This interesting Two Sides’ video, “Paper Because, Paper is Dead”, brings up several good points on why paper is not dead. Paper is a sustainable resource and at Richards & Richards we repurpose shredded documents into new paper products such as paper towels and toilet paper. Paper has a vital role in our lives and will never be dead. We might go more electronic but paper is still extremely efficient as you can see described in this entertaining skit.
Emotions run high at Sandia Associates when a simple suggestion to improve data security is misunderstood. Avoid the conflict and keep your confidential information secure by hiring a NAID-certified vendor today!
For those who wonder, it was 20 years ago on April 30, 1993 that the first website was born. The website was created by CERN, or the European Organization for Nuclear Research and its URL is below.
This link from pcmag.com http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2418330,00.asp has the information on how this all happened.
With April 15th coming up, we always hear this question. How long should I keep those tax records?
Here is our advice – and remember these are for your personal returns only, not business and if you have special circumstances contact your CPA and/or attorney for more information.
Keep for One Year
Your monthly statements of any financial accounts should be kept for one year. All paycheck statements, your W-2 form, and your retirement plan year-end statement. After you receive your W-2 form and check it against the last pay statement for the year, you can then shred and discard all paycheck statements.
Keep for Three Years
You should keep your federal income tax returns and related receipts and statements for at least three years. If you are audited, the IRS can review tax returns filed during the past three years, which includes requesting to see supporting documentation for the income and deductions you reported. As an example, you will need to keep your 2010 tax return and related papers until you file your 2013 tax return. It is generally safe to shred and discard it if after that. For more information see IRS Publication 552, Record keeping for Individuals.
How do I get rid of records I don’t need?
Glad you asked. With the threats of identity theft, you can never be too cautious about getting rid of records you don’t need. That is why we have a free shred day coming up on April 20th from 9am to 1pm. Just bring those old records to our facility at 1741 Elm Hill Pike and we are happy to securely shred those documents for you. Don’t just throw them away in the trash.
We’re sure you have heard this topic come up before. But what is “cloud computing” and how does it affect me? We have thought of this too. That’s why we are offering a free education seminar on cloud computing and how you can benefit from it. During the seminar, you will learn about the different types of data you use, different recovery times, and the different ways to manage this information. You will also learn how a local company used these services to recover from the May 2010 flood here in Nashville. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to register for our free seminar on March 20th at 8:30am. Those who have attended previous sessions left with the knowledge needed to make sure they have a plan in place in case they cannot access their facility or information.
In a perfect world, where human error and malicious intent did not exist, we would not need to be prepared for a data breach. However, the fact is that most business will have some sort of “data-loss” incident that will warrant the use of data breach protocols. Remember – in today’s electronic world a lost USB drive, misplaced cell phone or a stolen laptop can account for a significant data breach.
- It makes good business sense to have a data breach plan in place for when this occurs. Here are a few items to include in your plan.
- What data is out there, who has access to it, and how do they access it?
- What are the regulatory requirements that govern this information (include federal, state and industry specific)?
Who is the person in the company that is notified if a breach occurs?
- When is that person contacted? What warrants a breach?
- Start looking at your Data Protection Plan – where are you vulnerable? How are your back-up tapes, drives or online backups secured? Do you require passwords and/or encryption on mobile devices?
Fires, floods and tornadoes are very real threats to your business continuity. In the event of disasters like these, without proper contingency plans your critical business data can be severely compromised or completely lost. Fortunately, most disaster recovery plans include preparations and protocol to account for such natural disasters. And luckily, most businesses aren’t affected by natural catastrophic occurrences. Actually, there’s a higher likelihood of your data being affected by seldom-considered, everyday threats.
Are you prepared for everyday threats?
Have you thought about what would happen if you accidentally deleted a critical business file or application? How would you handle the random crash of a server? What if the person charged with taking the company backup home left it in their car on a hot and humid night, rendering the data unreadable? Would you be able to recover from your computer network being hacked?
These are very real everyday threats to business data that can be just as devastating as any natural disaster. Your disaster recovery plan should recognize and plan for such risks. You can begin by asking yourself key questions such as:
- How often am I backing up my data?
- Can I verify the frequency and proper backup and rotation of my data?
- Is my backup stored a secure location, designed for long term preservation?
- How will I restore my data in the event of loss?
- Do I have data recovery testing procedures scheduled for my business?
Solutions to enhance recovery goals
Once you’ve identified areas of weakness, you can look for a remediation plan that takes into consideration all possible scenarios. This may include implementation of the following solutions:
- offsite backup storage
- media rotation services
- inventory management of backup assets
- professional data protection consulting
Serving businesses in Nashville for over 25 years, Richards & Richards offers a comprehensive suite of data protection services. For more information about how we can increase the scope of your disaster recovery goals, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on the page.
With all of the warnings we get about identity theft, how seriously do we heed those warnings? One of the most obvious ways to combat identity theft is by frequent password changes. Yet, how often does that happen?
Changing passwords is a chore. Most programs at your workplace need one. In order to get anything from a website you need one. You even need one to unlock your smartphone.
It seems to be a pain but changing your password should be a part of your normal procedures for both your work environment and home environment – especially if you do any on-line banking. Most experts recommend that you change your password every 90 days or so. But if this seems too much, I would recommend that every time you change the clocks for daylight savings time, you change your passwords (along with your fire alarm batteries). The password should include upper and lower case letters, numbers and some punctuation. These are the hardest passwords to figure out. Make sure you don’t base your password on any personal information, like family members or birth dates. There are programs that you can buy that will manage your passwords for you, so that all you have to know is one password. By changing your password regularly, you are taking an important step in keeping your personal information secure.
Getting your identity back after it’s been stolen can be a challenging thing. So, change those passwords.