents containing customer and employee information. This information includes names, contact information, Social Security numbers, financial history, and so on. For every employee, customer, and client you have, you need to safely dispose of this information whether it’s on paper or stored on a CD, floppy disk, etc. This applies to every business from busy parents who hire a nanny for their child to local mom-and-pop retailers all the way up to the most powerful law firms and largest corporations. Some of the documentation you need to properly dispose of include credit reports, medical records, employment applications and histories, and financial documents.
Not complying with FACTA will get you in bring trouble. You could get sued by customers and former employees which can be embarrassing and detrimental to your reputation. There are also stiff fines you may have to pay: state fines can cost up to $1,000.00 while each federal violation could cost you as much as $2,500.00.
The good news is that you can make yourself and your business FACTA-compliant by using paper shredders. These machines will properly destroy the documents so that all of that private information won’t become public knowledge. Paper shredders are available in many different sizes. Some are small enough to fit under desks and there are also larger ones that can be shared among multiple people. It would be a good idea to use a high-security cross-cut shredder such as the ones made by manufacturers such as Fellowes, Dahle, MBM, and Formax. For example, there’s the Fellowes Powershred HS-880 which has a Level 6 security rating (Level 6 is the highest rating) and can shred up to 8 sheets of paper per pass. If you’re in need of something that can destroy paper and electronic media, you can’t go wrong with a machine like the GBC Shredmaster GLHS930. It has a Level 5 rating and it can destroy CD’s and DVD’s along with paper. There are a lot of high-security shredders on the market, so you’re bound to find one that’s perfect for your needs.
Being FACTA-compliant is something you need to do to protect your customers, clients, and your business so buy a paper shredder today. It will be one of the best investments you’ll ever make.