A Guide to Securely Destroying a Hard Drive

 

Hard drives can contain all kinds of sensitive and personal information – from bank details, emails, tax records, bills to addresses – a lot of data that you wouldn’t want falling into the wrong hands. There are many reasons for destroying a hard drive, maybe you need to delete masses of private data or maybe your computer is just sat collecting dust. It’s easy to permanently destroy paper files through shredding but what about electronic data? Leaving the fate of your private information in the hands of automatic software deletion can often leave it vulnerable to attack. So what are your other options?

With daily reports of computer hackers stealing sensitive information, it is important that you know the safest and securest way to destroy your hard drive, making sure you don’t fall victim to these villainous attacks. Contrary to popular belief, the only way to truly and securely destroy a hard drive is to have it professionally shredded. Burning it, submerging it in water, smashing it or any other absurd method will only destroy the exterior of the hard drive and sensitive information could still be pilfered.

Having your hard drive physically shredded by a professional provider is the most secure way to destroy any private information that may be stored. The secure shredding process, although complex, is done by a team of dedicated experts who utilise tried-and-tested industrial equipment. The process includes the destruction of the hard drive into small pieces which cannot be reconstructed to recover any sensitive data in the future.

When choosing your service provider to shred your hard drive you must make sure that their process includes a range of different services that will ensure the secure destruction of your sensitive information. In order to guarantee the safest and securest destruction of your hard drive, make sure the process you choose includes:

  • A secure pickup in a GPS tracked and locked vehicle where your hard drive will be kept in a tamper-proof container
  • The removal of any corporate logos or brand identifiers

The service provider you have chosen must:

  • Have a certification explaining that the company meet the legal requirements to carry out such tasks
  • Comply with all government laws and regulations regarding transactions, insurance, data protection and health and safety
  • Employ specially trained experts to carry out tasks
  • Run security and background checks on all employees
  • Administer confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements for employees to sign
  • Provide ongoing security training to all employees
  • Use an industrial grade shredder to destroy your hard drive
  • Prove they have destroyed your hard drive effectively and securely by providing you with a certificate of destruction (this is especially important for corporations as it proves you have complied with standards)
  • Recycle your destroyed hard drive in regulation with EPA standards

Throwing away your computer can be very problematic – anyone can steal it and recover sensitive data that you would prefer to keep private. Returning your computer to the shop you originally brought it from also has its own problems. Although the company you brought your computer from may be trustworthy and professional, once you hand over your device, you have no say in how they use the information that is stored. Professional shredding is a much safer alternative and it can be used to destroy a range of different devices, not just hard drives.

For more information on secure data and document storage, please contact RADS.