fbpx

Rainbows

I don’t know about you, but I often come back to something and it’s not quite how I remembered it.  Sometimes, it’s better.

Scanning through some photos in search of a theme for this blog, and thinking that we are all, to some degree or another, retuning to ‘normal’, I came across this, taken from outside the doors to our warehouse in Rhymney a while ago – it’s stunning, isn’t it.

Maybe a sign of hope for things to come?  Whatever the future holds for us, we are having to adjust our lives and businesses to a world where a plague is no longer something confined to the pages of mediaeval history books.  What we think of as normal now won’t be the same as it was before. 

Our lives have changed and our memories are already only a partial record even of the recent past.  One thing is sure, as a society we are massively better equipped economically and scientifically to deal with Covid-19 / SARS-CoV-2 than any generation in human history.  And we are, after all, the most inventive and adaptable species on the planet.

Who knows?  The new normal might be better than the old.

Mae hen wlad fy nhadau

I saw this pic on a friend’s Facebook feed this evening and had to add it to this site – this beautiful country that we live in, the beautiful sky, the grazing sheep…..I could wax lyrical about this for ages, but I think the main point is….let’s keep it beautiful, doing everything we can to save our planet.

At Taclus we have a zero landfill policy, and our service is based on our rigorous internationally recognised standards, ISO 9001:2015, EN:15713 and ISO 14001:2015. We are licensed by the Environment Agency as a waste carrier and we recycle 100% of the paper we process.

What sets Taclus apart from our competitors is that we offer a comprehensive data destruction service with no hidden extras. We will quote you one clear price with no additional fees for paperwork or anything else.

Thank you to my friend John for the pic!

Guide to Shredding: Part 4 What should I watch out for when I am getting a quote for shredding?

In our fourth instalment of ‘all you need to know about shredding’, we explain some of the pitfalls that companies experience when signing contracts with shredding companies. Read on….

Am I being quoted the full price?

Some companies will quote one price up-front, but when the invoice arrives there are extra, un-quoted costs.  Examples are “diesel surcharge”, “environmental charge” and “time on site”.

The most common one, however, is a charge, anything up to £100.00, for a Duty of Care Waste Transfer Note.  There is actually a legal duty on every organisation to create one of these certificates for all the waste that they produce, although this is one of those duties that many companies are unaware of.

Because waste management organisations deal with this sort of paperwork all the time, it is usual for the service provider to create the paperwork and provide it to the customer.  For contract customers this is often done in the form of a “season ticket” stating the approximate quantity of the particular type of waste that the customer might produce over 12 months.  Many people think that £100.00 for one piece of paper is a bit over the top, to say the least.

Good suppliers will provide an individual Waste Transfer Note too, stating the exact number of sacks, bins or boxes collected on that specific date.  This adds an extra element of accuracy to the audit trails both for data protection and environmental regulations. And it should be provided as part of the quoted price.

Check out our prices on our website!

What am I signing up for?

The Data Protection Act that came in in 2018 has put the burden on the customer to ensure that they have a written contract with their service provider for confidential waste. 

Some companies have taken advantage of this to insert clauses into their contract that can catch out the unwary.  These terms are designed to tie the customer in for as long as possible, often for much longer than they anticipated. I spoke to a customer the other day who had unwittingly signed a contract for 5 years with no legal right to terminate the contract early – so frustrating when they found that they were being charged more than 3 times the amount than other providers.

And watch out for other catches….

…….commitments of three, four or five years are not uncommon, with the customer having no legal right to terminate the contract early. One company has a particularly sneaky clause.  It gives the customer a window in the last six months of the contract in which they have the opportunity to give notice that they do not want to renew.  If they fail to give notice in this time window, the contract automatically renews for the full term, leaving the customer stuck with that supplier for another three, four or five years.

So, when you are getting a quote for a shredding service, always make sure you check:

  1. The quoted price includes ALL elements of the service, without additional charges. Get a quote from us while you are here
  2. You know the length the contract runs
  3. You know your cancellation rights
  4. You know if there is an automatic renewal to the contract.

Would you like to know more?  If so, please get in touch on 029 2030 3717 or enquiries@tacusconfidential.co.uk

School’s Out! Another term in lockdown is over and what a mad year it has been! Time to clear out your papers, books and storage….time to use Taclus!

Who would have thought in January that the rest of the school year would have been like this? Who would have thought that all our lives would have changed so dramatically? Thank you so much to all education staff everywhere who have adapted their teaching to help pupils and students during lockdown! You’ve done it! And breathe……time for ……well, sitting in the garden, reading books, catching up on box sets, long walks…..whatever you are able to do whilst adhering to social distancing.

But also time for school or department refurbishments, clear-outs, and improvements.

People who aren’t usually given access to your buildings will be working there.

Make sure your confidential waste is held securely.

Or, if you’re planning for the new year in September, have you thought about how your school will handle its confidential waste in 2020/21?

Here’s what you can do…

Ensure you have lockable consoles

This will help you keep sensitive documents safe. This could include old pupil records, letters from parents and from teachers to parents, and old staff records.

Putting them in an insecure place ready for recycling in September could mean confidential data getting into the wrong hands, and that could also mean you breaching the strict rules imposed by the General Data Protection regulation (GDPR).

Organise a one-off shred

We know that school staff will be working over the summer to prepare for next year and to make necessary adjustments to enable pupils to return in September.

So, why not arrange a one-off collection? This will allow you to ensure all your confidential data is handled correctly and start the new academic year in the right way.

Ensure the company you choose conforms to the highest standards and has staff who are vetted – just like Taclus Confidential. Also ensure they give you a certificate of destruction and a transfer note, if they are taking your confidential waste off the premises.

Call in an on-site shredder

This is a convenient way to shred a substantial number of old documents in one go.

It also means your documents don’t have to leave your site.

Again, ensure the company you choose has vetted staff and conforms to the highest industry standards to ensure your data security.

Don’t forget your old hard drives and media

Deleting a file doesn’t mean it has been wiped from the hard drive. In fact, these files can be recovered and your confidential data can be compromised.

So, if your school is updating its computers, make sure your hard drives are destroyed securely.

The same applies to media such as flash drives, phone SIM cards, and image cards for cameras.

Why you should choose Taclus Confidential?

We offer confidential paper waste and hard drive destruction services at competitive prices. And we have a special offer for schools too with one free clear-out per term!

Taclus Confidential holds the accreditations for ISO 9001:2015 for quality management and ISO14001:2015 for environmental management and has been certified by independent auditors IQS for both.

Taclus has also been selected as the confidential waste management partner for Keep Wales Tidy.

If you need advice on dealing with the secure destruction of your school’s confidential waste, contact our friendly and efficient team on 02920 676 714, or email enquiries@taclusconfidential.co.uk

Guide to Shredding: Part 3 Professional shredding service v DIY shredding (and how many people die in bed each year through falling out….)

Paper shredding companies can give you any number of reasons not to buy your own paper shredding machine – everything from the mess they can make, to the noise they create, from the danger of injury or accident, to the fact that they seem to have a nasty habit of breaking down about a week after the warranty has run out…….

…..but in truth, none of these are really the end of the world, are they? Take the risk of injury; around 10 people per year manage to damage their fingers in a shredder, compare that to deaths from lawnmowers (900) and beds (20,000 accidental bed deaths in the USA last year from getting strangled by sheets, falling out and hitting their heads or choking on a pillow).

Even the creation of a certified audit trail from the certificates of secure destruction could be replicated by accurate in-house audit procedures.

So, is the commitment of taking on a contract with a shredding company worth the trade-off to avoid some of these really not-too-massive problems?

Well, although the commitment needn’t be too onerous (be careful to choose the company wisely and read the small print, see our Guide to Shredding Part 4), for some businesses with very low use of paper a small desk-side shredder might be the smart move.

But for a lot of businesses, the amount of paper they use gives them one really compelling reason to use a shredding service rather than buying their own paper shredding machine:

THE COST

We’ve summarised the cost of ownership in the table below.  As one of our clients put it “We expected the professional service and accurate paperwork.  What we didn’t expect was savings of £900 per year”.  (Mitchell Meredith, Brecon).

It is not just the cost of the machine itself, and the consumables like bags and oil, nor even the fact that you still need to pay to have the shredded paper taken away and for the paperwork to go along with the collection.  The major factor is the time that using even an expensive “automatic” shredder takes up. 

Below is a summary comparison, based on a business using 10 boxes of paper per month.  We’ve picked a modern Rexel Auto 750 X machine, currently retailing at around £1200, and assumed that it will have a service life of 4 years.  In terms of time, we’ve allowed 10 minutes per sack-load of shredded paper, to account for loading paper into the shredder, removing the full sack, fitting a new sack, sweeping up the bits and then taking the full sack to wherever it is stored before collection.  Of course, if you’re the person in the office who gets stuck with the shredding job, you’ll know that it will take far longer if you have to feed the machine by hand.

The comparison is for a service with four secure lockable consoles collected once every two weeks. 

Shredded paper can take up to 10 times the volume of un-shredded paper, hence the difference in the number of sacks created to process the same amount of paper.

ItemShredding MachineShredding Service
Number of Sacks Produced558
Purchase Cost£15.00£0.00
Service Cost£5.00£50.00
Paperwork£8.00£0.00
Consumables£17.00£0.00
Wage Bill£82.50£0.00
   
Total Per Month£127.50£50.00
Per Year£1,530.00£600.00
   
Saving  £930.00  

Would you like to know more?,  If so, please get in touch on 029 2030 3717 or enquiries@tacusconfidential.co.uk

Guide to Shredding Part 2 – How do I destroy a hard drive?

How do I wipe a hard drive? How do I destroy a hard drive?

This is a really important question, and a crucial step for any organisation wanting to ensure the security of its data.

The terms delete, wipe, erase, shred, destroy and so forth are often used interchangeably, but this is a mistake when it comes to a computer hard-drive.  And the consequences of getting it wrong can be costly.

Every few years a story makes the news where computers that have been sent for secure destruction or donated to charity end up being sold off and shipped to other parts of the world, where the data is taken from the drives and used in fraud.

This is possible because when you ‘delete’ a file on a computer, send it to ‘trash’ etc, is does not remove the data.  What happens when you click ‘save’ is that the part of the drive used to create the file is locked, so you can’t write over it.  When you click ‘delete’, it removes the lock making that part of the drive available to be written over again in the future.  But the data is still there, and can easily be recovered with the right (inexpensive) software.

So what are the options for safely ensuring data security at the end of the life of a piece of IT equipment?

  1. Use a data-destruction software program.  There are plenty of free ones out there, the most popular is DBAN.  These work by deleting data, over-writing it with random data, and then deleting that.  This should be enough to completely erase data, although not all experts agree.  Also, it can be quite a time-consuming process and does require a fairly high level of computer-savvy, e.g. you’ll need to create your own bootable media on a CD or flash drive, and different processes are needed depending upon whether you have a traditional SATA drive or a solid-state SSD.
  2. Physically destroy the disk.  This is the only way to absolutely ensure the data is destroyed. Straightforward for a SDD (think large hammer) and a little more complicated for a SATA drive (the hammer has destroyed the drive, but is the data on the platter inside still readable if removed?)
  3. Leave it to the experts.  Choose a specialist secure data destruction company with the right accreditations (ISO:9001 with EN15713).  They will ensure that the drive is physically destroyed, provide the correct paperwork for secure destruction and waste transfer, giving you a solid audit-trail.  And this should be at a price that will easily outweigh the time you’d need to spend attempting the job yourself.

Would you like to know more?,  If so, please get in touch on 029 2030 3717 or enquiries@tacusconfidential.co.uk

Taclus Guide to Shredding Part 1

Each fortnight, for 10 weeks we will be publishing our Taclus guide to shredding, providing you with answers to the questions you didn’t even know you needed to ask. We hope this will help you ensure that you are meeting all data protection regulations, limiting your exposure to fraud and creating a safe and secure office environment. Darren, one of our drivers pictured above, is ready, willing and able to load bags of paper, hard drives and other confidential waste onto our van for shredding back at our paper shredding site. Alternatively, we can bring our big mobile shredding truck to you. So, buckle up, here is Part 1:

What do I need to shred? What documents need to be shredded?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question how long I need to keep records or documents for, but at Taclus Confidential we are here to steer you in the right direction.

The answer depends in part of what type of organisation you are, what sort of document you are talking about, and also what the need to keep the data is based upon. 

For example, some legal documents (wills, for instance) can be kept indefinitely, schools have a multitude of different timelines depending on the type of document (e.g. child protection documents have to be kept for over 25 years), and special rules apply to local government.

That said, for most businesses the answer is more straightforward.  For finance matters, you need to keep records for at least five years after submitting a tax return.  We’ve included a table below listing the most common types of business documents and how long they need to be kept for.

Finance DocumentationMinimum time to keep
Annual accounts, including profit and loss.Six years
Bank statements and paying-in slipsSix years
Cash books and account books.Six years
Sales and purchase invoices.Six years
Credit notes.Six years
Order and delivery notes.Six years
Records of daily takings.Six years
Sales and purchase documents relating to dealings with EC Member States.Six years
Other documentation relating to imports and exports.Six years
Documentation relating to any special VAT treatment.Six years
Business correspondenceSix years
Staff Records
Accident Books and ReportsThree years from the date of the last entry
Income Tax & NI ReturnsThree years after the end of the financial year to which they relate
Medical RecordsRelated to Asbestos, Hazardous substances and biological tests 40 years from the date of last entry
Medical examination CertificatesFour years from the date of issue
Statutory Maternity PayThree years after the end of the tax year in which the maternity period ends
Wage/Salary records plus overtime and expensesSix years
National Minimum WageThree years after the end of the pay reference period
Records relating to working hoursTwo years from the date on which they were made

If you’re unsure about how exactly this issue relates to your business, please get in touch on 029 2030 3717 or enquiries@tacusconfidential.co.uk

How long am I allowed to keep documents for?

Once you’ve worked out how long you’re required to keep various different types of document: how do you work out how long you are allowed to keep documents for, if you wanted to hold on to them for longer than the law requires?

For purely financial documents, there is no limit.  But, if the document can be used to identify a living individual, the new Data Protection Act Applies.

When GDPR (now part of the Data Protection Act 2018) came into force, it changed the way organisations are allowed to hold data.  There are six lawful bases to hold information:

(a) Consent: the individual has given clear consent for you to process their personal data for a specific purpose.

(b) Contract: the processing is necessary for a contract you have with the individual, or because they have asked you to take specific steps before entering into a contract.

(c) Legal obligation: the processing is necessary for you to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations).

(d) Vital interests: the processing is necessary to protect someone’s life.

(e) Public task: the processing is necessary for you to perform a task in the public interest or for your official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.

(f) Legitimate interests: the processing is necessary for your legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party, unless there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides those legitimate interests. (This cannot apply if you are a public authority processing data to perform your official tasks.)

There are lots of ways that these bases can apply, if you’re unsure there is a lot of help on the Information Commissioner’s website https://ico.org.uk/

There is no fixed period for holding data, but when deciding the purpose for holding it part of the process should be deciding how long you need to keep any personal data for.  Once you’ve decided that, you should have a system with a review date for records and documents and a process for deleting or destroying the records after that date if they are no longer needed.

If you’re unsure about how exactly this issue relates to your business, please get in touch on 029 2030 3717 or enquiries@tacusconfidential.co.uk

David Lovatt, Director

Taclus – What’s in a Name?

I remember it vividly – sat on my favourite battered, leather chair, recovering from a second back operation in 8 weeks, numbed by morphine with the children asleep…..my partner, my brother and I were bouncing ideas for the name of my partner’s new business.  He already had a successful stationery business and a 20-year background before that in sales management and had spotted a gap in the market.  He was so excited by this opportunity that he was prepared to put all his eggs in the confidential waste basket – ever the entrepreneur, this felt like the only option and his usual voice of reason was in a morphine haze and was supporting it wholeheartedly!

Dave, owner and director of Taclus Confidential is that heady mix of entrepreneur and do-gooder.  He wants to make his mark on the world, to save the planet and to be a knight in shining armour to all those around him.  When the business is fully established and financially successful, he dreams of giving back in the social enterprise sector, whereas this writer just wants to walk the dog and go for lunch with friends.

A local confidential waste company ticks all of Dave’s values – recycling, providing an excellent service for local firms without charging the prices of the ‘big boys’ as he calls them (Shredit, Restore etc), working alongside charities such as Keep Wales Tidy and keeping the country safe by avoiding data theft (that’s the knight in him!)

So, how to find a company name that encompasses all of that?  Dave’s surname is Lovatt and we decided that this was a good sounding surname, so that needed to be in the name.  We also wanted to incorporate the word ‘green’ – highlighting the green credentials of the company.  We had decided on Lovatt Green Waste Services and were happy with it…..

…..but it needed the word ‘confidential’…..so Lovatt Green Confidential Waste Services…..

Too long, too much of a mouthful.  And, we realised, it didn’t sound Welsh enough – we couldn’t set up a company without having a touch of the dragon in the title, could we?  And yet, it couldn’t be too complicated either – we love the Welsh language, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone (or us, actually, but we love it anyway)

Back to the drawing board!  How do we get a Welsh word, that everyone can say and that resonates with the values of the company?  Does it need to be Welsh?  Could it just be an English word that the Welsh use, in an ‘I Loves the Diff’ kind of way? 

Dave said, ‘how about Tidy?  And the slogan could be There’s Tidy!’  Brilliant we thought – Welshness personified and a confidential waste firm helps keep an office tidy.  Tidy Confidential? No.  And then the magic happened……this non-creative, but morphine-induced writer put ‘tidy’ into Google Translate and……Taclus Confidential was born!

Taclus Confidential – We’re on the case with your confidential waste!  NB: the slogan, on all of our vans, was created by Mali, a sixteen year old friend of my daughter who wants a career in marketing…..she’s definitely got potential!

If you want to find out more about the services of the best named, best quality and highly recommended confidential waste service in South Wales and South West of England, please do contact us and check out our website

Taclus – there’s Tidy!

Lockdown Clearouts

As we are all adjusting to the strange new world which has grown around us over the last few weeks, we are all finding different ways of coping, and different ways to use our time.

Many of us, once we have started to get over the shock of what is going on in the world, are getting around to doing some of those non-urgent but important jobs that we’ve been putting off.

Here at Taclus Confidential we’ve already had requests from customers to drop off sacks so that they can start to clear out old archives and paperwork.  We are also hearing that people are starting to look at their over-all data retention set up, revising policies and processes.

In deciding what data you should keep, how long for and how and when to dispose of it, there are a number of resources available for guidance.  The Information Commissioner’s Office has a lot of detailed information and some useful self-assessment checklists, https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-self-assessment/

Also, we answer a lot of questions specific to data retention and destruction on our own website, https://taclusconfidential.co.uk/faqs/

We are still offering a full collection, destruction and certification service to new and existing customers, taking appropriate extra precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

So, if you’re thinking of using lock-down time for that clear-out that you’ve been meaning to do, please drop us a line or give us a call on enquiries@taclusconfidential.co.uk and 029 2030 3717.

Are you part of the outsourcing revolution? Outsource your shredding too!

The number of micro businesses in the UK has soared in recent years.

In fact, they account for 94% of all businesses, a 2019 survey by Vistaprint found.

In 2015, official statistics showed there were 5.15 million micro businesses in the UK, that’s businesses employing less than 10 people. Although many were run by solo entrepreneurs, more than a million of them were employers.

Little surprise, then, that there has also been a boom in outsourcing in recent years.

Micro business owners know they can’t do everything themselves.

They have been outsourcing marketing, administration, human resources, social media, and IT support.

If your business is part of this outsourcing boom, building trust with potential clients is key.

So, having systems in place to ensure you deal with their data securely is a vital part of ensuring your prospective clients don’t find a different provider.

Human resources

Dealing with clients’ employees means there will be lots of confidential letters and files which must be kept for a specified period by law.

However, once this period is up, you need to ensure your confidential paper documents, and the old hard drives containing digital versions of these files, are shredded securely.

Outsourced human resources companies exist on their reputations for confidentiality. Not only could a data breach spell disaster for your business, it could be disastrous for your client’s business, too.

Marketing and social media

No business wants their marketing or social media plan to fall into competitors’ hands.

So, outsourced marketing companies should be conscious of dealing with client data securely. Confidential waste containing marketing plans, details of individual employees, and financial projections should be shredded securely.

Administration

Virtual assistants and other outsourced administrators deal with so many confidential documents.

From business plans, accounts, and company bank statements to travel arrangements, personal banking details for company employees and directors, phone numbers, and email addresses.

Many VAs sign non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements with their clients, so protecting data is a huge part of the service.

Having a secure shredding service on hand to deal with confidential waste – and old hard drives when you upgrade your computers – is a vital part of protecting a VA business.

IT support

Ensuring your old hard drives in PCs and laptops, old phone SIM cards, USB sticks, and image cards are destroyed securely is one of the best ways to protect your clients’ data.

Despite the idea that we’re moving towards paperless offices, there are still hard copies of contracts, bills, invoices, and supplier lists to contend with, too.

So, when it comes to outsourcing, why not take a leaf out of your clients’ books and do a little of the same – outsource your own confidential waste shredding!

Why you should choose Taclus Confidential – A South Wales secure shredding company

We offer confidential paper waste and hard drive destruction services at affordable prices.

Taclus Confidential holds the accreditations for ISO 9001:2015 for quality management and ISO14001:2015 for environmental management and has been certified by independent auditors IQS for both.

Taclus has also been selected as the confidential waste management partner for Keep Wales Tidy.

If you need advice on dealing with the secure destruction of confidential waste, call our friendly and efficient team on 02920 676 714, or email enquiries@taclusconfidential.co.uk