Before you throw away, donate or recycle a computer, make sure the hard drive is destroyed. Even programs that tout that they can erase everything on the drive are not hacker-proof. The best way to make sure all of the data on the drive is destroyed is to shred the drive. You might not think that anything important is on the drive, but most people have sensitive information, such as their address, birth date and social security number on the computer. If you paid bills online or accessed bank accounts online, that information is also stored on the hard drive. If you have a business, you have even more on the hard drive: Not just your employees’ info, but you have customer info and trade secrets. Even reformatting the drive is not a secure option. Other than physically destroying the drive, you could degauss it. The degausser machine changes the magnetic properties of the drive and makes it unusable.
Your Identity Is at Risk
When companies do not protect their hard drives, you are at risk for identity theft. Some companies store their old hard drives on site, which means that they are at risk for being stolen. Once someone steals the hard drives, he or she just has to extract the data to steal your identity or to sell it to others.
When you store digital media on site, you risk your clients’ data. An employee might not follow procedure or an employee could steal or help others steal the drives with the data. Centene recently had such an incident where an employee did not follow the proper procedure. The company has about 26,000 IT devices in inventory, but only six were stolen. However, those six hard drives had confidential information for 950,000 people. Centene is not the only health insurer who had problems with stolen data. Anthem, Inc., CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, Premera Blue Cross and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield were also hacked.
Protect your identity by having your hard drive shredded. If you have an older hard drive that uses platters, you might be able to destroy it yourself. However, the newer hard drives don’t use platters and it is more difficult to destroy the data on the drive.
How to Destroy a Hard Drive
While hard drive destruction is important for everyone, it is especially important that businesses destroy their old hard drives. The old way you might have learned how to destroy a had drive is no longer good enough. Hackers have programs that can get data back, even if the drive was wiped. Newer hard drives don’t use platters, so it’s harder to destroy all of the data.
If you are not a business, you could take the hard drive apart and destroy the platter, if your drive has one. You could use it for target practice. Or you could use a sledgehammer on it. But to really make sure you destroy the data, bring the hard drive to Heart of Texas Shred and let us shred it for you.
Contact Heart of Texas Shred
Whether you are a business or an individual, if you have one or more hard drives that are no longer in use, contact us at Heart of Texas Shred to shred the hard drives instead of taking the chance that someone gets your or your customers’ information and steals your identity or sells that information.