Protect your data – by destroying it!
Boy that sounds interesting doesn’t it? But what does that mean?
As computers age and are replaced, they might find their way to a dumpster, or given to a non-profit organization who refurbishes them and resells them, or they may be given to a computer recycler who is supposed to dispose of the computer in an environmentally friendly manner.
The problem with all of these scenarios is that you don’t actually know what will become of your data.
Let’s assume for a moment that you are an attorney and you replace your computer. You toss the old computer, but you took measures to protect the data on your hard drive first, such as, maybe reinstalling a fresh OS on it, ore deleting all your personal files, or even performing a format operation on the hard drive. Someone who targets people in your line of work may be watching the dumpsters and upon finding the discarded PC, could pull the drive out and use recovery software that is available to restore some, if not all of your previous data! That’s right, even if you DELETE IT, reinstall the operating system, or format it, the chances are very good that data can be retrieved off of your drive. EVEN IF THE DRIVE HAS CRASHED, chances are, some data can be recovered by a professional or anyone serious enough to attempt it.
The same holds true for PC recyclers… See a previous blog entry here with a video that outlines what becomes of many computers.
So what is a person or business to do in order to protect themselves, their data and the data of their customers that may be on an old PC? Your options are to trust your computer service / network support technicians to do the job for you, which we will often do here at Homeland Secure IT, where we take your old PC and perform a “DOD wipe” that writes zeros and ones to every sector on the drive multiple times over, rendering it virtually unrecoverable, or sometimes we damage a hard drive beyond recovery using physical means. Another option is to simply remove the hard drive and shelve it, while discarding the rest of the computer.
There is an alternative though. There are professional data destruction service providers who will go to your location, remove your hard drive for you, and SHRED the drive, turning it into data confetti! This is the widely accepted standard for protecting data on old drives. You cannot recover bits of data from bits of shredded metal.
A benefit of using data destruction professionals is that they can provide you with the proper documentation that relieves you from all liability, as you have done everything in your power to protect important data. You can also witness the destruction first-hand if you do desire.
ShredDesk Inc. of Greenville is one such business that can provide this service and I highly recommend them! Brent offers fast response and reasonable rates! He will personally visit your location, remove the hard drive for you, grind it to shreds and provide you with a Certificate of Destruction! Brent covers the entire Upstate and even has clients outside this area that he travels to.
If you are an IT worker, you can stockpile drives as you upgrade machines and call Brent when you have a stack of them to make it very cost affective and simple!
For more information about data destruction, data protection using hard drive backups, and network protection / security using firewalls, anti-virus and more, please call 864.990.4748 or email firstname.lastname@example.org