Why Every Organization Needs to Dispose of Old Hard Drives Properly

Posted  October 29, 2019  by  Shred-it

Did you know your confidential data can still be recovered from an old hard drive even after erasing, reformatting, wiping or degaussing it?   
If you answered “no” like most people, then keep reading…
When you delete a file, it isn’t really gone forever. In fact, the file continues to exist on your hard drive  even after you delete it from your computer’s Trash or Recycle Bin. While there are programs that go one step further to hide deleted files, information thieves now have advanced recovery software that can steal your data as long as the old hard drive is physically intact and usable.
This means that no matter how old or inoperable computer hardware is, data files remain and software exists that can recover them. That’s why it’s so important to remove and securely destroy old hard drives before tossing, donating or recycling them.
Increased Complacency in Data Destruction

Despite the risks, there is growing complacency when it comes to proper data destruction protocols, especially among Small Business Owners (SBOs). Shred-it’s 2019 Data Protection Report found:
  • Only 44% of SBOs are aware of how to properly dispose of hard drives, USBs and other electronic devices.
  • Only 37% of SBOs who have policies for disposing of and safely destroying end-of-life electronic devices actually follow them.
Just like paper documents containing confidential information that must be securely shredded before being recycled, the complete, physical destruction of an old hard drive is the only way to ensure your data is 100% destroyed.
How Do You Destroy a Hard Drive? 

Instead of grabbing a hammer and attempting to do it yourself, experts recommend outsourcing the job to a reputable document destruction company that can provide industrial-grade destruction methods tailored to specific workplace requirements. This must include professional crushing and shredding services to render old drives beyond repair.
At Shred-it, we use specialized shearing equipment to slice each hard drive into small pieces and crushing equipment to punch a permanent hole through it. These processes completely destroy the drive platters, mechanisms and electronic components, rendering the data unrecoverable.
Organizations also get peace of mind with end-to-end tracking through our secure chain of custody as well as a Certificate of Destruction confirming data has been securely destroyed.
The process doesn’t stop once your old hard drives have been destroyed. With Shred-it, materials are securely recycled with approved local partners to reduce your carbon footprint too.
Start Protecting Your Business with Proper Disposal 

To protect confidential information on hard drives and be compliant with privacy laws, organizations today need to have a document management policy that includes secure disposal of information. Hard drive destruction is the only 100 percent secure way to destroy data on hard drives permanently.
Being complacent could put your business at risk. To learn more about how Shred-it can protect your documents and hard drives, please contact us to get a free quote and security risk assessment.

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