Sarah Palin got trashed the other day. Well, actually, an in-tact draft of her speaking contract with California State University got tossed in the trash resulting in some potentially embarrassing details about the former Governor’s conditions such as:
… two unopened bottles of still water and “bendable straws” must be waiting on a wooden lectern, …
Now personally, I’ve been around enough performers, speakers and politicians to know that demands such as unopened bottles are for security and sanitation, and that bendy straws are best at keeping sips of water from spilling on one’s blouse … but I digress …
Big Deal! So What?
The lesson we can take away from this incident has nothing to do with politics, or even performances,Â but rather some good old fashion security practices, which I offer below in a somewhat updated version of a well known proverb:
For want of a shredder the paper was lost.
For want of a paper the password was lost.
For want of a password the benefactor was lost.
For want of a benefactor the campaign was lost.
For want of a campaign the charity was lost.
And all for the want of a paper shredder.
In less poetic terms, the story goes that someone in the offices at California State University dropped five pages of a draft contract and then placed them recycling trash bin in their entirety.
What resulted was one of the oldest security hacks on the book: ‘Urino Purgamentum‘ or ‘Dumpster Diving’ for those of us not versed in Latin.
Again, Big Deal! So What?
Okay, okay, I’m getting to my point.
Today is tax day, which means the offices of your church and/or charity have probably been busy cranking out letters and statements to benefactors and contributors.
I suspect some of those documents for any variety of reasons never got mailed because they needed to be reprinted or revised … or are carelessly lying around after a successful fax transmission.
No matter how you cut it (pun intended), leaving your organization with a potential point of failure if you don’t put in place both policies and hardware on how dispose of such documents in a secure yet ecologically sound manner.
Or if that’s too much effort, put a recycle sticker on the bin to your paper shredder in the office or next to the computer where accounting is done.
Eating my own dog food …
Personally, I not only shred my documents, but then use the spaghetti like papyri in my garden – placing it as a barrier between the ground and the triple shredded mulch I put down a few times a year.
Not only does it insure my personal papers are re-constituted by some crazed HYCW cult member, but it keeps the weeds below at bay while feeding the plants above quite nicely … but I digress …
How important is this?
Point is, be careful with other people’s information. Losing it means losing their trust. And what’s that gone, you’re likely to have lost that volunteer or contributor forever.
Consider that against the cost of a shredder.
Related HYCW Reading:
- 5 things we can learn about password recovery questions from Sarah Palin
- How to quickly check your error logs for oddities
- How to make â€˜find -perm 777â€² your first ssh security stop
- Making a Ready Defense by Planning for Failure
- How to block a range of IPs from spamming your church website
- How to secure your churchâ€™s dedicated Linux server