It used to be that information was easy to destroy permanently. In spy movies, someone would often toss a secret message in a fire, or crumple up a note page and swallow it. There would be absolutely nothing that could be done to get that information back. Nowadays, of course, most of our information is in digital form, and getting rid of it isn’t so easy. Sure, you could burn (but don’t try to swallow!) your hard drive, but that wouldn’t be acceptable when it comes to privacy laws. Quite simply, destroying information from a hard drive isn’t so simple. Here are some myths about hard drive destruction that you should know and why you should consider a hard drive shredding service.
There was a famous TV show that recently featured a scene where some characters placed a giant magnet near the police station in order to erase the data on a laptop that had been confiscated. It worked in the show, but in reality, unless the laptop was quite old, it would not work. Hard drives now are built to be much more resistant to magnets to avoid accidental erasing of information. It’s certainly no longer a guarantee that a magnet will completely erase the data, if at all. Secure shredding will destroy all the data and follow all privacy regulations.
You may think you can avoid using a hard drive shredding service by simply deleting all the files on the drive. Unfortunately, that’s not true either. While deleting information may make it impossible for you to retrieve it later, there are thieves who can and will use special software programs to recapture and use that information for illicit reasons.
Formatting is taking deleting a step further. Not only are you getting rid of those files, but you’re also resetting the drive so that it can be used again. Sadly, identity thieves can get around this as well with special software. Formatting may seem safe, but it’s not.
Lock It Up
Instead of trying to destroy information by using a hard drive shredding service, many businesses decide the best course of action is to not destroy the drives at all, but to put them behind lock and key. This is all well and good, but what happens when space starts running out? Or if there’s a break in? There’s simply no way to guarantee that the data can’t be compromised without secure shredding.
Recycling may seem like a good way to have that data permanently wiped, but there is a period of time between when it leaves your office and gets to the recycling plant, where it may become compromised. Recycling is great, but perhaps it should best be done after secure shredding of the drive to ensure there’s no data breach.
It Will Never Happen to Us
You may think that your business is too small, or your clients are too inconsequential to be valuable. The fact is, data thieves will take advantage of any opening they can get to do what they do. Being a small business is no protection against those who wish to steal data and use it illegally. Your business is just as vulnerable as any other.
Attempting to destroy your data using any of these myths is certainly not the way to go. Make sure to use a certified hard drive shredding service to completely destroy your data.