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E-waste Recycling and Data Destruction: What’s the Difference?

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November 14, 2017
the inside of a hard drive

When it comes to data security, one key area that cannot be overlooked is when an electronic device reaches the end of its life cycle. During its life, using security measures such as firewalls and virus protection is a popular way to keep data secure. However, fewer people consider keeping data safe once an electronic device has reached the end of its life cycle. Two favorite ways to handle devices at the end of the life cycle is e-waste recycling and data destruction. Read on to find out more!

When you recycle your e-waste, there’s a chance that you will be reusing the hard drive. If this is the path that your company will follow, it means that the hard drive will be wiped instead of physically destroyed. When a hard drive is wiped, it undergoes a process where the data is written over several times until the original data is unrecoverable. After this process, the hard drive can once again be reused. Recycling old hard drives in this way can help the environment and lower the demand for new devices to be created. Although wiping a hard drive means that it can be reused, it also does leave a small chance that the information initially saved on the hard drive might be recoverable, but you should check with your recycler to see which method they use.  

The difference between recycling and data destruction is that once a hard drive or other electronic device is physically destroyed, it cannot be reused. The process of data destruction starts by choosing a company that engages in the physical destruction of e-waste. Be sure to choose a company that is certified to ensure that all codes are up to date. Once the company has electronic waste, the devices will be physically destroyed making all information unrecoverable. Additionally, since the hard drive is physically destroyed, it also means that the hard drive cannot be reused. While it cannot be reused, it does ensure that the information stored on the hard drive is completely gone, thus ensuring the safety of the company.

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