Destroy Your Hard Drives: Deleting Doesn’t Guarantee Data Removal
Did you know that sensitive files stay on a hard drive and can be accessed, regardless of how old or outdated a computer may look? If not properly cleaned or destroyed, confidential electronic communication such as emails, banking, financial and tax records, price lists, and customer details could be obtained causing a security breach that may lead to identity theft and other forms of fraud.
When a hard drive comes to the end of its useful life, the way in which you decide to dispose of it is just as important, if not more important, than how you protected the information while you were actively using it. Be sure you choose a method that is safe, easy, and trusted. While your online research may reveal several disposal options, some of the suggestions are quite dangerous for both your information and our environment.
A quick online search may turn up some of these unsafe methods:
· Destroy it using a hammer.
· Burn it with a Blow torch.
· Place it in an acid bath.
· Burn in a fireplace.
While these methods are unsafe for various reasons, some of the most dangerous side effects could be the chemicals and fumes that will be released when these items are destroyed, these chemicals can be harmful to you and are certainly harmful to the environment. Additional suggestions we came across include things like:
· Throwing hard drives into a lake or ocean
· Shooting holes through the hard drive
· Stockpiling hard-drives in a closet
· Refurbishing and Recycling the hard drives
Many consumers believe that if they choose to refurbish and recycle their hard drives that deleting, reformatting, or even degaussing their hard drives ensures that their information will be removed completely, but that’s not always the case. Here are a few reasons why these “tried and true” approaches don’t always work
Delete or reformat files: It’s actually not possible to delete files from a computer permanently. Reformatting doesn’t necessarily prevent information from being discovered by special software.
Degaussing the hard drive: Wiping does not guarantee information removal and degaussing does not automatically render data unrecoverable.
So, what IS the best way to ensure your digital information is protected?
The only way to really be sure your data is beyond retrieval is through professional, hard drive shredding. Outsourcing to a trusted document destruction company is secure, easy, and it works. The act of physically destroying the hard drive ensures the data is deleted permanently. Don’t take a chance with private information; choose to have it destroyed properly instead.