More often than not, in India, several organizations, private and public, including individuals dispose paper records without shredding them.
The scrap collector is called in to pick the whole lot as they are, without even shredding them. The scrap collector then sorts these into paper that can be used elsewhere, like that by street vendors who pack items into it, other private dealers that convert that paper into small paper bags for re-use at retail outlets and so on.
In India, most of us do not get surprised by the fact that records on such paper are easily visible to those who receive them from the outlets or vendors.
However, personal data of any kind leaking this way, poses a risk to the individual’s privacy. Therefore, when you dispose paper records, ensure you do the following:
- Do not just throw the whole sheet away. Shred it.
- If you cannot shred it, tear it up into small pieces to ensure that it does not get “re-used”. It takes time, but the added security is well worth the effort.
There are enough people out there who can scavenge and do ‘dumpster diving’ to get to sensitive information.