Professional Data Disposal – Why You Need It!
When you’re managing classified material, you want to ensure proper data disposal to prevent unauthorized access. The law requires that computers, electronic devices, and media be erased and/or disposed of properly to safeguard sensitive data. Anything with a hard drive or external storage containing sensitive data such as laptops, printers, copy machines, faxes, USB drives, external hard drives, CDs and DVDs, tapes, and workstations must be properly destroyed.
In this article, we will discuss what the law has to say about proper data disposal, various methods for disposal, and the most effective methods for destroying sensitive material.
What Does The Law Say?
The government and many businesses collect and store personal identifying information in both digital and hard copy forms. As a result, laws have been established to govern proper data disposal to protect consumers.
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has a data disposal rule that requires information in these reports and records to be disposed of properly to prevent unauthorized access.
HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) also requires that protected health information, including electronic information, be properly destroyed.
Additionally, 35 US States have created laws requiring that both government and private entities destroy or otherwise dispose of personal information.
Criminals can find personal and confidential information that they can use for identity theft when private material on computers, disk drives, memory cards, and cell phones are not properly destroyed. Therefore, data must be destroyed or completely deleted from these devices.
These Methods Will Not Work:
It’s important to know which methods of data disposal won’t work. When it comes to data destruction, some of the easiest ways are not the best ways. Here’s what not to do:
- Don’t simply click “delete” or move files to the “trash” folder. Doing this doesn’t completely erase files from your computer. The sensitive data will still be stored on your hard disk where it can easily be accessed by hackers who can simply “restore” the files you’ve deleted with this method.
- While reformatting your computer is a bit better than simply dragging files to the trash, they can often still be recovered by hackers along with pieces of your previous operating system.
- Encrypting data doesn’t provide total protection either. With this method, your data is only as safe as your password. The information still exists on your device, it’s simply hidden from view unless they can crack the code.
So how can you safely and effectively dispose of sensitive data? Here are some methods that will provide real protection:
- Physically destroy the device. One popular method for doing this is by shredding the device. You can have your drives professionally shredded for proper data disposal.
- Wiping devices like hard drives with special software from the professionals can make sensitive data unrecoverable or, at the very least, unreadable.
How To Dispose Of SSD Drives:
Many SSD drives come with a built-in feature for erasing data and returning the drive to original manufacturer settings. However, this method of erasing data is not sufficient for highly sensitive data. For more secure data disposal, you might want to use one of the methods available from the data disposal professionals:
- Overwrite techniques: repeatedly overwriting the SSD drive using a special program.
- Physical shredding: physically destroying the drive with a shredder.
- Cryptographic erasure: sanitizing the drive-by altering encryption and decryption keys.
Many of these professional methods for destroying the data stored on SSD drives can be attempted without the use of professional service, however, there are risks. Due to the small size of the SSD drive’s integrated circuit chips, they are sometimes not destroyed by shredders, leaving your data vulnerable to predators.
Overwrite techniques and cryptographic erasure methods sometimes fail to remove all data when not performed properly. In the end, when you are dealing with sensitive data, it’s best to enlist a professional data disposal service to ensure you properly meet all disposal guidelines.
How To Dispose Of Computer Hard Drives:
There are many methods of removing and disposing of or destroying your computer hard drive. You might consider removing the hard drive and destroying it yourself using any one of many simple, low-cost DIY methods.
However, if you are storing sensitive information on your computer, you’ll probably want to choose a professional data disposal method to ensure the information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Physically removing and breaking the hard drive will corrupt the data on the drive, making it unstable and difficult to restore, but will not delete the information entirely. Here are some simple
DIY methods for physically destroying your drive:
- Hammer: remove the drive and beat it with a hammer.
- Crush it: remove the drive and crush it using heavy objects.
- Burn it: melt or burn the drive with fire.
- Drill holes in it: use a drill to put holes in the drive, corrupting the data.
For companies needing to dispose of data for many drives, these methods will be time-consuming, labor-intensive, and less secure than professional data disposal.
Professional Disposal Methods To Consider:
Professional data disposal employs proven techniques to securely destroy sensitive data for good. A professional data disposal company, like Data Destruction Corporation, may use one or two methods of data disposal to ensure complete security.
Here are the most common professional data disposal methods available:
- Degaussing: a fast and effective method of sanitizing your hard drive.
- Shredding: physically destroying the drive to meet strict data disposal laws.
- Hard Drive Disintegration: similar to shredding but resulting in much smaller pieces, making it one of the most secure methods of data disposal available.
- Melting: melted with molten steel at a metal recycling center to ensure data cannot be retrieved.
What Is The Most Effective Method Of Data Disposal?
If you need to destroy sensitive data on your hard drive, you might be wondering, what is the most effective method of data disposal? The best way to dispose of sensitive data on your hard drive is by contacting a professional service to manage data disposal for you.
The professionals at Data Destruction have access to the newest and best data disposal technology. Then, once your hard drive has been destroyed, you will receive a certificate of completion. This certificate provides assurance, should it ever be needed, that your data has been disposed of properly and cannot be recovered. For more information about how the Data Destruction Corporation can help you properly dispose of sensitive data, contact us today.
Why You Shouldn’t Use One Of The Other Methods?
DIY data disposal is risky. Most people think they can effectively destroy their sensitive data, but thieves are sneaky. Any mistakes with data disposal can lead to serious consequences. Using a reputable data disposal company will ensure security and proper disposal of data under federal and state guidelines. When you use a professional data disposal service, you know with certainty that the data cannot be recovered.