If you thought the corporate espionage had moved past the era of Dumpster diving, think again. Sneaky corporations and other unscrupulous individuals still use Dumpster diving as an effective way to spy on their competition. You might not think that you throw away anything important enough for a Dumpster diver to be interested, but in reality, companies get rid of far more important information than they would care to admit. Here’s how to protect your business.
1. Shred All Important Information
Your company should invest in several good-quality shredders to make sure that important documents — and even notes between colleagues — don’t fall into the wrong hands. This might seem paranoid, but if you are the victim of identity theft or if your company secrets are “outed”, you’re going to wish you dropped $200 on a shredder. Tearing documents up isn’t usually sufficient to deter a persistent Dumpster diving expedition, and who has time to tear up every single paper into itty-bitty pieces?
2. Keep Security Camers on Your Dumpsters
This might seem a little extreme, but even if they don’t find anything, you’re going to want to know if someone has been Dumpster diving behind your building. An inexpensive security camera — albeit well-hidden — can save you the trouble of wondering who might be behind a Dumpster diving incident. Even worse, if you don’t keep an eye on your Dumpsters, you might never know anyone was digging through your trash.
3. Purchase a CD Shredder
The world has gone digital and your business must keep up with the times. Far more valuable information can be found on discarded CD’s and DVD’s than on paper, and you don’t want your competition getting their hands on that information. A CD shredder can be purchased at any supply store for less than $500, and should be accessible to your IT department so that they can shred before tossing important information on discs.
4. Bring Work Back to Work
If you are in the habit of taking work home with you, don’t just discard important documents and discs in the trash when you’re finished with them. Instead, put them in your briefcase to take back to work or purchase a home shredder. It isn’t difficult for someone to find out where you live and Dumpster diving can easily be turned into trash diving.
5. Advise All Personnel
It isn’t enough for just you to be aware of the risks of Dumpster diving. Make sure that all of your personnel are aware of the issue and are careful about what they discard. Even the most seemingly insignificant document — such as a Post-It note — should be properly shredded before going out with the trash.
Dumpster diving doesn’t happen every day, but it should be a significant issue at your workplace. It is always better to be safe than sorry, so pay careful attention to your trash and don’t think that competing businesses or identity thieves are above rooting through your discarded waste.