Is it Enough to Simply Format the Hard Drive?
Simply formatting/degaussing hard drives, as well as other magnetic media will not be enough to protect your business. While most companies practice this method before disposing of their electronic media, the method is not secure since it is susceptible to human/software error. Just like deleted records of online activity and e-mail messages, information will remain on the drive even when a digital file gets deleted from a computer. Anyone with basic computer knowledge can easily recover deleted data. Information left on the hard drive could be disastrous for your company. Remember, the small piece of information may be your customer’s social security number or an important password.
For absolute certainty, make sure you use proper document destruction methods and equipment, that will ensure that the drives are bar code scanned, crushed to render them unusable, then put in a securely locked canister until they are shredded. Learn more information at the Shred-it website.
Should You Outsource your Hard Drive Destruction and Paper Shredding Services?
The answer is that you can do what suits your business needs. While some companies think that investing in destruction equipment is worthwhile, there are others who just cannot afford to buy this equipment and have relatively few items to destroy. Such businesses may opt to outsource their destruction services. The advantage that comes with outsourcing is that your scrap gets mixed with that of others, and this makes it harder for your data to be retrieved.
Outsourcing can be safe and affordable if done properly, but you will need to do your homework well. Use your due diligence to evaluate the service provider as well as its security protocols before hiring him/her.
Even though banks and hospitals are the ones that are subject to higher levels of confidentiality, every business has proprietary information and employee records that need to be kept confidential. Document destruction will help you comply with the Data Protection Law, by preventing the information on your hard disks from getting into the wrong hands that might use it to commit crime and identity theft. Protect your business, suppliers, staff, and clients by having all your unwanted hard drives securely wiped or shredded by approved methods and equipment.