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Poll: How do you dispose of hardcopies of confidential documents?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:12
SITE STAFF
Oct 4, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How do you dispose of hardcopies of confidential documents?".

This poll was originally submitted by Nicole Schnell

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 23:12
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
I keep it on the screen Oct 4, 2006

There usually is not a lot of time to do a translation, and I prefer keeping all information on my computer. There are so many things you can do with text: OCR, feed it to a CAT tool, have it read out loud to you, speed read it with WinBlit... Why limit yourself to a sheet of paper?

Now, I must say, for some projects that require a lot of proofreading, I will occasionally print it out and mark it with an old-fashioned pen. In that case, I simply rip up the paper if it is confidential and throw it in the trash.

Reed


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 07:42
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Kabadiwala zindabad! Oct 4, 2006

In India we have an efficient solid waste disposal system in the form of the ubiquitous kabadiwalas (also called radhiwalas). These are roving pedlars who visit houses offering to buy all household wastes including newspaper, plastic, bottles and tins, discarded or broken down electrical equipment, metal items and the like.

My regular kabadiwala who visits my house once every two months, takes away all the paper wastes in my house and pays me a small fee in return for the junk.

I usually do not generate too much of paper waste as I work mostly on screen. But I sometimes take print outs of difficult documents and these are what need disposal after a few months.

My five year old daughter who is an avid artist, sometimes takes away the print outs to make drawings or to practise Hindi alphabets on the blank side of the paper.

I also make a conscious attempt to print on both sides of the paper as I consider myself to be an avid environmentalist and would like to tread lightly on Mother Earth.

[Edited at 2006-10-04 02:59]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
Fire Oct 4, 2006

I burn it.

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Michaela Sommer  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:12
Member
English to German
Shredder Oct 4, 2006

Balasubramaniam wrote:


I also make a conscious attempt to print on both sides of the paper as I consider myself to be an avid environmentalist and would like to tread lightly on Mother Earth.

[Edited at 2006-10-04 02:59]


Great to hear! I do the same, as I always print out any translation I work on, creating a lot of paper waste. I really hate it if I have to work just on screen, because I always scribble down little notes all over the text or highlight terms I need to double-check later on and so on. Confidential documents end up in the shredder, whilst the rest goes into the paper collection for recycling.


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Lindsay Sabadosa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:12
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Fire Starters Oct 4, 2006

I'm with Henry. It all goes into the basket next to the fireplace. Old paper makes great firestarters.

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Lesley Clayton
France
Local time: 03:12
French to English
+ ...
Another burner Oct 4, 2006

I would never put confidential papers (clients' or my own) in the recycling bin. I put them in the fire and then I know for sure they've disappeared without trace.

Lesley


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Madeleine Algrain  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:12
English to French
+ ...
other Oct 4, 2006

if I have a confidential document belonging to a client, I ask the client what he wants me to do with it. I don't keep it in my PC, I delete all trace of the document, I just keep the statistics. In most cases, either he tells me to destroy it or to send it back to him. If I have to destroy it, since I don't have a shredder, I tear it in many little pieces and I throw it in the bin.
Madeleine


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 03:12
French to Dutch
+ ...
What is confidential? Oct 4, 2006

What makes me wonder is the 34% for regular trash/never thought of/why bother. Did you hear about confidentiality? But maybe we should determine what is confidential? We could think about:
1. hardcopies/photocopies/faxes/printouts of personal stuff such as passports, social security cards, etc.
2. hard copies etc. of everything that might concern trade secrets/patents/new inventions
3. hard copies etc. of press releases
4. other documents the clients ask you to keep secret
5. everything that hasn't been published.
6. all client documents.
Personnally, I use a shredder for 1-4 and regular waste for everything else.



[Edited at 2006-10-04 07:57]


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:12
English to Polish
+ ...
Burn, burn (spoken with a mad gleam in the eye) Oct 4, 2006

I don't often work with stuff that's truly confidential (whatever that may mean), but if something's sensitive, I burn it at my friends' cottage in an old wood stove.

I also burn my old documents - bank and tax papers etc.

The rest I rip up into tiny pieces and take them to the paper recycling bin.

Pawel Skalinski


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:12
Member
Italian to English
Shred everything Oct 4, 2006

It's not for me to determine what's confidential and what's not, I treat all clients' documents with respect and shred everything. Call me obsessive, but hey.

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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:12
Member (2004)
English to Italian
other... Oct 4, 2006

I give them to my cat...


Giovanni


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:12
German to English
+ ...
Burn it Oct 4, 2006

Balasubramaniam wrote:
I also make a conscious attempt to print on both sides of the paper as I consider myself to be an avid environmentalist and would like to tread lightly on Mother Earth.

[Edited at 2006-10-04 02:59]


Agree - and there is the cost aspect, which is halved. Beer money.

Michaela Sommer wrote:
Confidential documents end up in the shredder, whilst the rest goes into the paper collection for recycling.


But still be careful you don't have "identity thieves" or secret agents in your back garden! A mad engineer friend told me about this and I didn't believe him until I checked (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_shredder#Unshredding)

Chris



[Edited at 2006-10-04 10:09]


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Tansy  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:12
German to English
So many people don't make printouts? Oct 4, 2006

I'm surprised at the number of people who don't make printouts. I don't feel that I could deliver a good translation without printing out hard copies of both the text to be translated and the translation and then proofreading them side by side after finishing the translation. I often print out my translation more than once if I make a lot of changes during the first proofread (which generates a lot of paper!)
How do those who don't make printouts proofread their work?

But to answer the poll: I put anything confidential through a shredder. Non confidential material gets torn up several times before going to the paper recycling bin.


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:12
English to Polish
+ ...
Other Oct 4, 2006

Rule no.1 - discourage the clients from delivering anything, and especially confidential stuff, on paper.

Rule no.2 - with non-discourageable local clients, return the confidential stuff to them along with the translation.

If neither works, I have a problem as I live in a block of flats and naturally have no back garden, stove, etc. Luckily, the total weight of the problem rarely exceeds two kilos a year
As I have a friend in the same situation, we decided to catch two birds at the same time and have some pleasure out of an obligation - a trip to the countryside in the spring and another one in the fall to make a bonfire of the confidential paper and fry some sausage/potatoes on it


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