If you use computers in your office, you probably have gone through upgrades and replacements over time. With that, you also most likely have old computers lying around and not quite sure what to do with them. Recycling the computer is an environmentally responsible thing to do. However, precautions need to be taken with the various data destruction options for your old hard drives.
Just like paper document disposal, electronic data is important to consider before determining how to get rid of old computers. You must consider how to dispose of that sensitive digital information. Even if you delete your data from the hard drive, it may not really be deleted. There are many different schools of thought on this matter. We will explore a few ideas to help you understand the level of disposal and destruction, so you can make the right decision to protect your business.
There are a few ways in which to destroy sensitive data. They range from using software, hard drive degaussers and physical shredding. When choosing between these methods, you may want to consider the most effective and affordable for your business.
Software-aided deleting or wiping – utilizing software to delete or remove data from the hard drive
- By using software, you may be able to save or recycle the hard drive for continued use.
- Multiple passes may be necessary to get the results needed.
- This process may not completely remove or delete data. The deleted data may still be recoverable using specialized software.
- Could be costly and time consuming.
Degausser – Degaussing – erasing hard drives by using a magnetic field.
- Can be done on site, as needed.
- One-time expense to purchase degaussing equipment.
- Advantageous if you do a lot of hard drive erasing.
- Allows you to reuse or recycle the hard drive.
Physical shredding – using machines to destroy and shred the hard drive
- Completely destroys the hard drive.
- Be sure to use a NAID certified company for shredding.
- They should also provide proper reporting once shredding is complete, including documentation and proof of destruction.
- Can have someone come to your location or drop off to their site.
It is important to evaluate your needs carefully when it comes to disposal of your data. Never throw your hardware out in the trash with the rest of your garbage. Be mindful of the environment, as well as the security of your information. And don’t always go for the least expensive solution. It may cost you more in the long run by make the wrong choice.