When it comes to deleting or completing destroying old data from your computer, laptop, hard drive or other media devices, it is important to keep safety and security the main priorities. Many people and even companies often use unsafe methods to destroy or erase confidential data. Simply deleting or reformatting your computer may not be secure or safe enough. Continuing to practice poor data destruction methods will inevitably lead to identity theft and data breaches. Insecure data disposal will comprise your personal security and violate your private information. The most important information is often stored away in computers, laptops, and even media devices, which is why it is important to take extra measures to safeguard your personal information. Many companies have overlooked the issues caused by unsafe data destruction methods. These issues include identity theft and data breaches. In order to protect yourself from these types of crimes it is recommended that you seek a secure data destruction company that is HIPAA compliant and is partnered with NAID. Avoid these 3 types of data destruction mistakes and think twice about where your data is going when you click ‘delete.’
Manually Deleting File
There are many important documents and files stored in our computers many of which are personal information that we want to keep private. Our hard drives are filled with e-mail messages, credit card and social security information, bank account data and plenty of other confidential data. With all the information stored in our computers and hard drives it is important to make sure that we eliminate any form of mishandling including unsafe data destruction methods. For example, when we want to delete a file from a hard drive we simply hit the delete key and from there we expect the file to be completely removed and gone forever. In actuality however, that file is still stored in the computer’s database which means that it can simply be recovered by any user. Manually deleting the file by simply transferring the file over to the trash bin does not completely erase the file. Instead it is stored away elsewhere for someone else to recover. A simple deletion of the file is not enough.
Reformatting a Disk
When done correctly, reformatting a disk may completely erase the files from a hard drive but it requires knowledge and skill. Users should be aware of the consequences that may ensue if reformatting is done incorrectly. Similar to manually deleting a file, incorrectly reformatting a disk may allow easy retrieval of the file or document. The recovery process may be quick and easy since the files aren’t completely removed from the hard drive. Users should be aware that with the right software, deleted files can still be located in the hard drive leading to possible identity theft.
Physically Smashing the Hard Drive
Although this may not be a feasible way to destroy a hard drive, physically smashing a hard drive is a common way of destroying a hard drive. This method might require you to take it to the extreme to ensure that the hard drive is completely destroyed and unable to be salvaged. This may also be damaging to the environment as it releases hazardous chemicals.