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Why secure shredding is a vital tool to help businesses prevent identity theft

Identity theft is a massive threat for businesses and their leaders – and one of the main reasons secure shredding is a must these days.

ID thieves can wreak havoc for a business – running up debts in your name, posing as you when contacting customers, and hitting your ability to raise finance.

Secure shredding is an important tool to make things far harder for ID thieves, helping you keep your information safe.

Not only could they target you and your business, they could attempt to steal the identities of your customers or suppliers, so you need to keep their information safe, too.

Any business also needs to be aware of the General Data Protection Regulation and its emphasis on the importance of data protection.

Its rules apply to paper documents and information held on laptops, PCs, tablets, USB sticks, and phones.

A data breach could land your business with a large fine under GDPR – up to 4% of your annual turnover or 20 million Euros for serious breaches – and it could deliver a huge blow to your reputation.

How do you know that you or your business is being targeted by ID thieves?

Some of the signs you’re being targeted by identity thieves include…

  • Missing documents – Important documents might have been taken to use the information in them, including passports and driver’s licences or copies of them.
  • Missing post – Thieves could be intercepting mail to look for bank statements, credit card deliveries, utility bills, or information from government bodies such as HMRC and Companies House.
  • Recycling or rubbish has been rifled – ID thieves may have been looking for useful documents which have been thrown away.
  • You begin receiving letters from debt collectors or solicitors for debts that aren’t yours.
  • There are items you don’t recognise on your bank statement.

How could your business reduce the risks?

  • Separate confidential documents from normal recycling. Only put documents which don’t contain details such as names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, and bank details in the open recycling.
  • Store important documents securely – Either use a safe or a lockable filing cabinet. Make sure your confidential waste is stored securely before it is shredded, too. We offer lockable consoles.
  • Monitor your bank accounts and your credit ratings regularly.
  • If you’re moving office, get your post redirected by Royal Mail and inform your bank, utility company, telephone provider, accountant, HMRC, and Companies House.
  • Choose a shredding company which meets the highest standards for data security and quality, as we do at Taclus Confidential. Ensure they use a secure facility and that their staff are vetted.
  • Opt for on-site or mobile shredding, which can be carried out in front of you. You will get an immediate certificate of destruction.
  • Don’t forget that your old hard drives and media such as image cards, phone SIMs, and USB sticks can contain all sorts of confidential information. Get them shredded, too.

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

We offer confidential paper waste, removable media, 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 secure shredding, contact our experienced team on 02920 676 714, or email enquiries@taclusconfidential.co.uk

Shredding sector welcomes £6.5m fund to help Welsh businesses use more recycled materials

Wales is making a bold move towards creating a circular economy, something which is being backed strongly by businesses like Taclus Confidential who provide shredding services.

The Welsh Government is launching a £6.5 million Circular Economy Fund to boost the use of recycled materials.

As well as benefitting the environment, the fund’s aim is to create and protect jobs in Wales in industries such as manufacturing and shredding.

What is a Circular Economy?

This is an economy where resources remain in use for as long as possible. This is achieved by recovering and regenerating materials when they reach the end of their life. In other words, recycling as much as possible instead of sending them to landfill or for incineration.

Take the example of shredded hard drives. The metal can be recovered and re-used in new products, without more metals having to be mined. This reduces the resources needed to make items, reduces the impact on the environment, and cuts the amount of waste in landfill.

Hannah Blythyn, the Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, said: “In Wales…we are within touching distance of being the world’s top recycling nation. I want us to go even further towards a truly circular economy.”

What is the aim of the fund?

Towards Zero Waste, the Welsh Government’s strategy sets targets of 70% recycling by 2025 and 100% recycling by 2050.

The fund’s aims are also that manufacturing businesses will become more resource efficient, and local supply chains will be strengthened.

The new fund, administered by WRAP Cymru, will help businesses looking for capital investment funding to increase the use of recycled materials in components, manufactured products, or packaging.

Ms Blythyn said the fund’s grants will help with the costs of investing in new equipment and infrastructure. More recycled materials will be used in Welsh manufacturing.

“We know this has the potential to bring significant cost savings as well as helping businesses to reduce their carbon footprint,” she added.

“Increased use of recycled material…also helps create and protect jobs by making Welsh manufacturing companies more resource efficient and resilient in terms of the security of supply of raw materials.”

How will this benefit manufacturers and the shredding industry?

Taclus Confidential’s Managing Director David Lovatt said: “This is excellent news for manufacturers as this helps them move towards using their own waste or sourcing their recycled paper, card, plastics, and metals locally in Wales.

“This cuts the costs of transport in their supply chains and helps support the local economy.

“In the future, resources will become scarce, too, so this gives their supply chain security.

“For the shredding industry, this helps to protect existing jobs and create new ones.

“We’ll be able to advise manufacturers how shredding can help their processes and ensure they meet the requirements of the Circular Economy.”

For example, a business shredding its confidential waste paper could use that to produce its packaging.

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

  • We offer confidential paper waste, removable media, 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 confidential waste shredding, contact our friendly and efficient team on 02920 676 714, or email enquiries@taclusconfidential.co.uk

Could your business afford to lose money because you don’t have confidential waste shredding?

The cost of being sloppy with your confidential waste shredding is spiralling.

The average fine for data breaches has doubled over the past year, City law firm RPC has calculated. It says the Information Commissioner’s Office imposed almost £5 million in fines between September 2017 and September 18, an increase of 24% on the previous year.

The average fine is now £146,000, a substantial potential cost facing any business which does not handle its confidential waste shredding or data storage correctly.

Recent high profile fines include the £500,000 imposed on credit-reporting company Equifax after a hacker gained access to the personal details of 15 million people, and the £500,000 imposed on Facebook for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Up to 87 million account holders had their data harvested without their knowledge.

The Facebook fine was imposed under the Data Protection Act 1998, rather than GDPR where the maximum penalty is up to 4% of worldwide annual turnover or €20m, whichever is greater. The incident fell outside RPC’s calculations because of the reporting time.

However, RPC says this increase in fines should be a “wake-up call” to businesses to ensure their confidential data is held and destroyed securely.

Given the fact SMEs make up 99.9% of the businesses in the UK, according to Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills statistics, most have fewer than 50 employees and the average UK annual turnover is around £500,000, the burden of the average fine for data breaches could be devastating for them.

How can confidential waste shredding help keep your online data safe?

One of the easiest ways for hackers to gain access to your system is to check through your waste paper or old hard drives and USB sticks to get information on passwords, software, hardware, and IP addresses which access it regularly.

Think about all the information we print out, write on sticky notes on our desks, or keep filed away in drawers, and all the data we have on old hard drives.

If you’re disposing of that sort of confidential paper waste or waste media, secure shredding ensures those details don’t pass into the hands of hackers.

It also ensures you’re meeting your requirements under GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation.

Your data controller will need to show the systems you have in place to ensure the personal data you hold about staff, customers, and suppliers is secure.

Any documents you no longer need with personal details such as names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, National Insurance numbers, copies of ID documents such as passports and driving licences, or medical or disciplinary records would fall into the confidential waste category.

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

  • We offer confidential paper waste, removable media, 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 confidential waste shredding, contact our friendly and efficient team on 02920 676 714, or email enquiries@taclusconfidential.co.uk

Paper shredding services

What do I need to know about paper shredding services?

There are several decisions you need to make when you decide on your business’s paper shredding services.

It’s not just about how much shredding costs, you need to think about the logistics in your business, the level of security you need, and how it will help you comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

So, here’s what you need to think about when it comes to paper shredding services…

Storing your waste

Bags– For confidential waste in businesses where there is no public access, having a flexible bag service and collection whenever necessary is useful.

Lockable consoles– For businesses where there is public access on site, a large number of employees, or where sensitive data is held (such as in dental surgeries or legal practices), having lockable consoles keeps that data secure.

Deciding on the right paper shredding services

Each business needs to decide which service is right for them. Here are the choices…
One-off shredding– Perfect for the spring clean or annual office clear-out. We understand that our clients need to do this from time to time, so we don’t set a limit in the number of one-off collections.

Regular collections– Ideal for any business or organisation which needs regular assistance to keep on top of confidential paper waste.

Off-site shredding– Your confidential waste is taken in a secure van by vetted staff to our secure shredding facility and shredded to fine particles. You get a certificate of destruction and an audit trail so that you can prove your commitment to GDPR.

On-site shredding – Also known as mobile shredding, this allows businesses with sensitive data to see those documents shredded in front of them on their own site. This is useful for business such as care homes, solicitors, and accountants. You also get a certificate of destruction and an audit trail so that you can also prove your commitment to GDPR.

How you can choose the right paper shredding company

  • Look at their accreditations and make sure they comply with the latest standards for quality and environmental management.
  • Look at their current clients. Are they in a similar industry to yours or are they of a similar size with similar challenges? Shredding companies which are already servicing businesses similar to yours will understand the challenges you face.
  • Get testimonials from clients. Look at their ratings on independent review sites.

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

We offer confidential paper waste, removable media, 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 paper shredding services, contact our friendly and efficient team on 02920 676 714, or email enquiries@taclusconfidential.co.uk

“Why does my business need secure shredding?” Here are 4 excellent reasons…

You wouldn’t leave your business laptops or phones without security, would you? So why would you ignore the need for the secure shredding of your confidential documents?

Online security has become so important these days. It’s vital to ensure our systems aren’t hacked, our passwords cracked, and our data and money stolen. The problem is, we still live in the physical world where the data in documents could compromise our systems if stolen, land us a large fine, or destroy the confidence our clients have in us.

When you put it like that, hiring a secure shredding service for your documents is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Here are 4 compelling reasons to invest in secure shredding for your business

  1. Your documents could make it easier for electronic systems to be accessed.They could contain useful data for hackers who are looking to crack your passwords. No matter how many times you tell them not to, some people will still write them down or print them out and keep them on their desks! Make sure these passwords don’t fall into the wrong hands. Hackers could also obtain your written-down policy on when and how passwords need to be changed and use that to infiltrate your systems.
  2. Your business probably can’t afford a large fine for allowing the breach of confidential data.This could be customer or staff data, or even data relating to a supplier. Information about bank accounts, names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, national insurance numbers, and addresses are often contained on documents such as invoices, staff contracts, bills, letters, and personnel files. Under the General Data Protection Regulation, a business where there is a serious breach of data security could be faced with a fine of up to 20 million Euros or 4% of the worldwide turnover, whichever is the larger.
  3. You can’t afford the loss of reputation.No customer is going to come back to use you again if their data has been stolen. Once that happens, word of mouth can quickly turn against your business and that can cost you dearly in lost sales or fractured relationships with your best suppliers.
  4. Insecure shredding could make you complacent.Some businesses and organisations have found that using a simple office shredder is not enough to protect their confidential and sensitive data. A documents which has been shredded this way can still be put back together and the information on it used against your business. A secure cross-shredder, where the documents is shredded into tiny pieces different ways rather than in simple strips, and by vetted staff, is a far better option.

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

We offer confidential paper waste, removable media, 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 secure shredding, contact our friendly and efficient team on 02920 676 714, or email enquiries@taclusconfidential.co.uk

What are the advantages of mobile shredding for my business?

If your business produces sensitive documents, it’s time to consider mobile shredding.

All paper documents reach the end of their useful life at some point, and if your business produces documents with details of medical records, financial transactions, and staff disciplinaries, keeping the destruction of those files on your site could give you peace of mind.

Mobile shredding, also known as on-site shredding, allows you to see your records being destroyed in front of you.

Your sensitive documents can go straight from a lockable console into the shredder.

A mobile shredding van visits your site and staff carry out the work there, issuing you with a certificate of destruction afterwards.

What sort of business or organisation would find mobile shredding useful?

  • Solicitors – who have confidential and sensitive legal files
  • Accountants – who hold confidential business records for their clients
  • Care homes – which have resident medical records
  • Dentists and GP practices – who have medical records
  • NHS trusts – which have staff records and patient medical records
  • Housing associations – which hold staff and tenant information
  • Schools and colleges – with documents containing student and staff information
  • Local authorities – from local councils to police and fire and rescue services
  • Large companies – businesses with large numbers of employees such as call centres or warehouses

What do I need to think about?

You’ll need a secure area where the on-site shredding can take place and you’ll need to think about when the mobile shredding would be least disruptive to your business.

It’s also worth asking your shredding service these questions:

What is the size of the shredded paper after the work is carried out? Ensure it’s small enough to ensure the document cannot be re-assembled.

How long with the shredding take? This will depend on the amount you have, but ensure your staff have enough time to oversee the process.

When will I be issued with my certificate of destruction? Some companies will issue there and then, others will email the certificate out to you.

Are your staff vetted? The best companies will have staff who have been police checked and who are in uniform.

What happens to the shredded paper? Look for a company which has a no-landfill policy to ensure you meet your business’s objectives on sustainability.

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

We offer confidential paper waste, removable media, 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 mobile shredding, please contact our friendly and efficient team on 02920 676 714, or email enquiries@taclusconfidential.co.uk

What should my business look for in professional shredding companies?

Outsourcing the destruction of your confidential documents can be liberating – it’s great getting organised and freeing up staff time. But how do you choose the right service from among the many professional shredding companies?

There are six key questions you could be asking to ensure you get the best security and excellent service.

When you’re comparing professional shredding companies, ask:

  1. Are you accredited?

Good companies will hold independently-verified accreditations which show their commitment to the environment, sustainability, and the quality of their service.

These accreditations show they are fulfilling their obligations to the environment and to their customers.

  1. Do you send anything to landfill?

The best companies will have a zero landfill policy – just as we do at Taclus. This is not only to protect the environment and boost recycling rates in the UK. It also helps ensure the security of your documents and equipment. The recycling process means that documents cannot be reconstituted, for example.

  1. Do you shred on a secure site?

If the company’s site is secure, that gives you peace of mind that your confidential data will not be stolen from it.

  1. Do you offer off-site shredding?

For the most sensitive documents, you may wish a shredding company to come to your site and shred the items in front of you, so that you can see the process is secure for yourselves.

This is useful for businesses where there is a lot of confidential data such as law firms, care homes, and accountants.

  1. Are your staff vetted?

If the staff face checks on their histories, this gives you greater peace of mind that your confidential waste will not be handled by criminals.

  1. Do you provide certificates of destruction?

This gives you an audit trail for confidential waste destruction. Should something go wrong, and you face an investigation for a data breach, this helps prove your processes are secure.

What else could help me choose among the professional shredding companies?

Look for customer reviews and testimonials to see how they rate the service.

There are independent review sites, Google reviews, and reviews on Facebook which could help you.

Look for testimonials from your industry or a similar sized business to yours.

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

We offer confidential paper waste, removable media, 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 what to look for in professional shredding companies, contact our friendly and efficient team on 02920 676 714, or email enquiries@taclusconfidential.co.uk

Getting a new laptop or PC this Christmas? Make sure you don’t give ID thieves a present…

Upgrading your home computers and games consoles this Christmas?

There’s nothing better than unwrapping the newest hardware on Christmas morning.

Don’t forget, though, that it’s also time to ensure your old hard drives don’t give away your data.

People do so much on their domestic computers these says:

  • Banking – That includes logging into accounts, changing passwords, transferring money, and checking balances.
  • Paying bills – Whether it’s utility bills, mobile phone bills, or paying for a childminder, most of us now use our computers to do this.
  • Shopping online – From Amazon and eBay to websites for major chains such as Debenhams and Next, small, independent retailers, and supermarkets, most of us are now shopping on the net.
  • Social media updates – We love to update our status and browse through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat.
  • Booking medical appointments – Many of us have doctors and dentists who have online booking systems where your details, including the date of birth and address, must be entered.
  • Work – Some jobs allow remote working from home, other jobs encourage staff to work flexibly at a time to suit them, and many people now run small businesses from home.

So, what could be stored on your hard drive?

You could have passwords to your bank accounts, social media accounts, or key work accounts stored on your drive, old statements containing credit card details, medical information, business plans, or documents containing confidential work information.

There could be key information which identity thieves could use to create fake social media profiles, fake documents, take out credit cards, or open bank accounts.

If work data is lost, such as the names, phone numbers, and banking details of your colleagues or employees, your employer or your business might fall foul of strict General Data Protection regulation (GDPR) rules governing the data security of third parties.

In the case of serious data breaches, this could mean a fine of up to 4% of the business’s worldwide turnover, or 20 million Euros, whichever is higher.

What can you do to prevent ID thieves from stealing your data this Christmas and New Year?

Deleting files won’t give you the security you need. Clever data thieves know how to access the files even though they’ve been deleted. To them, it’s just like you deleting a directory while all the information remains there.

You need to make sure your old hard drives are shredded securely by an experienced shredding company.

That way, you’ll know your data will not be recovered.

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

We offer confidential paper waste, removable media, 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 your hard drives, contact our friendly and efficient team on 02920 676 714, or email enquiries@taclusconfidential.co.uk

USB memory stick disposal – Has your business ever lost a memory stick?

Dealing with USB memory stick disposal correctly is so important these days.

It could mean make or break for a business, as the recent case brought by the Information Commissioner against Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) shows.

After a member of the public found a USB memory stick the company had lost, HAL was fined £120,000 for failing to ensure the personal data held on its network was properly secured.

The memory stick was discovered on October 16, 2017 after it had been lost by an employee.

It contained 76 folders and over 1,000 files, and it had not been encrypted or protected by a password.

The person who found it took it to a local library and looked at the material on it and passed it to a national newspaper.

There was a small amount of sensitive and personal data held on it, including a training video which revealed 10 people’s names, passport numbers, dates of birth, and details concerning up to 50 aviation security personnel employed by HAL.

ICO Director of Investigations, Steve Eckersley, said: “Data protection is a boardroom issue and it is imperative that businesses have the policies, procedures and training in place to minimise any vulnerabilities of the personal information that has been entrusted to them.”

The ICO said its investigation found just 2% of the workforce of 6,500 had been trained in data protection.

The investigation also found the widespread use of removable media such as memory sticks in contravention of HAL’s own policies.

Once the company was aware of the matter, it reported what happened to the police, acted to contain the incident, and took on a specialist to monitor the internet and the dark web.

It took action to remedy the situation.

Read more about the case, which was brought under the old Data Protection Act because it pre-dated the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) here.

Under the new rules, serious breaches can cost companies fines of up to 4% of their worldwide annual turnover, or 20 Million Euros, whichever is the higher.

Taclus Confidential Managing Director David Lovatt said: “It’s easy to forget about removable media such as memory sticks and image cards, but they could cost us dearly if we don’t get them shredded securely.

“Ensure all your old memory sticks are collected and shredded by a company who can give you a certificate of destruction.”

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

We offer confidential paper waste, removable media, 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 your confidential waste, contact our friendly and efficient team on 02920 676 714, or email enquiries@taclusconfidential.co.uk

How could my data come back to haunt my business? Here are 5 ways which could give you quite the fright…

Halloween isn’t all just about trick or treaters or spooky costumes.

Traditionally, it’s when we tell each other ghost stories. When it comes to business, though, none of us want to be haunted by the ghosts of data past.

This is especially true now that the General Data Protection regulation is in force, and businesses face fines of up to 4% of their worldwide annual turnover, or 20 million Euros, whichever is the higher, when there is a serious data breach.

Here are 5 ways your data could come back to trip you up.

  1. Your old documents could be found in recycling and used by identity thieves

Wanting to recycle paper is a noble thing. We all want to save the planet. Yet, putting confidential waste in the general office recycling could be a huge mistake.

Do you know where your recycling ends up and who has access to it?

Identity thieves are adept at getting snippets of information from documents and piecing them together to use against you.

Using a secure shredding company such as Taclus Confidential which vets its staff and has secure processes means your documents won’t fall into the wrong hands.

Your paperwork will also be recycled at the end of that process.

  1. Your files could be recovered from your old hard drives

Wiping your hard drive doesn’t destroy the data on it. Instead, it removes a directory.

For people who understand the technology, getting files back is still possible.

So, when you’re upgrading laptops and PCs, it’s vital that your hard drives are shredded.

That way, your data remains safe.

  1. Your sensitive information could be held insecurely while awaiting destruction

Think about the kind of information you have in your business. That could mean staff medical records, notes of disciplinary meetings, financial information about employees, detailed business plans showing things about your business you don’t want competitors to know.

Just placing these in an open bag while you wait for them to be disposed of could be a real problem. Imagine who has access to your site, and who could take information from those open bags.

Getting secure consoles to protect that information is vital.

  1. Your old media such as flash drives and image cards could be lost

Think about the flash drives, image cards, and SIM cards your business uses and what kind of information is on them.

Files, pictures, emails…they all need protecting and could cause you major problems if they fall into the wrong hands.

  1. Your old branding could be used by the wrong people

If you refresh your branding, items containing the old version could be used to defraud your clients or damage your business.

That could be headed paper, business cards, and uniforms.

If you shred them, you know they aren’t out there to be used against you.

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 your confidential waste, contact our friendly and efficient team on 02920 676 714, or email enquiries@taclusconfidential.co.uk