BBB shreds documents, hard drives to fight identity theft - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

BBB shreds documents, hard drives to fight identity theft

Bob McGurk Bob McGurk
Lisa Nakao Lisa Nakao
Byron Tolbe Byron Tolbe
Lance Furuyama Lance Furuyama

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds of Oahu residents got rid of thousands of pages of documents Saturday, all in an effort to fight identity theft.

But that wasn't the only thing getting shredded.

A steady stream of cars entered the McKinley High School parking lot, bringing in paper documents, as well as old cell phones to be recycled, and old computers.

The Better Business Bureau has been fighting ID theft with its annual "Secure Your ID Day." People were allowed to bring in up to two file boxes or bags of paper documents. They were put into a bin, and then destroyed, on the spot, for free.

"We destroy floppy discs, x-rays, you name it," said Byron Tolbe, operations manager for Access Information Management, which had three trucks ready to collect and shred documents, on the spot.

"We have a shredder. To do it on our tiny little shredder takes forever, so this is pretty handy for me," said Nuuanu resident Bob McGurk, just after dropping off two boxes worth of paper documents.

"My wife has been trying to get rid of it for a long time," McGurk added. "I have an old file box that's just full of old bills."

According to BBB Hawaii, identity theft and fraud is still a huge problem, with theft from mailboxes and from trash cans.

"Last year, 8.1 million Americans were affected by identity fraud," said Lisa Nakao, director of operations for BBB Hawaii. "And it amounted to $36 million lost altogether, so it affects people in a significant way. I think the average loss amount was about $630 or so, per person."

People also brought several old computers so that their hard drives could be destroyed, and the rest recycled or disposed of.

"One hard drive can contain 30 trash cans of data, so people need to treat it accordingly," said Lance Furuyama of Pacific Corporation Solutions, which was collecting the computers to be destroyed at their facility.

"They remove every hard drive," Furuyama said. "We actually have a shredder that takes up about 40 feet in our facility. It goes in and comes out in dime size shreds."

The BBB said information, in any form, needs to be treated and disposed of carefully.

"If you don't need to keep documents around, its best to shred it because then you're not exposing your sensitive information to anybody to take," said Nakao.

Related link: Hawaii BBB Secure Your ID Day

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