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How to destroy a hard drive for data security and protection

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shredded hard driveWhether you’re an individual who wants to get rid of an old computer or an IT manager looking to shut down a server, it’s critical to ensure the hard drives in equipment you no longer use are destroyed the correct way.

Nearly every week there’s a news story about hackers making off with confidential information. And it’s not just computers actively in use that are vulnerable to attack. Old computers that are simply sitting around collecting dust are also at-risk. If the device still has a hard drive, its data is open to attack.

These hard drives contain sensitive information, including credit card and bank information, tax records, old emails and plenty more that needs to be kept private. For businesses, confidential information can also include trade secrets, contracts and invoices as well as employee and customer records that must be protected by law.

Not all forms of hard drive destruction are effective

If you look up “how to destroy a hard drive” on the internet, you’ll see all kinds of solutions. Overwrite it, hammer it, melt it, drill it, dip it in acid, drop it in the ocean — these are just some of the results that will come up. While each of these methods may do some harm to a hard drive, none of them is a truly secure solution. If only a portion of the hard drive is destroyed, criminals that use sophisticated data recovery techniques can still get to your valuable information.

Throwing a computer away is dangerous. Crafty criminals can steal it and easily extract the hard drive.

Handing your old computer over to the same store where you buy a new one is dicey. You have no control over what they do with it.

Hard drive shredding is the most secure data protection

When you want guaranteed hard drive destruction, you must use a method that’s verified as safe and secure. For peace of mind you’ll want proof of destruction. If you’re a business, this proof is important to keep for your audit requirements and compliance standards.

shards from shredded hard drivesThe most decisive form of hard drive destruction is physical shredding performed by a professional service provider that uses industrial grade equipment. The process decimates hard drives into small bits. These random pieces are unrecognizable and cannot be reconstructed.

Professional shredding is ideal for hard drives, cell phones, CDs and DVDs, back-up tapes, flash drives and other data storage devices.

How to select a hard drive shredding service

When evaluating a service provider for electronic data destruction, you’ll want to know it uses proper procedures every step of the way. Make sure it offers all of the following:

Secure chain of custody: Includes putting your devices in secure tamper-proof containers for pick up, GPS-tracked transport in locked vehicle and 24/7 monitoring while your items are at the service facility.

Inventory control: An auditable itemized list of your IT assets is made with serial numbers and barcodes. All asset tags and corporate identifying marks are removed prior to the recycling and destruction process.

NAID AAA Certified: Certification that verifies a service provider meets the most stringent qualifications for secure information destruction.

Compliant with state and federal laws: All processes comply with government rules and regulations, including HIPAA, HITECH, FACTA, FERPA, PCI DSS, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and Sarbanes-Oxley.

Professional staff: Employees are specially trained in secure electronic data destruction protocols.

Vetted security technicians: Employees are bonded, undergo background checks, sign non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements and participate in ongoing security training.

Industrial-grade shredder: Machinery is efficient and breaks hard drives into small pieces that cannot be read or reconstructed.

Proof of destruction: You receive a certificate of destruction with an itemized report of the serial numbers of the hard drives destroyed.

Proper recycling: Your e-waste is recycled in accordance with EPA standards, with a 100% zero-landfill guarantee.

Electronic data destruction you can trust

DocuVault’s physical shredding process guarantees each hard drive is 100% destroyed and its information 100% unrecoverable. We cover every step as mentioned above, and more.

For your next hard drive destruction project, trust the data destruction professionals at DocuVault. We’ll manage your entire process from start to finish.

More information on DocuVault’s electronic data destruction

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