Shredding For Hard Drives and Cell Phones
Shredding for Hard Drive, Cell Phone, and Other Non-Paper Destruction
Whenever most people hear the term “data destruction” they have a look of horror on their faces. While we are trained to protect information and data on our technology devices, there comes a time that these devices get older, start having problems or are just at their end of life cycle. These devices are home to some of the most personal and proprietary information and ensuring that this data is not stolen by cyber thieves requires the critical steps of shredding the technologies that we once depended on.
Devices at Risk
- Computer hard drives: The data from a hard drive can be accessed even when the owner may have instituted a “delete” function for all of the files, folders, and operating system. The information is remains and a cyber thief can use technologies and commands to reinstate it. Shredding a hard drive ensures that the data is completely destroyed and cannot be accessed or used. This action offers peace of mind that their personal information will not end up being sold on the dark net or to competitors.
- Copy/fax machines: Few remember that digital copiers and fax machines have a memory card or hard disk that keeps a copy of everything that has been processed through the device. Considering that there may be personal information from human resources, client data, tax copies, and even secret business and partnership data, the memory cards and hard disks will need to be removed and shredded.
- Mobile devices can include cell phones, ipads, DVDs, CDs, and thumb drives/USBs. Each of these technology types can house private contacts, documents, and proprietary company and personal information that could be devastating if stolen. Deleting the files and folders won’t permanently get rid of the data, however, shredding the devices and/or the memory cards/drives will destroy the information.
- Miscellaneous Plastic: The best data destruction companies will educate customers on some of the miscellaneous plastic that are at risk. These can include credit/debit cards, gift cards, and reward cards. Each of these can contain or can be linked to online access that includes personal information and should be shredded.
Types of Shredding
When we envision the word “shredding” we automatically think of the shredding machine in our office or home, however, for non-paper items there are a number of methods used under the term “shredding.” The best data destruction companies will offer some or all of these services and consult with a client on those that they feel will fit their needs. Some of the options the customer may have could include:
- Deleting and reformatting all of the information on a drive so that the drive us usable but is in a completely empty state.
- Data Overwriting basically overwrites existing information with new information, thereby wiping out all that was previous on the drive.
- Erasure uses “ones and zeros” to write over all of the data sectors.
- Electronic shredding uses an actual commercial grade shredder to destroy the device and renders it into smaller sizes.
- Physical destruction can include crushing, drilling, or hammering a device so that it is unusable.
- Solid state shredding makes use of a special electronic device with special chambers that have infeed slots that shred by width so that it discharges the resulting e-scrap into a bin.
- Degaussing destroys the data through the use of a degausser magnetic field that makes the data irretrievable.
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