Identity theft: Don’t be complacent

Twitter is a great source of information if you know how to use it. I recently came across a blog via a Tweet entitled “Identity Theft Part 2 – 5 More Identity Theft Myths Unveiled” The author, Robert Sicilliano outlines 5 common myths that lull the unwary into a false sense of security.

Awareness is the starting point for mitigation so here are 5 key complacencies to be aware of
1. My information in the public domain isn’t valuable
2. If I don’t use the internet I’m OK
3. I only share my details with my close connections on social media sites
4. Shopping / banking online is less secure than the high street or mall
5. Shredding everything gives me total protection

As a company that markets paper shredders you may be surprised at the inclusion of the last point. However we aren’t saying don’t shred; quite the opposite. However you also need to be aware of the first 4 points and take appropriate mitigation actions; be careful what you share online, be vigilant when paying by credit or debit card in a store or restaurant and be aware that your personal details are held by many institutions and are potentially at risk.


Can there ever be too much choice?

Have you ever tried to buy something for the first time and found the choice of products completely overwhelming? My first purchase of a WiFi router springs to mind. It was several years ago now and whilst I wanted the convenience of wireless surfing in my home, the technology and its terminology were all foreign to me. I started by browsing Amazon and was soon overwhelmed with the choice. I was so startled I didn’t buy anything!

A recent key insight here at Rexel was that our stapling range is also confusing. Stapling, what could be easier? But that’s the problem. We had made the assumption that because we knew why we had a product in the range so would everyone else! When we checked this out with you the user our assumption proved to be incorrect.

Anyone browsing the Rexel website recently will have noticed a brand new approach to our stapling pages. We have simplified our range into 4 easy to understand areas; Light Use, Everyday, Heavy Duty and Specialist / DIY. Each category is colour coded and has a simple description designed to direct browsers to where they want to go. We are currently in the process of reflecting this change on our packaging and will be working with our retail partners to have it displayed on their websites, in store and within catalogues. We trust you will appreciate the change!


Audacious scams (part 2); could this ever happen to you?

In the second of our features on the “Top 14 Financial Frauds of All Time” we turn our attention to “The Wright Panic” of 1900.

The draw of a quick killing can lure the best of us. The old adage “if something looks to good to be true, it probably is” applies to this case! The Wright story is one of a series of companies that on the face of it looked profitable and had credibility because the rich, titled and famous were persuaded to not only invest but also to sit on the boards. In reality the companies simply moved money between them and when the money finally stopped circulating the shareholders were left out of pocket.

This is an extreme case of using others identity to lend credibility to a scam and illustrates the need to thoroughly check any venture. Statistics show identity theft is a crime on the rise at a personal and a business level. One of the simple steps anyone can take is to destroy letters or documents containing personal or sensitive information.

Rexel has a full range of paper shredders that are ideal for the home or business.


Champions League Punch!

To celebrate the success of Manchester United and FC Barcelona reaching the UEFA Champions League Final Rexel has designed a commemorative punch, incorporating the colours of both teams. As part of the My Fantasy Stapler competition our friends, followers and consumers are invited to submit their own designs for a chance to win one of two Galaxy Tabs being given to the top entrants each month. Designs can be on any theme but the Champions League final prompted us to wonder whether football supporters could beat our internal team’s design.

To add further spice to the Champions League build up we are running a poll on our Facebook page in both the United Kingdom and Spain to see who the our friends, followers and consumers believe will win the big game. Of course the real decider will be the match itself to be played at Wembley Stadium in London. With 90,000 fans in the stadium and an estimated television audience of 300 million, the occasion is billed as the richest game in football history.

So whether you are a Manchester United or FC Barcelona fan or an interested supporter of the game join our Facebook poll and pit your skill against Europe’s best to win a Galaxy Tab in Rexel’s My Fantasy Stapler competition.

CL Punch

How Safe is Your Business?

Recently published statistics in the USA indicate that 3.7% of American adults have been victims of identity theft crime (Federal Trade Commission); In Europe that would indicate that 14.8 million adults have fallen victim to fraudsters. Research by the British Federation of Small Businesses claims that 5% of businesses have experienced corporate ID fraud; across the EU that’s 1 million businesses in the SME sector alone!

Corporate ID fraud is big and can be expensive, both in direct costs and time taken to resolve the consequences. There are many ways it can happen; fraudsters changing companies’ details, hijacking of web domains, fraudulent bank mandates and obtaining discarded papers in the rubbish. The impact can be considerable, damaging a company’s reputation, credit rating and profitability.

There are some simple steps that can greatly reduce the risks:
1. Verify the identity of customers, suppliers, business partners and employees.
2. Review online security arrangements; a firewall and wireless encryption are simple steps.
3. Review all your information, not just paper-based.
4. Classify the data, e.g. general, sensitive and confidential.
5. Define how each classification should be stored, accessed and destroyed.
6. Never allow company information (even seemingly innocuous things like company letterheads) to be thrown in the bin.

ID Theft

We’re Jammin … and I hope you like Jammin too!

The old Bob Marley favourite brings another key insight to mind. The biggest hate across a range of office / stationary products is that awful moment when they jam. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a pouch jamming in a lamination machine, a staple in a paper stapler or that dreaded moment when the paper shredder jams; that annoying and totally frustrating moment when the machine stops with a sheath of half-shredded paper stuck in its mouth and no amount of tugging or pulling will free it.

You may argue that this is somewhat obvious and we’d have to agree. However until the issue was recognised and the engineers assigned the task of sorting out the problem jamming happened on a regular basis. Fortunately the solutions can be very simple; a range of paper shredders with a simple stop / go indicator that won’t allow more paper to be pushed into its throat than it is capable of destroying in one go. The stapler range that has its very own staples designed so that the machine will work beautifully every time!

The Rexel Mercury range of paper shredders features patented anti jam technology and the Rexel range of Optima Staplers has its own range of staples guaranteed to deliver performance.


Audacious scams; could this ever happen to you?

We recently came across a fascinating blog entitled “Top 14 Financial Frauds of All Time”. As the title suggests the blog features 14 audacious frauds from history. Written in a witty manner the piece is highly amusing but underneath the light hearted stories lays a warning. At least 4 of the Top 14 feature identity theft as part of the scam.

The first scam that caught our attention was The Diamond Necklace Hoax of 1785. The story features a cleric in love with someone he believed to be Queen Marie Antoinette. Unfortunately his mistress was not the queen but a look a like who duped the cleric into purchasing a beautiful necklace using the queen’s credit line as a gift. The story does not have a happy ending; the ensuing scandal was a trigger for the French revolution.

This is an extreme case of identity theft but the statistics show this is a crime on the rise at a personal and a business level. One of the simple steps anyone can take is to destroy letters or documents containing personal or sensitive information.

Rexel has a full range of paper shredders that are ideal for the home or business.


Storm “Cloud” Brewing?

2011 has been labelled by at least one commentator as the year of the breach! There seems to have been a constant stream of hacks, breaches and threats. So far this year major companies such as RSA, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard and Amazon have all been the target of hackers. Most recently Sony announced that its consumer cloud service has been hacked and as a result as many as 77 million users may have become potential identity theft victims with vulnerable data including credit card information.

Amidst all these hi-tech assaults it is easy to lose sight of the basics. Without thinking many people become more vulnerable to fraud, whether at home or work, by the simple act of throwing away paper containing sensitive information; name, address, sensitive company information and banking details. Whilst on a British Airways flight recently I noted a statistic in the Business Life magazine; 10% of British bank customers keep their PIN in their wallet with their cash / credit cards. Whilst there is much for companies to do to ensure the safety of all our data, we can each take mitigating action to ensure we don’t fall victim to identity theft from the old fashioned methods!

Shredding won’t solve all the identity theft issues but it certainly helps and Rexel has a complete range of paper shredders to choose from!


Everything we do is driven by you!

Rexel Auto+100 shredder
The Ford Motor Company ran an advertising campaign under this headline in the mid 90s. Engaging images, backed by the Brian May / Queen track “Driven by You” assured the potential purchaser that every detail had been designed with the driver in mind. At the heart of the campaign is consumer insight. What is consumer insight? IBM defined it as a deep knowledge about the consumer and the marketplace that helps structure thinking and decision-making.

So how does this apply to Rexel? Rexel embraced consumer insight a number of years ago. For example the Rexel Auto Plus 100 paper shredder is based upon the simple observation that about 50 percent of users batch shred rather than shredding individual pages as they go. However there are some drawbacks to this approach; potential exposure of sensitive information prior to and during the shredding process , coupled with inadequate paper feed solutions resulting in many consumers “supervising” the shredder.

The solution is simple; a product that has a flip-open top to store securely up to 100 sheets of paper to be shredded, that pulls paper into a central cutting system tearing the sheets away from staples and shreds automatically.

The Rexel Auto Plus 100 shredder is born!



So what’s this blog about and why are we doing it?

Firstly, we aim to take you behind the scenes at Rexel and highlight the “why” behind the things that we do. At Rexel we use a process called consumer insight; its purpose is to bring greater relevance for the purchaser or user of our products; whether it is designing the latest paper shredder or producing new packaging for our stapling range.

Secondly, we are focussed on the issues that drive the market place for our products and we want to share information that may help you to avoid some potential pitfalls or keep up to date with latest thinking. For example, data protection and identity fraud are serious issues for individuals and business whilst managing human activity to be kind to the environment is a serious concern for us all.

We trust these blogs will be informative and enjoyable. If you would like to leave us your feedback, please visit the Rexel Facebook page (Rexel_En), tweet us @Rexel_En or leave a comment here.