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Confetti Blunder: We Prefer Prevention

At the nation’s most beloved spectacle, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York, confetti flies freely. But, during the 2012 parade, Ethan Finkelstein noticed that some of the pieces of paper flying around him had writing on them, numbers that looked like social security numbers. Other bits revealed the details of legal cases and the names, addresses, and license plate numbers belonging to police officers.  One fragment contained the name of the Nassau County Police Department (NCPD). A little detective work revealed that a police department employee collected paper from a bin under the shredder and brought it to the parade. That sensitive information would never have been revealed if we had done that shredding. They needed a smaller shred size and more levels of security.

Whatever business you may be in, sensitive information must be protected from individuals with momentary poor judgment or actual criminal intent. Document destruction companies can offer a variety of shred sizes and it requires judgment to match the shred size to the task. Larger shred sizes tend to be less expensive but and they are also less secure. Is the fear worth the money? Consider the potential data breach that could cost millions of dollars in damages or, in this case, jeopardize the personal safety of NCPD officers. Sometimes saving money is a fiction.

If your company is using larger particles sizes, ask your shredder about increasing the security level. It takes more time and energy to shred it smaller so the company will charge more for the service. The cost may be well worth the security. At American Shredding, we are happy to let you watch the shredding or tour our plant so that you can verify that your sensitive documents are obliterated to the level you pay for. And, after this incident, the NCPD purchased cross-cut shredders.

And, here is that story in the news: