Securing the Rest of Your Information
Physical Security for Bank Customers
Physical security (in terms of computers and information) means protecting the physical computing devices, the data contained on them and paper documents from disclosure or loss. It can include the following steps:
- Locking doors to your house, vehicle, etc. will help keep "honest people honest" and most of the criminals away.
- Keep critical documents and backup media (thumb drives, backup CDs/DVDs) stored in a safe deposit boxor another secure offsite location.
- Secure your devices including locking them (to a floor, desk, etc.) If in a public area.
- Remove temptation by covering up your laptop or placing it in the trunk of your vehicle when you are shopping. Keep mobile devices out of sight.
- Mark your computing devices with an engraving tool and record the serial numbers so they can be identified if stolen and recovered. Secure the record of numbers.
Important documents and those containing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or account information need to be protected. Incorrect disposal of important documents can lead to identity theft. Be sure to secure your documents and dispose of them (shred) when no longer needed.
Shredding (+expand)Documents of a sensitive nature that need disposal should not just be thrown in the trash. They need to be shredded, preferably with a cross-cut shredder.Shredding should be performed as needed as well as when old records expire. There are a number of items you may need to shred such as:
- Tax documents can typically be disposed of after 7 years, but check with your accountant, tax professional or lawyer if unsure.
- Financial documents including credit card and mortgage statements, investment documents, canceled checks, ATM receipts.
- Papers with usernames, passwords or e-mail addresses could be a treasure trove for identity thieves.
- Documents with your signature including contracts and legal documents that are no longer valid.
- Other mail items (junk mail) including credit card offers and other items that contain your name, address and other PII.
- Securing your documents
The documents that you keep must be safeguarded! (+expand)
Keep the important ones in a locked room or locked file cabinet. Manage your files based on whether they are critical (relatively) permanent, temporary or to be disposed of (see shredding above).
Disposing of Old Systems.(+expand)
When you are completely through with your old computing device, make sure that you:
- Back up critical files
- Wipe the storage device (hard drive, SIM cards, etc.)
- Dispose of the device securely