While many people might think that internet hackers are the only threat to their private information that they should wary of, that is not actually the case at all. 30 Edmonton residents discovered this fact the hard way as their private financial particulars were recently found carelessly discarded on a construction site.
The latest in Alberta's breach of privacy incidents in the past year and a half recently came to light when Edmonton construction workers discovered five boxes of files discarded in their dumpster from a mortgage broker's office.
The construction workers described finding documents with home buyers' social insurance numbers, photocopied cheques, copies of drivers licenses, and other sensitive financial information. The documents found could easily be used to defraud businesses at these home buyers' expense.
The province's privacy commission has had almost 100 complaints of breach of privacy in the past year and a half, of which this is just the latest case.
When you are working with a company who needs to work with your sensitive information, don’t be afraid to ask questions about how they deal with their documents when your business is completed. Companies needing to discard documents like these should be using their own shredders or a shredding & disposal service to ensure that no one can get a hold of your personal information.
Residents should also be aware that they should take care to properly dispose of their own sensitive documents as well. Destroy any documents you don't want to (or don't need to) keep that have financial or personal information on that unscrupulous people could use to steal your identity. Whereas this may not be a common occurrence, it is far easier to protect yourself from the possibility than it is to correct the situation if it happens to you.