Read all about it! We’re in the latest issue of ACES magazine

Smith and Ozman in Aces Magazine

ACES magazine is always a cracking read for anyone in the business community of East Sussex and with a three-page feature on Smith & Ouzman’s secure print services, we reckon the latest issue is unmissable!

Smith & Ouzman’s Dinah Ouzman and Adam Jeacock met up with ACES’ Ian Trevett to talk about the many print security services we can offer to local businesses, including secure document storage and how we can help businesses comply with the imminent new GDPR data protection laws.

Smith & Ouzman is recognised internationally as a leader of security print services but we have been part of Eastbourne’s business community since 1955 and have long-standing working relationships with many businesses in the Sussex area. If you think your business could benefit from increased security measures for your sensitive documents and records, we would be delighted to hear from you.

ACES is the official magazine for the Alliance of Chambers of Commerce in East Sussex, published by the Platinum Publishing Group.

Click here to read our feature.

Why your office needs a confidential shredding service

These days most people are pretty switched on about the safe disposal of personal documents such as utility bills and bank statements, anything that could be used for identity fraud or clearing out your bank account. But are we so careful when it comes to fraud within the workplace? Possibly not.

The trouble with the people who commit this kind of crime is that you can’t spot them; they could be an employee or a colleague, as unlikely as that may seem. The fraudster who commits crimes by forging your signature or hacking your email can look exactly the same as anyone else.

If your confidential waste is just going into your office recycling bin it’s easy pickings for anyone who has a mind to. Even if you are shredding your documents and have them collected by a waste disposal company, without an audit trail and certificate of destruction, you have no proof of what happens to your waste after it leaves your premises.

Put simply, if you are responsible for the safe keeping of your company’s confidential documents you are responsible for their safe disposal too. The introduction of the new Europe-wide General Data Protection Regulation in May this year means that anyone who holds personal data for clients and customers must comply with the new rules or run the risk of large fines if found to be in breach. Don’t put yourself at risk – act now to ensure your processes are fully compliant with best practice and with GDPR.

Our confidential shredding service with audit trail and certificate of destruction is the most secure way of complying with your legal obligation to protect any data you hold about your clients and employees. It’s also a great way of reducing your company’s environmental footprint and meeting your sustainability targets.

We can provide this service as a one-off or on a regular basis according to your needs. We can collect from your premises or you can deliver your document to us, the choice is entirely yours.

We really enjoyed meeting other local businesses at NetXP at the East Sussex National in Uckfield on Thursday 1st March where we talked about how straightforward and affordable it is for businesses to protect themselves from the risk of fraud and counterfeiting. If you didn’t make it, do get in touch at any time for more information.

Thanks for visiting us at the AEA Conference

Thanks to everyone who visited our stand at the AEA Conference in Blackpool this year. Once again, it was a very stimulating event and a great opportunity to connect with old friends and make new acquaintances. We hope that those of you who took away one of our smart compact branded umbrellas found them useful when leaving the venue! We still have some in reserve so please do get in touch if you missed out and would like to receive one of your own.

Thanks also to everyone who entered our prize draw to win one of two £150 experience day gift vouchers. We had lots of entries but there could only be two winners, so congratulations to them… you know who you are! We’re looking forward to seeing some great photos of them enjoying their big day out, whether it’s whizzing round a racetrack or something more sedate.

The Conference, as always, offered a great opportunity to have an informal chat to delegates and find out more about their requirements and what specific expectations they have in their Elections supplier.

A hot topic for everyone this year – and we really mean everyone! – is GDPR, which comes into effect throughout Europe on 25th May this year. The new General Data Protection Regulation is obligatory, not optional, so it’s very important that you understand how it affects you and your team. If you didn’t pick up our newsletter from our stand at the Conference covering this topic, please do get in touch; you can also click on the link below which will take you to our online GDPR presentation.

As a company at the leading edge of innovation in the field of sensitive documentation and secure data management, Smith & Ouzman’s continuous development work means our customers can feel assured and confident that they are protected beyond GDPR legislation. Our technology allows you to manage and process your customers’ personal data and sensitive information according to best practice but without the risk of exposure to fraud, counterfeiting or reputational damage.

Think of Smith & Ouzman as your trusted data security partner, a GDPR compliant data processor. If you would like to find out more about GDPR and data security you can download our presentation from our website or contact us on enquiries@smith-ouzman.com.

Did you feel the earth move this year? The ‘Youthquake’ effect on voting

As we get ready to make the journey north to Blackpool for the 2018 AEA Conference we’ve been reminding ourselves of the issues that were on the agenda at last year’s conference in Brighton and looking at how the landscape has shifted within electoral services.

One issue that generated a lot of discussion last year was the role that social media plays in the voting experience for young people – this proved to be quite a hot topic. The general consensus of young people’s experience in exercising their democratic rights was not a positive one – so why is that? and what can be done to change this trend?

A lack of interest in politics is definitely not the reason; after all, the Oxford Dictionaries 2017 word of the year is ‘youthquake’, defined as “a significant cultural, political or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people”. In many countries, 2017 was a year of political change where young people tipped the balance of power, but why did they feel the need to tweet their disgruntlement with the voting process?

The pre-digital world is fast fading into the past – today, a 21-year-old voter has never known a world without Google and in just eight years’ time new voters will have never known a world without an iPhone, so it’s not a surprise that when these young voters are presented with a piece of paper and a pencil tied to a wall with a piece of string to cast their vote, they find it all a little disaffecting.

It appears that many aspects of the current voting process seem alien to them, from the registration process to voting day itself, so it’s easy to see why they would tweet about their voting experience in a negative manner. It takes time to build trust and confidence with unfamiliar procedures.

It’s easy to be reactive and look to correct misguided tweets, but maybe the answer is to look at how we engage with our young society prior to elections. The official recognition of ‘youthquake’ is proof that young people are definitely not apathetic or disengaged, as they are sometimes portrayed by older generations, and the fact that the youth turnout at the 2017 General Election was the highest since 1992 backs up the buzzword, but many seem to be somewhat disillusioned with party politics and simply don’t feel the connection that has characterised the voting habits of the UK of recent times.

In this tech rich world, those in control of the voting process perhaps need to be more proactive in their approach to the next generation. Whether it’s an iPhone or a pencil we use, what we need to be encouraging is our right to vote in our democracy and that’s always going to be something worth protecting.

2017 was quite a year for politics, both at home and abroad, and many things happened which seemed unlikely this time last year, but it’s the prospect of the unexpected that keeps us all on our toes. Can the world take another year of political change and intrigue? Of course it can!

The rise and rise of democracy

December is always a time for reflection and as we approach the end of 2017 and look back over what’s happened around the world this year, anyone could be forgiven for feeling despondent about what democracy really means.

Political polarisation and the rise of populism create a danger for democracy and threaten transparency and trust. In many countries, including the UK and the US, more or less half the population did not get the result they wanted when they cast their votes recently, which has created division and instability.

But it would be wrong to buy into this world view. The reality is that over the past four decades democracy across the globe has risen to a post-war high and a comparison of a map of the world’s democratic and autocratic countries from 1976 and 2016 shows a very different picture¹.

For Zimbabwe, the 2018 elections should bring what the country has been waiting for, and although the recent changes in leadership are no guarantee of reform, it is a time of great hope for the country.

The right to vote is fundamental to our society and in the UK we expect the voting process to run smoothly with no mishaps; the same should be the case for every nation, no matter how new they are to the procedure, but this needs the support of specialist companies such as Smith & Ouzman to provide the framework that sits behind free and fair elections. For democracy to work strict procedures need to be adhered to and that’s why best practice for the procurement of electoral services is so vital.

Smith & Ouzman has a long tradition of working with election bodies and government departments around the world and continues to support overseas financial, educational and election markets with vigour, ensuring best practice is followed and supporting all parties involved.

So the message to take into 2018 is that democracy is an upward trend that we should remember when the negative news stories from around the globe seem to make the concept of world peace an impossible dream.

We would like to wish the people of Zimbabwe every success, stability and growth for the years ahead

¹ www.pewresesarch.org

Source: The rise and rise of democracy on Emerge//Secure