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Is Hard Drive Destruction Something You Need to Worry About?

By Higher Information Group on March 9, 2020 | Technology Solutions

Hard drives in PCs, laptops, and other electronic devices house all types of data—customer records, credit card information, confidential emails to name a few. When it’s time to upgrade or replace any one of these, you immediately have a problem on your hands. You need to make sure the drives are securely destroyed.

Let’s be clear about one thing: simply erasing data from any type of device or media that stores data—hard drives, USBs, flash drive, mobile phones, CDs, and magnetic tapes are a few examples— is not accomplishing your goal of destroying data. Other actions like wiping, reformatting, or degaussing could be a first step, but the only way to be 100% sure your data is not retrievable is to physically destroy the data-storing object.

You may be tempted to take the DIY approach, drawing your inspiration from that scene in the classic movie Office Space where the heroes take a sledgehammer to the copier that gave them so much grief. Though you may be tempted to start looking for a blunt instrument, slow your roll! A better choice? Leave it to the pros.

A professional shredding company has a more effective arsenal of tools that can do the job much better than a sledgehammer. Their equipment can crush and shear the device or storage media, rendering all data useless. And that is the point—making sure no one can access your precious data. You want that for any type of business or organization, of course. However, the stakes increase significantly if you’re in a highly regulated industry like healthcare or financial services when HIPPA and GLB-Act data destruction policies come into play.

Another important reason for choosing professionals is their use of chain-of-custody protocols. Because of the nature of what is being destroyed—sensitive data—knowing where those hard drives are in their journey from your office to oblivion is crucial. Most companies offer on-site destruction so there are fewer steps. After the deed has been done, they’ll provide you with a certificate that proves your material has been destroyed. Beyond the peace of mind this brings to you, a proof of destruction may be required by law.

The last reason to go pro is safety. Drives and other electronics are filled with all sorts of toxic and hazardous materials. Once you’ve breached any protective coatings or containers, you unleash a Pandora’s box of potential dangers.

When the time comes that you need to destroy hard drives or any other data storage media, make the smart choice and let the pros handle the job. HIG can handle all your data destruction needs, great and small. Contact us today.

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