3 Ineffective Data Destruction Methods to Avoid

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.’

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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.

Don’t be a victim of Identity Theft & Data Breach: Secure Your Privacy

For all businesses, keeping both proprietary & customer information private and secure is priority. When it comes to destroying confidential documents, many businesses often choose to shred their documents by simply using an office shredder. However, when it comes to destroying hard drives, RAM sticks, or/and USB thumb drives, we must rely on a more secure way to destroy these storage media devices. With identity theft, fraud, and data breaches on the rise, it is critical and imperative that businesses and large corporations turn to a data destruction company that is partnered with the National Association for Information Destruction or NAID.
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Although paper shredders are convenient and quick method for destroying a printed document, businesses cannot rely on this method when destroying a hard drive. To assure yourself that your document or/and hard drive has been completely destroyed and disposed of, it is vital that you choose a trustworthy hard drive data destruction provider that adheres to HIPAA guidelines and is NAID certified or is at the very least an NAID member. So now you may be wondering what sets NAID certified companies apart from those who are not certified. The following are just a few reasons why businesses are encouraged to go with a reputable company that is an NAID member or/and certified:

  • Certification of Destruction: Electronic waste and recycling companies who are NAID certified will ensure that your information is kept private and confidential as they provide a certification of destruction, confirming that your data has been completely destroyed and that your personal information will not be disclosed, copied, transmitted, or reproduced in any way.
  • Abide by Federal Law: Another advantage that NAID companies provide to corporations, is that they follow and abide by federal law, which again ensures your safety and protects sensitive data for your clients, customers, & patients.
  • Insured, licensed & bonded: Choosing a company that is insured, licensed and bonded provides an added benefit as it provides protection against liabilities.

Whether you are a small mom’s & pop’s business or a big corporation, be sure to locate a certified data destruction company who possesses all these characteristics. By having an NAID certified company handle your data, you will be safeguarded against identity theft, data breach or/and fraud. With all these resources available, why not protect your identity the safe way.