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Category Archives: Safety

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4 weeks ago Safety

Under Lock and Key: How to Secure Documents Safely

Roughly 300 billion emails are sent every day around the world. Many of those emails contain sensitive information that can have massive legal implications.

Does your business deal heavily in the storing and transmission of trade secrets? What about customer data?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, it’s important that you understand how to secure documents.

No matter the contents of your documents or their medium (digital or paper), our team offers some practical advice on how you can best preserve sensitive information and avoid prying eyes.

1. Always Backup Important Documents

The lowest hanging fruit when it comes to avoiding the loss of pertinent data is to backup documents. You can backup your documents in a variety of ways.

If your documents are paper, make a photocopy of them or digitize them.

If your documents are digital, make digital copies of your documents and store them separately from your original.

However you choose to do it, never have a single copy of something important. If you rely on a single copy, you’re setting yourself up for disaster.

2. Keep Documents on Encrypted Hard Drives

No matter where your digital documents are stored, ensure that their storage place is properly encrypted. Without encryption, a data thief could easily intercept sensitive information.

There are a number of programs out there (like BitLocker for instance) that allow you to apply military-grade encryption to any digital device you’re leveraging for document storage.

Talk to an IT professional about which tools will work best for your needs.

3. Leverage Safe Deposit Boxes

No matter how much effort you put into protecting your physical or digitally secured documents, they may be at risk if kept in an accessible location. To make sure that hard drives or documents are never intercepted and decrypted, consider storing them in safe deposit boxes until needed.

Safe deposit boxes provide an extra layer of security to your already protected documents. With that, even the most sophisticated of thieves won’t be able to access your data.

4. Use Secure Share Features on Cloud Drives

While not recommended, some businesses transfer secure documents through cloud storage services.

It’s important to know that cloud services, if compelled to do so by the authorities, will release your documents. To better understand third-party service’s relationship with your data, read their privacy policies.

If you send documents via cloud services, use their “protected” share features. This will ensure that if somebody intercepts the link to your document, they won’t be able to read your file’s contents.

5. Drop Physical Documents in Secured Bins for Disposal

Many businesses print out documents that contain a variety of trade secrets. Unfortunately, most assume that if these secrets get shredded prior to disposal, they’re safe.

That’s not the case.

A number of data miners are extremely adept when it comes to piecing back together shredded information.

To truly ensure that your secured documents remain secure upon disposal, find a “secured bins” provider in your area. Then, dispose of your documents in the padlocked trash cans they provide.

6. Ensure That Paper Documents Do Not Sit for Years Unsealed

Client information. Real estate records. Bank statements. These are all examples of documents you may want to preserve.

It’s important to know though that all paper deteriorates if left unsealed in closet spaces or filing cabinets.

Do you have secured documents that will be sitting for long periods of time unattended? If you do, ensure that you take proper steps to reduce their exposure to the elements.

This blog post can give you insight on how long your business might want to hold onto to legal documents. The National Archives provides some guidelines for safe document storage that you can reference here.

7. Leverage a VPN when Sharing Sensitive Information

Many legal professionals advise that people leverage VPN (virtual private network) protection when transmitting information online. Doing so hides your online identity. It also provides data an extra layer of security en-route to its destination.

VPN services can be purchased on a monthly basis from a variety of online service providers. They offer individual subscription plans and enterprise-level plans which are suited for organizations that value high levels of discretion.

8. Provide Employee Training

At the end of the day, human error is the number one culprit when it comes to undermining the safety of secure documents. To eliminate that factor, training is paramount.

If your document concerns revolve around your business operations, take the time to educate. Talk to anybody that comes into contact with sensitive data about how they should manage it.

With a dose of prevention, your business can avoid a world of headaches. It can also avoid civil legal repercussions that come with sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.

Wrapping Up How to Secure Documents Safely

Depending on the context of how your secure documents are being utilized, there are a number of measures you can take to ensure their integrity.

We hope that our tips above have informed you as an individual on how to be more cautious with sensitive data and/or have informed you as a business how to better protect trade secrets and customer information.

If you should need any legal help when it comes to your personal or corporate privacy, our team at HALT can help.

HALT is a premier legal directory that has been helping both individuals and businesses form lasting partnerships with local attorneys for years.

Browse our directory, and get the legal guidance you need today!

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2 months ago Prison , Safety

Overcome the fears of legal infringement in viewing streaming apps by using VPN

The popularity of video streaming apps is spreading like wildfire as the audience is seeking more options in viewing television programs and chosen movies and soaps just in the way they want. Viewers are keen to enjoy live events of sports, music and other entertainment on all kinds of devices including mobile phones even when they are on the go and the streaming apps provide the right type of entertainment that makes them happy. However, viewers often face copyright and related legal problems that surround the streaming of videos that many of the streaming companies curate from various websites on the internet.  You can know about several instances when viewers face a penalty for copyright infringement as such incidents are reported in the news and articles that appear on Bestdroidplayer, a blog that has become the face of the streaming industry.

Evading legal hassles

Many streaming services attract viewers by allowing them to view some premium live events free that would have otherwise cost them good money as they had to subscribe to the services. In simple words, some streaming services cut corners and circumvent the law to attract viewers and to take advantage of it viewers must ensure that they avoid all kinds of surveillance when viewing such programs. Therefore, maintaining complete privacy in viewing streaming services becomes a necessity so that viewers can avoid the legal hassles that arise from it. This has led to the growing demand for VPN services, many of which are free.

VPN offers complete privacy in viewing

VPN helps viewers to access the internet without leaving any trace of their online activities which are usually under close monitoring when using Wi-Fi and open networks. By using VPN, you can access any website or view any video streaming service including those that face restrictions in some countries and even access live streaming of major sporting events like NFL for free. No one can ever detect your online presence, and you are at liberty to access the internet in the way you want. In the process, viewers can avoid costly subscriptions, and the money-saving aspect adds to the enjoyment of viewing selected programs without any fear of trespassing the law. However, you may have to sacrifice speed when using VPN as it is not possible to get the best of everything.

VPN for network

For multiple users, you can use VPN across a network by choosing the best free VPN for Routers that create a firewall around the network and in addition to ensuring privacy in viewing it provides an additional layer of security. All incoming traffic passes through the firewall and undergoes scrutiny that protects the network from hacking or malware.  By configuring the router, it becomes easy to monitor the traffic that flows to and from the network.

All devices connected to the network whether wired or wireless that use VPN installed on the router enjoy the protection of VPN.  Since VPN provides an encrypted tunnel of communication, viewers can enjoy complete privacy as they remain invisible to the monitoring systems that track online activities.

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5 months ago Crimes , Laws , Safety , Weird Laws

What Are The Regulatory Requirements for Cleaning Crime Scenes?

Crime scene cleanup is an essential part of the process of restoring a crime scene environment and making it safe for habitation. The cleaning of crime scenes is not officially a regulated industry, yet there are regulations, restrictions and guidelines for crime scene cleanup staff to follow that ensure that rigid public safety standards are met. There are several agencies that are responsible for overseeing the protocols, namely, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). Any company that offers crime cleanup services would be recognized by the above organisations as being capable of carrying our necessary cleaning at crime scenes, while the company itself would have a rigorous training program to ensure that all their employees meet the very high standards that this type of work demands.

Crime Scene Cleanup

Crime Cleanup Companies

In the US, there are certain crime cleanup companies who operate across the country and their staff are specifically trained for this type of work. Crime cleanup technicians undergo special training and encounter horrific scenes that might arise from the following scenarios:

  • Homicide
  • Suicide
  • Unattended Death
  • Disease

The crime scene cleanup company would also be called in to eliminate risks from a tear gas infected area and render the environment safe for habitation and that means removing all traces of the harmful chemicals.

Crime Scene Cleanup Regulations

Special Skillsets

This type of work does not suit everyone, due to the traumatic scenes that one is likely to encounter, not to mention dealing with the people who are directly affected by the incident, the owners or occupants of the property. The cleanup company do sanitize the entire room where a trauma has occurred, yet they do not clean carpets, which are disposed of in a safe way. Items such as bedsheets, blankets and items of clothing are also disposed of, while the floors and walls are cleaned using special chemicals that break down the blood pathogen. The cleanup process is very thorough and the technicians wear special protective clothing while at work and due to the nature of such incidents, the company would have mobile teams who provide a round-the-clock service 365 days a year.

Bloodborne Pathogens

When cleaning up blood or human waste, the technician is always aware of the potential danger from bloodborne pathogens and is required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), the technician would be competent in the use of many different products used to sanitize a trauma scene. Bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted from person to person, such as hepatitis and HIV, therefore great care must be taken when cleaning up blood or other bodily fluids.

Second Responders

Crime scene cleanup technicians are what is known as second responders and would be called in when the police have finished collecting the required evidence and in many cases, they have to comfort family members before and after the cleanup process. If, for example, a person took their own life at the family home, the crime scene cleanup technicians would be called in as soon as possible and in such situations, family members are still in a state of shock and a high level of compassion is required when entering the affected premises and carrying out the cleaning.

Safe Removal of Biohazardous Materials

This is the primary role of a crime scene cleanup technician, who would thoroughly disinfect the area to ensure that all biohazardous materials are safely removed, Certain items would not be cleaned, rather they would be bagged up and incinerated and it is a time consuming task to completely clean the trauma scene, while great care must be taken by the technician to ensure they have completely removed all biohazardous materials and the property has been thoroughly sanitized.

Should you ever require the services of a crime scene cleanup company, an online search would be the best place to start and by dealing with an established company that is accredited and recognized by regulatory bodies, you can be sure the cleanup will be carried out promptly and effectively, allowing you to safely occupy the property. Typically, the cleanup company would have a network of branches and would cover several states or perhaps a region of the US.

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2 years ago Safety

Top Tips for Social Media Safety

Use of social media is becoming higher day by day. Nobody can even imagine about ignoring the use of social media as it has become an integrated part of the modern life. Popular social media sites such as twitter, facebook etc. offer a wide platform to people for staying in touch of their friends. They can easily share with the world that what is going on in their mind but this facility is also being misused now by anti social elements. The number of cases of abusing other users on social media and utilizing others’ personal information in a wrong way become higher. Here are some tips to stay safe in social media –

How to use facebook safely?

Facebook is really an ultimate social platform to share with people that what’s going on in your mind. Sharing photos, videos and personal content is a common thing in this highly popular social networking site but social media abusers is this platform as a tool for stalking and harassing their victims. The cases of online bullying have been increased with the day by day increasing popularity of facebook.

Well, you can protect yourself while using facebook through proper use of privacy settings. You should set the privacy settings at the highest level and add only those people in your friend list whom you trust really. Secondly, never post your personal information in facebook; for instance, you would be interested to tell your friends about your upcoming fun trip or your next week planning but you should control your excitement to tell the whole world that you are going out of your home. This can alert the people who stalk you; it’s better to post any update about your trips after coming back from the trip.

You can freely use the options of blocking someone on facebook, choosing the audience community for your posts and hiding your location etc.

Twitter

The precaution which you are advised to take on one social network is equally applicable upon another social networking media. You should protect your tweets on twitter by changing your privacy settings. Also, disabling the location is a good idea for keeping others away from tracking your location. When you change your privacy setting, you become capable of approving only particular people to follow you. Similarly, you can turn off the location setting to keep the information about your location secured. The option of blocking or reporting someone is available in twitter too.

So, you know a lot about social media security now. Hope, this will help you to do smart social networking online.

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