Your information—in the form of business plans, product designs, account lists, business proposals, blueprints, and drawings—is the foundation of your company. Discarded information that makes its way into wastebaskets, garbage cans, and dumpsters is the single most available source of competitive and private data about your company. It’s this information that has all the makings of corporate espionage.
When it comes to stealing corporate secrets by retrieving documents from trash cans and dumpsters:
- The law is firmly on the side of the “bad guys.”
- Courts have consistently ruled that by discarding data into the trash, you have indicated that it is of no value to you
- The taking of this “useless information,” no matter what the intent, is protected by the law.
Shredding discarded material will render it unreadable—hence, useless—to those attempting to capitalize on your information.
- Customer Account Lists
- Business Plans
- Plans for New Products
- Financial Statements
- Payroll Data
- Cancelled checks