Backpack hack: Protecting your identity at college

student with computer studying at school

Copyright: 123rf/dolgachov

At Shred Right, we know all about proper records management and the destruction of sensitive and confidential material. We see worst-case scenarios everyday where our services could have saved time, cost and most importantly, identity. Professionally, our services create protection giving clients peace of mind. But what about personally?

Personally, we also know families. We have kids of our own heading off to college this fall. Talk about needing peace of mind! It’s not easy to warn them against all the possible threats they may face during this new, independent phase of their lives. Telling our kids “don’t give out your Social Security number” or “don’t give out bank account information or reply to credit card phone requests,” seems fairly straight forward and is sound advice.

But what about the digital era and warning them about online thieves or safeguarding their devices? Something like this may seem over our heads since we weren’t born in the technology-era like our kids. Let us help you at home as well.

Here are a few ideas to avoid the backpack hack:

  • Destroy hard drives and electronic media–properly destroy all of your confidential information.
  • Use secure WiFi connections–don’t risk hackers accessing your data.
  • Don’t lend your phone or laptop–let’s face it, roommates, friends-of-friends, sometimes complete strangers have access to your personal space at college. Keep your laptop secure.
  • Be mindful of what you post on your social media networks–revealing too much personal information can leave you vulnerable to identity thieves.
  • While file sharing is a great way to collaborate, it is also a risk factor for access to your personal information—think before you share.

Other helpful tips like these, and resources you can access if you do find yourself a victim of identity theft, can be found at the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a nonprofit organization.

Shred Right can appreciate ITRC’s “SHRED” approach to reducing identity theft risk. Nothing’s more critical today than security, and it’s essential to have Shred Right as a partner that works to make everything absolutely right, every time.

Rohn Recycling Tip

Today’s offices, commercial and home, are filled with materials that need disposal. We handle even the most surprising items including fluorescent lights and e-waste. Waste disposal is expensive. With the proper training and helpful guidance, you can reduce your waste costs, while at the same time, meet your sustainability and recycling goals.

Here’s a helpful link for donating your used electronics. Before you donate, let us help you properly destroy the hard drives and electronic media.