In today’s world, a majority of confidential data is stored electronically on computer hard drives. Hospitals, clinics, schools, businesses, and individual home owners keep personal data on their computers. In some cases, very sensitive data like medical history, tax records, and client information is stored and used daily.
While companies spend millions of dollars on backup utilities, secure data storage, and network security to reduce the risk of security breaches, when it comes to retiring end-of-life computers, many don’t do enough to ensure that confidential data is permanently destroyed from their computer hard drives.
Statistics show that every quarter second a file is stolen containing information that, if used, could compromise an individual’s identity. Average identity theft losses for an individual average $3,000. Loss of proprietary company information or medical records could cost ten’s to hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, damage to an individual or a company’s reputation would likely follow the news of the loss.
Reformatting hard drives merely “covers up” hard drive data – information which can be recovered. Proper data wiping or hard drive destruction eliminates security risks and ensures that confidential or proprietary information does not end up in the wrong hands.
A reputable computer disposal and data destruction company will make sure sensitive data is destroyed. A list of hard drive serial numbers and a Certificate of Destruction provides companies with traceable destruction documentation which helps them comply with Federal and State laws regarding data retention and privacy.