Dumpster Diving: How to Dispose of Information Properly


Have you ever thrown out a piece of paper with your address on it from a package? If so, you should be more careful in disposing of sensitive information in that manner. There is a term known as dumpster diving that malicious people use to obtain information such as that paper you threw away. Dumpster diving describes itself, it is simply someone sifting through your personal or company’s trash trying to find personally identifiable information. Today we’re going to learn how to dispose of your sensitive trash safely so that no one is able to use it against you.

Disposal Techniques

  • Shredding your papers in a cross shredder or pulper is an easy way to destroy your sensitive papers. It will be harder for a malicious person to try and put the shredded or pulped bits back together again. Have these devices readily available so that it promotes proper destruction techniques.
  • Have a data retention policy that is reviewed yearly. With a data retention policy, you will be able to have guidelines on how long certain information is kept and when it should be properly disposed of. With the data retention policy, you should also keep a log of how something was destroyed, when it was destroyed, and what destroyed it. You can also expand upon it to how your organization will need to use it.
  • When destroying technological devices verify that the data on them was deleted in a proper manner and that old data can no longer be accessed. If throwing out the technological device an extra precautionary step after wiping the old data would be to also destroy the storage media on the device as well.

If you follow these steps you won’t have to worry about anyone collecting sensitive information through your trash. If you are on the fence about something being sensitive information, then dispose of it properly anyway. It is better to be safer than sorry. Some dumpster divers will spend weeks, months, and years collecting and piecing information together to maliciously gain access to you or your company’s information.

Source: https://www.techtarget.com/searchsecurity/definition/dumpster-diving#:~:text=Social%20engineering%20is%20using%20human,they%20use%20to%20establish%20trust.


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