Secure Data Destruction
In this digital age, it is becoming more and more difficult to safeguard private information. Whether you are concerned about your social security number, your credit card number or vital information regarding your work, it is imperative that you take steps to protect fundamental data.
You may think you’re safe; you don’t make online purchases and your work accounts have difficult passwords but don’t think that unscrupulous people won’t find a way to track and steal your important info. Throw items in the recycling bin? Discarding old floppy discs in the trash? Even information you may not consider to be used in a compromising way may be just what the crooks are looking for. How can you protect yourself and your business from computer hackers and untoward criminals? Seeking out one of many data destruction companies may also be a viable option.
Data destruction entails the elimination of data stored on tapes, hard disks and other forms of electronic media. To make sure it is destroyed to industry standards, it must be totally unreadable and cannot be accessed or used for unauthorized purposes. Destruction of data should be left to the professionals since they are accurately aware of the deceitful practices of lawbreakers. Not only is your digital information at risk on your computer, but any written information that is retrievable from a trash or recycling bin. There are companies that can recycle WEEE—also known as waste electrical and electronic equipment to ensure it is disposed of properly as well as any physical data that may be susceptible to theft.
Even reputable companies are interested in your information; simple data like your likes and dislikes can be ascertained by your online presence. Marketing companies can use this information to cater to your likes, tailoring advertising to suit your tastes or your online searches. This, of course, is legal, however, there are companies and individuals who don’t have to advertise in mind; they are seeking to steal information for less than legitimate reasons.
Computers are amazing and have changed the face of business forever. They are relatively new in the grand scheme of business and may contain sensitive data that is not limited to just the hard drives. Forgotten information from the technology of yesterday—discs, even dot-matrix printouts—can be used to gather the data that could be used to infiltrate your business or personal details, compromising their integrity and safety. You might think you are safe if you delete information from your computer but it can be retrieved. Sensitive work reports, credit card numbers, emails –all can be recovered from hard drives that had previously been reformatted, deleted or erased. Safeguarding this information is imperative and the only way to effectively remove electronic data is to crush or shred hard drives, making the information non-recoverable.
To safeguard important information, search for a professional data controller. A data controller is either a person or a company that is in charge of the complaint destruction of data. It would be preferable if the data could be disposed of onsite but unless the data controller works for the company, that option is not very likely, especially for smaller companies. Instead, the majority of data controllers are companies hired by other companies to destroy their sensitive information. There are many different services these companies provide, including Binary wiping, also known as data erasure. Essentially, it is a process using a software-based method to overwrite the data to be removed and destroys all electronic data residing on a hard disk drive or other digital media.
Another option is the disassembling of equipment, the equivalent of mechanical shredding. To discard of physical data, paper shredding can provide protection against data loss, fraud, and identity theft as well as confidential records. This will save you storage space as well since you will no longer have to house old, unused computers and hard drives and better yet, hackers will not be able to copy view or steal your old computers or hard drives. Regular destruction of information protects you, your business, your clients and employees from identity theft, as well as other fraudulent activity. A data controlling company alleviates the need for employees to shred documents and keeps the information from employees that may not be privy to classified documents.
Additionally, your employees would not be responsible if information actually was breached; that responsibility would fall on the data controlling company. They are also culpable for any non-compliant destruction; it must be to industry standards. By using an outsourced company to decimate your documents and outdated technology, you will save money in the long run. You are not paying employees to shred and destroy these documents, nor do you have to pay for the equipment to get the tasks done. In addition, you do not have to dispose or recycle the contents; this is left to the data controller. If you are ridding of paper documents, a data controller may have a special program that ensures that the paper that is destroyed will be recycled. This waste is sent to a recycling center that is compliant with state and federal regulations. Not all shredding companies offer this service; it is best to check.
There are companies that even come to you to help dispose of your old information and documents; these are mobile data controllers. They can get rid of your discs, documents, hard drives—any information can be completed on your premises and can show you via camera the real-time destruction of your property. You will want to review the company’s reputation and review the services they offer to ensure they meet your particular needs. A reputable data controlling company first discuss with you your personal or company needs regarding data destruction. And after the completion of the process, the controller should offer you a certification of destruction, to ensure that your information has been disposed of in a compliant manner. While the actual destruction of data is the service you pay for, the peace of mind of knowing that your information will not fall into the wrong hands is priceless.
READ: Bridging Business Data