For hackers and identity thieves, hard drives represent an opportunity to steal your private data. If you have an old hard drive or computer that you’re considering throwing away or donating, consider the risks of allowing criminals to get their hands on your sensitive information.
You may believe your hard drive contains no data of value — just old files that no one would want. However, your files may include information you’ve overlooked or forgotten that could prove valuable for identity thieves. From your date of birth to your address, Social Security number, financial account numbers and medical records, the information on your hard drive can serve as a gold mine for criminals.
Several methods exist for destroying a hard drive yourself, but you run the risk of leaving the hard drive in a state that an identity thief still can access your data. Using software to wipe a drive — or mask its contents — represents an especially risky strategy, as hackers can employ various methods to restore at least some of the scrambled data to a usable state.
Physical destruction — such as using a sledgehammer to smash a drive — is possible but can be messy, difficult and dangerous. By working with a professional for hard drive destruction, you ensure that your hard drive is fully destroyed and its data rendered unrecoverable.
Consumer Hard Drive Destruction
If you follow the news, you can find many poor ideas for destroying hard drives — including dropping them into bodies of water. It’s important to note that should such a drive be recovered, its data likely would remain accessible by skilled professionals using the right hardware and software tools.
Another method that sounds effective but, in reality, may not work is attempting to corrupt data by placing magnets near a hard drive. In many drives, a layer of steel protects the platter.
The only sure-fire method for fully destroying a hard drive is extreme physical damage; for example, opening up a drive with a hammer and screwdriver and physically smashing the glass platters. However, aluminum platters — the type frequently found in desktop computers — take more work, and it may be possible to recover data even from a glass platter that has been shattered.
By working with a consumer hard drive destruction professional, you can be sure that your hard drive has been physically shredded and the data cannot be accessed.
Hard Drive Shredding Cost
Wondering about the cost of hard drive destruction? Pricing depends on the specific services provided, but you can expect to pay between about $12 and $50. For the lower price, a consumer hard drive shredding provider may require that you remove the drive yourself prior to destruction.
For the highest possible level of security, choose a hard drive shredding provider that is bonded, fully certified and committed to confidentiality.
Contact Heart Of Texas Shred
When you choose HOT Shred for your consumer hard drive shredding needs, you gain peace of mind that your hard drive will be destroyed in a secure environment by fully screened employees. To learn more about hard drive shredding services in our secure facility, please contact us today.