How to Secure Your Data Properly and Protect Your Business

If you are a business owner, large or small, you will have received a large amount of data from customers and other business partners. This sensitive information is something that you do not want to get into the wrong hands. If you are updating your technology or getting rid of old computers for example, it is not enough to simply delete files from the computer, as information can still be found on the computer. In the wrong hands, leaked information can cause serious damage to your business. The safest and most reliable way to be sure that your information is gone is to have your hard drive wiped.

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The destruction of data requires an in-depth understanding of how computers work as well as knowledge on the binary code. This is because the process of wiping a hard drive consists of carefully using a predetermined string of binary that will properly and completely clear any history that was once stored on your hard drive. There is a belief that if you physically destroy the hard drive, then you are also destroying all the information and make it impossible for others to retrieve data that is stored there. This, however, is not the case. Federal and state regulations even recognize that breaking, smashing, or even drilling holes into the hard drive will not destroy your data and it can still easily be gathered despite not being intact. Lucky for you, wiping a hard drive is an affordable method that will completely remove all data and information from your hard drive, rendering you and your company secure for identity theft among other things.

It may be easy to think that if you simply delete all files from your computer then you and your business will be safe. Unfortunately, thinking in this manner will leave you vulnerable to people that actively take information from discarded hard drives. Be sure to go to a trusted company that deals with wiping hard drives and by taking this small step, you will ensure the safety of your business. If your business is located in one of the largest counties in California, it is important to find a secure data destruction in Los Angeles or a location closer to you.

How Data Destruction Protects Your Data Security

Data destruction has become an essential part of planning for the future, in businesses of all sizes, scales and industries. Creating proper plans for the treatment of sensitive information at the end of its working life is integral to protecting its security, as well as the confidence of the customers and the legal position of the brand. Data stored physically on hard disks, memory sticks or on CDs can be both physically and electronically destroyed. Different methods are appropriate for people with differing levels of security risk: for instance, many businesses simply need their data to be overwritten sufficiently that it makes the original content illegible. More sensitive information kept on hard drives might need them to be physically shattered in order to prevent anyone else accessing the drive. Once data is deleted, it cannot be accessed easily by the computer software or application. Unless it is destroyed, though, it has not been totally removed and with effort could likely be retrieved. Unfortunately, the people most likely to be exerting themselves in recovering this information are those who would use it for criminal intent.

There are two areas where data destruction offers particular benefits to security. The most obvious of these is in its cover against fraud. When old electrical items are disposed of, many find their way to recycling plants or rubbish areas. There is a large business in shipping these older items out to less economically developed countries, where enterprising individuals found that they could make more money from breaking down a computer into its constituent parts for resale as metal and circuitry than as a working device. From here, others started to work at recovering information on these old devices to use fraudulently. A large proportion of electronic devices today have a memory which could contain vast quantities of personal data, from telephone numbers, address and birth dates through to banking details and company files or identification codes.

Secondly, companies have a legal responsibility to ensure that their customer’s data is protected and disposed of in the correct manner. For most businesses, this means that simple deletion would not be enough. For the most secure data destruction services, please contact West Coast Computer Recycler for your needs. Destruction thus also protects from any claims of malpractice in this way.

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.

In with the New, Out with the Old-How to Handle E-Waste

Technological advancements have become a prominent feature in today’s society. With the growing number of new gadgets introduced every year, there is a greater demand to have the latest model and generation. Although this growing demand for electronics is beneficial for the economy, it could be damaging to the environment as we dispose our old and unwanted electronics. With new gadgets being launched every year, this could pose a threat to the environment as we figure out what to do with obsolete electronics. When we hear about a new iPhone generation in the works many of us feel the need to upgrade once this new software becomes available in stores. Once we get a new phone, computer, or/and laptop, then what do we do we our old electronics? Some of us may choose to recycle it by visiting an e-waste recycling company while others often keep it piled away in the garage. Many also end up throwing old electronics in dumpsters that often end up being sent to a landfill. This not only damages our environment but it can also increase the risk of confidential material being found and sometimes replicated. This leads to the problem of identity theft. We mindlessly throw away trash without thinking about any consequences that may ensue from our actions. We often hear about the importance of recycling cans, bottles, plastics, scrap paper but how often are we reminded about the importance of recycling our electronic waste. Electronic waste includes but not limited to computers, laptops, cameras, phones, television, and hard drives. Those of us who throw away our electronics for waste management to pick up from our driveway are unaware of the defects this may cause the environment. Many are misinformed or lack the knowledge of recycling old electronics.

So what ends up happening to the useless gadgets we throw away? More often than not these gadgets end up in landfills if we don’t choose an e-waste recycling company to properly handle this type of waste. Our environment is directly affected when electronic waste ends up in a landfill. The hazardous materials from these electronics are exposed and harm the water we drink and the air we breathe. Most electronics contain lead and mercury that can contaminate our water and pollute the air whenever we don’t recycle. To prevent poor practices and to encourage better e-waste management, strict governmental laws have been enforced which will set fines and penalties for discarding any electronics in landfills. Companies should particularly pay close attention to how they discard e-waste. Many companies can be traced through serial numbers that are recorded at the time of purchase and you can be held liable for not obeying the law if you improperly discard e-waste. So think twice before throwing away an old cell phone or hard drive into a trash bin. An important thing to think about is whether your electronic contains confidential information. If it does, then you may want to look for a secure data destruction company that is trustworthy and will protect your personal identity. Most people think that manually deleting all your files or/and reformatting your hard drive is a safe way to ensure all your data is removed but in reality one can still access your data. So whether you’re deciding what to do with your old home desktop or need to recycle tons of computers at once then make sure to go with secure data destruction firm that will provide a certificate of destruction and who is HIPAA compliant.

Careless E-waste disposal increases likelihood of Identity Theft

At one point or another we have all been guilty of carelessly disposing of our trash whether it be through littering or by dumping waste into a landfill. As pollution continues to become an environmental threat it has become much more important to recycle items which can be reused and re-manufactured. Time and time again we have been reminded and encouraged to recycle cans, glass, plastic bottles, and scrap paper but what about electronics and digital gadgets? Office supplies stores like Staples and Office Depot have promoted the importance of recycling batteries and ink cartridges but what about computers, laptops, television, phones, cameras, and other electronics? Because of the increased threat posed when improperly disposing e-waste, it is especially important that we, as a society recycle all old and obsolete electronics that we no longer need or use. Recycling electronics will prevent further harm and damage to the environment including pollution, contamination, and greenhouse emissions. Many people assume shredding files is a sufficient way of getting rid of old documents and confidential data. However, this is far beyond the truth when it comes to keeping your personal information safe and secure. A few companies still rely on paper shredders to get rid of all documents. This method can be very dangerous and increase the risk of identity theft.

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When you choose to dispose of your documents using a shredder you run the risk of someone accessing your personal data. For your safety, it is often encouraged that you seek the help of an e-waste recycling firm that is NAID certified and follow HIPAA guidelines. E-waste recycling companies will relieve any worry and uneasiness you may feel whenever you dispose of your company’s files and client’s documents. Companies should definitely think twice about how they dispose of any documents and files. Recycling goes far beyond just paper documents, it also involves the destruction of hard drives and other storage media devices. With identity theft and data breaches on the raise, many businesses are not doing enough to protect their client’s privacy and confidential data. It seems as though many companies carelessly dispose data without thinking twice about whose hands it would end up in. If you’re a business that handles a great amount of documents, it is essential that you find a reliable e-waste recycling company that provides secure data destruction services and e-waste recycling options. With all the recycling options available to you, why run the risk of having your identity stolen? So before you mindlessly throw your hard drive into a trash bin or shred your confidential data, think about where that information would end up and how secure that would be.

Why Data Security should be a Priority

Data security is a critical aspect no matter what kind of industry or business you are in. Whether you are a small business or large corporation it is vital that you keep your company’s data secure. Equally important is keeping your clients and customers private information and data confidential. In today’s technology driven society, gaining access to other people’s information including social security number and credit card information has never been easier. Social media channels like Facebook makes it even easier to access someone’s personal information. Safely destroying your data should be a priority for all companies especially because your data can be stored in databases that you may not even be aware of. Whether your data is stored as a hard copy, on paper or hard drive it is imperative that you discard it and destroy all confidential data safely and securely. When it comes to someone’s personal information, caution and awareness should be applied in any data destruction method. Many businesses handle tons of paper work every day and when those stored data and information is no longer needed or required, it is important to ensure that your company’s data or client’s information is fully destroyed. Paper shredding is a popular but unreliable way that many companies get rid of their unwanted documents. Companies should never make the assumption that shredding their documents into tiny little pieces means their information cannot be accessed. On the contrary, your shredded documents can still be easily accessible by just about anyone once it leaves your trash can.

Shredders cannot be used to destroy media storage devices. In that case, businesses are encouraged to look for a reliable and trustworthy data destruction company that can ensure all data will be destroyed and kept private. Businesses should find a company that is NAID certified and is willing to provide a certificate of destruction form to inform you that your data has been safely destroyed and handled in a professional matter. Furthermore, it important to choose a data destruction firm that follows HIPAA guidelines and guarantees that no information will be disclosed or shared with anyone. There are many ways that data can be destroyed but many of these methods can be unreliable and risky. Traditionally, many companies would delete a file from a hard drive by simply erasing or wiping the file or reformatting the computer, however this can be an ineffective method in keeping your data secure. Data can still be retrieved this way because the data has not been completely destroyed rather it has been moved to perhaps another database. For many customers ‘drive wiping’ isn’t sufficient when it comes to destroying private information. With identity fraud and identity theft on the raise it is highly encouraged that both public and private sectors rely on a secure data destruction company to handle all disposal needs. If you’re concerned about your personal information getting into the wrong hands then make sure to find a secure and trustworthy data destruction firm to handle your data.