Offline Data Security: Get a Shredder

As linguists who work with oftentimes highly confidential documents, we go to great lenghts to ensure the documents' online security, from encryption to secure e-mailing to back-up data, etc. However, it's the offline part of data security that's sometimes not taken as seriously. By this we mean the actual hard copies of the documents that you print out to proof the translation. We are firm believers that the only way to really correctly edit a translation is on paper: for some reason, your eyes catch mistakes on paper that they don't catch on the screen. We print out at least three drafts of each translation, which leaves us a with quite a bit of paper that's confidential. What to do with it?

Throwing it in the trash or putting it into the recycling bin won't work, so get yourself an automatic shredder that you can put next to your desk. We are really like our workhorse, the Fellowes DM12C shredder, which we got at a great price at the membership-only (and worth every penny) Costco. We highly recommend making this small investment in your customers' data security -- the old-fashioned way.


6 comments:

Wanderjenn on December 3, 2009 at 1:21 PM said...

Seconded! In fact, I think that I have the very same shredder. We go the extra mile in our household and throw the shreds in the compost bin. Nobody is going to read this data but the worms.

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on December 3, 2009 at 2:11 PM said...

@Wanderjenn: excellent idea about the compost bin. We wish we had one. Love the visual about worms reading highly sensitive data...

Kevin Lossner on December 3, 2009 at 3:30 PM said...

The Stasi shredded quite a lot in the final days of the GDR, but technology has been developed to put those bits back together. If you really want to be sure of destruction, you'll have to incinerate the material.

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on December 3, 2009 at 5:49 PM said...

@Kevin: good point. If we ever get anything with a top security stamp on it, we will burn it somewhere in the desert. There's a lot of desert around here. Wait: that's bad for the environment. We'll do that in our chimenea, the one that split in two during a party and that someone wanted to throw into the pool.. but we digress.

Vince Hamon said...

Good idea. Same goes for bank statements, etc.

WordNerd1979 on September 23, 2010 at 2:34 PM said...

Fellowes makes some really great shredders and they makes it easy to keep things private. This is a great post.

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