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FEB 21

The Equifax Breach Exposed More Information Than Previously Reported

Thought the Equifax data breach story was over? Think again. Additional information, including tax IDs and details on individual driver’s licenses may have been accessed in the hack according to documents provided to the Senate Banking Committee per CNN.

In the original announcement, Equifax reported that some driver’s license numbers were compromised. However, they’re now stating that the license state and issue date might have been stolen as well. This new information makes us wonder how much information was truly obtained in the 2017 cyberattack.

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday sent a letter to CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. stating, “As your company continues to issue incomplete, confusing and contradictory statements and hide information from Congress and the public, it is clear that five months after the breach was publicly announced, Equifax has yet to answer this simple question in full: what was the precise extent of the breach?”

The unauthorized access occurred from May through July 2017. The hackers exploited a website application vulnerability to gain access to the files, according to the company.

“The more information scammers have about you, the easier it is for them to impersonate you,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director at the National Consumer Law Center. “And the easier it is for them to get by the protocols that banks and others use to make sure they are dealing with the right individual.”

Consumers wondering if they were affected by the breach can check here.

We’ll continue to keep a close eye on this story as it continues to unravel. Be sure to check out our blog regularly for the latest information on identity theft news and information protection best practices.

Are you confident in your consumer information protection policies? Visit our services page, or call us at 419-244-7473 and make sure your company doesn’t find itself in a legal situation like Equifax.

Posted in Identity Theft, News | Tagged , , ,
JAN 30

Toledo-based AccuShred Gives More Than $100,000 to Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio

Toledo, Ohio – January 30, 2018 AccuShred, LCC, a high-security data destruction company providing services to clients in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, is proud to announce it has surpassed $100,000 in donations to Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio over the last seven years.

The ShredCancer program, which was implemented in 2011, was the first of its kind in the country. ShredCancer asks customers to pay a certain amount over the company’s standard charge, and then AccuShred matches the amount and sends the total on a quarterly basis to Komen.

“A woman has a one-in-eight chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime,” said Nate Segall, president of AccuShred. “These odds are much too high, and unnecessary in an age when proper screening can detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages. We believe every woman should have access to breast cancer screening. When we were looking at ways to give back to our community, we wanted to work with an organization that makes a significant contribution to our community, and our local Komen affiliate seemed like a wonderful fit.”

According to Mary Westphal, executive director of Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio, the funds donated over the last five years have supported more than 500 mammograms for uninsured and underserved women in Komen Northwest Ohio’s 24-county service area.

“The commitment and sustainability of AccuShred’s program has been incredible,” said Westphal. “Sometimes organizations have a lot of initial enthusiasm, but are unable to see their programs through.  AccuShred’s donations have been consistent and generous, allowing us to save lives locally through early breast cancer diagnosis and nationally through life-saving breast cancer research grants.”

Since 1989, death rates from breast cancer have dropped 39 percent for those diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Since 2007, breast cancer death rates have been steady in women younger than 50, but have decreased in older women.  These decreases are believed to be the result of finding breast cancer earlier through screening, improved treatments and increased awareness.

About Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $1 billion in research and provided nearly than $3 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment, and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Supporting those efforts, the Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio Affiliate has invested more than $12 million in local breast cancer programs and more than $3 million in national research. Visit or call 1-877-604-CURE (2873) for further information.

About AccuShred

AccuShred began operation in 2002 as the area’s first AAA NAID-Certified data destruction firm. The company provides both on and off-site document destruction, hard drive destruction and is an EPA approved vendor for electronic waste recycling. AccuShred is a subsidiary of the State Paper and Metal Company.

Area businesses interested in participating or learning more about AccuShred services or the ShredCancer program can contact AccuShred toll-free at 800-747-3341 or 419-244-SHRED (7473), or via the company’s website at

Posted in News, Shred Cancer | Tagged
JAN 18

How to Protect Your Child’s Identity and Credit Score

Protecting a child from harm is a parent’s number one priority. As a parent, you wouldn’t think twice about safely strapping your child into a car seat, blocking off the stairs from unwanted falls and providing guidance across a busy parking lot. But when it comes to your child’s identity and credit, are you just as cautious? In today’s age, you absolutely should be.

Your child’s Social Security number is an easy target for identity thieves. Why? A child’s Social Security number is generally not associated with any accounts with derogatory marks. This provides an easy route to establish credit, apply for government benefits and in some cases, receive medical assistance (according to NerdWallet). So, how do you protect your child from identity theft?

  • Protect their Social Security numbers by leaving forms blank where requested. If you have to fill in the blank per request, make sure you learn how they will be protected.
  • Once you have important documents in hand, lock them away safely and securely. This includes birth certificates and Social Security cards.
  • If you have unwanted copies of any important documents with sensitive information about your child’s identity, make sure you shred them securely. Learn more about secure shredding:
  • Pay attention to any incoming mail with their name on it. If you see pre-approval offers from credit card companies, this is always worth investigation.

Guarding personal data isn’t the ultimate solution, but it’s what we can do now. “A Social Security number should not be used as a verifier,” says Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “We need a better way to verify identity. Ultimately, that’s the solution.”

At AccuShred, when we stress the importance of secure data destruction, it isn’t to be taken lightly. Our data destruction methods have been carefully selected over the years to ensure security. We have spent the extra money to ensure this small particle size because we feel it gives our customers (and us) the peace of mind knowing that their sensitive material has truly been thoroughly destroyed. Learn more about our data destruction services:

Posted in Identity Theft | Tagged , , ,
NOV 30

We’ve Raised Nearly $100,000 Towards Breast Cancer Research

Years ago, in collaboration with the Susan G. Komen® organization of Northwest Ohio, we established the Shred Cancer program. This program was the first of its kind in the country for a document destruction company. As a participant, you establish a donation amount of your choosing and we’ll match it dollar-for-dollar every time we pick up your bins. All participating customers have the option of choosing a pink shred bin, or any other standard shred bin.

Breast Cancer research is a long and expensive process. It can take well over 15 years and $5 billion to translate a discovery in the lab into a new drug that can be used by patients. At Komen, they have a rigorous review process for selecting research grants, called peer-review. Peer-review is a grant review process used by many organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, to determine which research grants will be funded. By using this rigorous process, Komen strives to fund the very best research – funding projects that have the potential to advance the field and have an impact on patients as rapidly as possible.

To date, their research dollars have helped support more than:

  • 2400 research grants in 49 states and 20 countries
  • 460 clinical trials
  • 300 research advocates
  • 60 partnerships and collaborations
  • 60 scientific conferences

Like Nancy Brinker’s promise to her sister Susan, our goal is to end breast cancer forever. To date, we’ve raised nearly $100,000 towards breast cancer research. That’s right – one-hundred thousand dollars.

To participate in our Shred Cancer program, fill out our online form here, or call us at 419-244-7473. Together, we can end cancer forever.

Posted in News, Shred Cancer | Tagged , , , ,
NOV 16

The Fear of Identity Theft is Increasing Year Over Year

According to a recent study by Generali Global Assistance, worry about identity theft is now on par with common concerns such as illnesses and car accidents. In fact, more people are becoming concerned about identity theft year over year. Per the study, 31% of U.S. consumers are very worried about being a victim of identity theft, whereas only 22% are worried about their home being robbed. In 2014, only 20% of people expressed fear of identity theft. Today, 32% express fear of identity theft.

Paige Schaffer, President and COO of Generali Global Assistance’s Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit, commented on today’s news, “Fear of becoming an identity theft or cybercrime victim is on the rise, and consumers are concerned with the impact these crimes can have on their lives.  With 2017 on pace to reach an all-time high of reported data breaches, businesses and consumers alike need to be more prepared than ever to mitigate associated risks.  The infographic published today, as well as the variety of initiatives in which we have been engaged to support National Cyber Security Awareness Month, demonstrate our commitment to education so that everyone is armed with the information necessary to combat identity theft.”

To learn more about contributors to this growing fear, view the infographic published by Generali Global Assistance below:

Posted in Identity Theft | Tagged , , , , , ,
OCT 31

A Quick Guide on How Long to Keep Sensitive Documents Before Shredding Them

We all have important documents we’re holding on to for dear life. Often, we don’t even ask the question, “When is it time to shred these?”

If you have a filing cabinet at home, filled with old tax returns, bank statements, utility bills and more, it’s time to learn how long you should be keeping these sensitive documents on hand.

Here’s a quick guide to help you out:

Tax Returns:

Generally, for IRS audit purposes, a good rule of thumb is to hold on to tax returns for at least seven years. However, some of the more aggressive taxpayers will hold on to their tax returns indefinitely. For most of us, the seven-year rule works just fine.

Bank Statements:

Do you have a bunch of ATM and deposit statements laying around? Jump online and verify these transactions have gone through properly, or check any paper statements sent by your banking institution. Once verified, go ahead and shred these documents – you won’t need them. Retain your paper bank statements for at least one year. If you need to support business expenses, hold on to these statements for at least three years or longer for verification purposes. To qualify for Medicaid or a mortgage, save statements for three years or longer too.


Hold on to your monthly brokerage statements for an entire year. After the one-year mark passes, keep your annual summary statement for your personal records and shred the monthly statements. If you receive letters about any changes to your portfolio, hold on to these until you receive your next statement. After that, feel free to shred these documents as well.

Credit Card Statements:

Monthly credit card statements can be sent to the shredder after one year.

 Medical and Dental Bills:

Often, it’s okay to shred your medical bills after one year if your health issues have subdued and all payments are up-to-date. If you’re claiming medical expenses on a tax return however, hold on to these alongside your tax returns.

Utility Bills:

Shred utility bills after you’ve made a payment. If you’re self-employed, hold on to these documents for longer for tax purposes.

It’s inevitable that at some point, you’ll need to shred your sensitive documents. When that time comes, give us a call at 419-244-SHRED, or 800-747-3341. To learn more about our document destruction services offered, visit us at

Posted in Secure Shredding | Tagged , , ,
OCT 18

New Medicare Cards to Protect Senior Citizens from Identity Theft

We talk about identity theft protection a lot. Why wouldn’t we? We’re in the business of destroying your most sensitive information, further protecting you from identity theft. But not all sensitive information is ready to be destroyed. In fact, some of your most sensitive information is with you every day.

Take Medicare for instance. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) distributes Medicare cards to people ages 65 and over daily. For reasons beyond our understanding, the recipient’s social security number is printed right on the card itself and serves as the unique identifier for medical professionals to access their information and coverage. If you’re like most people who care about protecting your social security number, you simply leave your social security card at home unless you absolutely need it. This poses a major threat to senior citizens who carry their Medicare card with them wherever they go. Luckily, CMS has made a major announcement to change this.

In September, CMS gave the public its first look at the newly designed Medicare card. The new card contains a unique, randomly-assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number (

CMS will begin to mail the new cards in April 2018 to meet the statutory deadline for replacing all existing cards by April 2019.

“The goal of the initiative to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is to help prevent fraud, combat identify theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We’re very excited to share the new design.”

With the rise in identity theft over the last few years (especially in the medical field), this step forward by CMS will greatly benefit all Medicare members.

When it’s time to destroy those old cards, don’t forget to do it the right way. Learn more here:

Posted in Identity Theft | Tagged , , , ,
SEP 29

The Equifax Data Breach

One of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, exposed 143 million American’s sensitive and personal information in a data breach. The breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. And they grabbed personal information of people in the UK and Canada too.

Social Security numbers were first handed out in 1936 as a way to keep track of earnings history. They were not meant to be a source of identification. It used to say that right on the Social Security cards. To date, more than 450,000,000 nine-digit combinations have been issued; there are about 1 billion combinations, so no need as of yet for any to be recycled. But security breaches are becoming more and more popular providing hackers with the ability to leave you swimming in authorized purchases, your identity and personal information stolen.

There are some important ways that you can protect yourself from these kinds of data breaches.

  • Consider placing a credit freeze on your files if you think you’ve been a victim.
  • Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely.
  • Consider placing fraud alerts on your files.
  • File your taxes early, before a scammer can.
  • Recycle your electronic devices properly with a certified business.

AccuShred firmly believes that total physical destruction is the only fail-safe method of destroying data stored on hard drives, disks and other storage devices. That is why we shred and recycle each and every hard drive that we receive. We NEVER sell intact hard drives – period. Protect yourself from data breaches by taking the extra steps to destroying your data.

Posted in Corporate Identity Theft, Cyber Security, Document Destruction, Identity Theft, News
SEP 27

India’s Informal Market

India’s informal electronic market is influenced by hundreds of thousands of people who collect unregistered recycled goods. Over 90 percent of India’s e-scrap enters the informal sector for processing, according to a national assessment and follow-up studies by nonprofit groups and academic institutions. In fact, the Seelampur slum, many call home, has become one of India’s most concentrated centers of electronics dismantling and recycling, with an estimated 25,000 informal workers. Similar processing clusters exist throughout India, the world’s second-most-populous country with a population of 1.32 billion.

The security issue behind these businesses collecting unregistered electronics for scrap is that the lower-value materials often get dump or end up in crude processing sites that put individuals at risk for hackers. The environmental risks for these disposed pieces also create an issue.

Increased international media scrutiny of these realities has helped push Indian policymakers and other stakeholders to try to formalize the sector. In 2016, an extended producer responsibility system went into effect, mandating electronics producers to help manage a nationwide e-scrap system. That lack of clear guidance for these new processes exists – no one has figured out how to integrate the Indian informal side in a successful manner.

Read more about how India is looking for ways to ensure used electronics are safely and cost-effectively managed, here.

Posted in Cyber Security, E-Waste, Recycling

Training Staff in HIPAA Regulations

Most breaches of protected health information (PHI) are related to human error, underscoring the need for medical practices to develop and maintain rigorous training programs for employees so they comply with HIPAA regulations.

However when it comes to training, these organizations are not doing enough to education and train their personnel. A $20 training video is not enough to keep individuals up to speed on the issues surrounding HIPAA regulations.

Here are few ways that you can advance your training programs to ensure security breaches do not happen;

  1. Make it user friendly – By making the procedure of data security user friendly, it is less likely that short attention spans or lengthily steps will cause the user is have a mishap. At other practices, individuals responsible for HIPAA training score tests and require staff to get a certain grade to “pass.” Another strategy is to provide personnel the answers to questions they miss before they move to the next question for positive reinforcement.
  2. Instructor lead courses – At staff meetings, someone can pick a HIPAA topic and discuss how to prevent breaches. Practices can put monthly reminders on a bulletin board. If time allows and it is affordable, organizations can sponsor an instructor-led course in which people can ask questions and interact. These classes can be held in person or via video conferencing.

Partner with AccuShred for the safe destruction of your data. AccuShred helps medical facilities maintain their HIPAA compliance by providing secure containers for the storage of PHI and then destroying that personal health information.

Learn more about our variety of secure container options:

Posted in Uncategorized
Banking/Financial | Health Care | Pharmacy | Real Estate | Industrial | Engineering | Insurance | Legal | Government | Accounting | Consulting | Mortgage/Property

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