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Laurie Ender: Keep your identity and information safe

Live from City Hall

Posted: April 23, 2009 6:59 p.m.
Updated: April 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.
We live in an information age where the world is at our fingertips. We pay our bills, balance our checkbooks, diligently manage our credit and even do our taxes without help. In an instant, however, our personal information can be stolen, ruining years of hard work. Social Security and credit card numbers, bank account information, driver's licenses and other valuable data can be used against us if they fall into the wrong hands.

The city of Santa Clarita and the L.A. County Sheriff's Department invite residents to participate in the annual Safe Shred, E-Waste and MedDrop Day to prevent such identity theft. The event is a one-stop-shop for residents to safely discard sensitive materials for free.

At the Shred Day portion of the event, the city will assist residents in protecting themselves from identity theft by shredding personal documents - one of the best ways to prevent this ever-growing crime. Residents can bring empty binders, unwanted or expired credit cards and more to be safely destroyed by Confidential Data Destruction, a local business with a clientele ranging from Fortune 500 companies to local small businesses. Each participant may bring up to five boxes of personal papers of any kind, complete with staples and paper clips, for the city to shred for free.

Electronic items and appliances (e-waste) will also be disposed of free of charge at the event's e-waste disposal area. Computer equipment, including desktops, laptops, keyboards, printers, cables, monitors and more will be accepted for disposal. Office equipment like telephones, fax machines and copiers with toners removed, as well as consumer electronics like VCRs, cassette players, stereo equipment, audio/visual media, PDAs, cell phones and more will be accepted as well.

In addition to computer waste, community members can now rid their homes of unwanted household appliances at the Safe Shred, E-Waste and MedDrop Day. The city will take microwaves, blenders, vacuums, coffee makers and more off residents' hands at the event.

Keeping unnecessary medication at home creates the potential for misuse or theft and disposing of it in the trash or flushing it down the drain harms our ecosystem. The safe medicine disposal, or MedDrop, area will offer a secure place to submit prescription, over-the-counter and veterinary medication to be properly destroyed by the Sheriff's Department. Syringes will not be accepted.

The city's Safe Shred, E-Waste and MedDrop Day provides community members with a one-stop-shop to dispose of sensitive materials at no cost. Leave personal papers, computers, medicine, office supplies and more with organizations you can trust - the city of Santa Clarita, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and Confidential Data Destruction. Bring your materials to the event on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at College of the Canyons and rest assured that your personal items will be destroyed properly and securely.

Laurie Ender is a Santa Clarita City Councilwoman. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. "Live from City Hall" is a column provided to The Signal by the city of Santa Clarita.


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