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How to prevent dumpster diving attacks?


Charles Garcia

May 9, 2023 | 6 min read
  • Online threats
  • Tips



Dumpster diving attacks  are a common form of social engineering attack that involves exploiting sensitive information discarded in trash bins, such as bills, receipts, letters, business cards, etc., to steal personal or corporate identities, financial data, or other valuable information. Dumpster divers can use this information for fraud, identity theft, extortion, or other criminal activities. Therefore, protecting your trash bin is an important measure to safeguard your privacy and security.


How does dumpster diving work?


① Target selection

Dumpster divers choose their targets based on their objectives and interests, such as individuals, households, businesses, institutions, etc. They look for potentially valuable information like bank accounts, credit card numbers, passwords, social security numbers, email addresses, etc.

② Information collection

Dumpster divers search for useful information in the target's trash bin or track the target's garbage truck to search at the garbage processing facility. They employ various tools like gloves, scissors, magnifying glasses, etc., to sort and examine the trash. They also pay attention to collecting additional information about the target, such as name, address, phone number, date of birth, etc., for further verification or cross-referencing.

③ Exploitation

Dumpster divers exploit the collected information for various criminal activities, including scams, information theft, extortion, etc., which can cause significant harm to the victims.


How to prevent dumpster diving attacks?


① Destroy information

Before discarding any items or documents containing sensitive information into the trash bin, thoroughly destroy them to render them irrecoverable or unidentifiable. You can employ various methods such as shredding, cutting into small pieces, burning, smearing, etc., to handle paper documents, CDs, hard drives, etc. Regularly clean your electronic devices like phones, computers, tablets, delete or encrypt sensitive data, or use professional data erasure software to overwrite your data.

② Protect information

When using or storing items or documents containing sensitive information, take measures to protect them from being easily accessed or viewed by others. You can use methods like lockers, safes, passwords, fingerprints, etc., to safeguard paper documents, CDs, hard drives, etc. Also, be cautious about protecting your electronic devices like phones, computers, tablets, set strong passwords, enable screen locks, install firewalls and antivirus software, etc., to prevent data theft or infection.

③ Limit information

When providing or sharing any items or documents containing sensitive information, restrict their quantity and scope to prevent misuse or leakage. Use methods like signing confidentiality agreements, encrypted transmissions, setting permissions, etc., to control access and usage of paper documents, CDs, hard drives, etc. Also, be mindful of limiting the connectivity and sharing of your electronic devices like phones, computers, tablets, turn off unnecessary network services, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc., to prevent data interception or leakage.


How does MetroVPN help?


MetroVPN is an excellent VPN service provider that helps protect your data online. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) establishes an encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet, making your information invisible and effectively preventing data leaks. Here are some features of MetroVPN :

① Ultra-high speed

MetroVPN has over 5000 global server nodes and automatically selects the best server based on your location and needs, providing you with a fast and stable network connection.

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MetroVPN adheres to a strict no-logs policy, meaning it does not record or store any of your network activities or personal information, nor does it disclose your data to any third parties.

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