Taking steps to securely destroy data in documents and files is something that we have all become accustomed to doing. From on-site paper recycling to taking your unwanted documents to a recycling centre, it’s easy to understand the benefits of ensuring that files and folders are not left laying around - and the security risks of not doing so. But what about electronic media - why is it just as vital to ensure that you take the same precautions?
Electronic media is a goldmine of data
From hard drives to CDs and devices, electronic media constantly gather data and keep it stored in ways that many of us simply don’t understand how to delete. And yet, when it comes to disposing of these items, all too often we simply throw them out without ensuring that their contents have been properly wiped. Even after you have deleted information from a hard drive it can still contain vital information - and a whole wealth of sensitive and confidential data - and this makes any electronic media a target for those who can benefit from stealing that data. This is why considering hard drive shredding is important, as well as SIM cards, floppy disks, CD’s, x-rays, USB memory sticks and video and cassette tapes.
Improper disposal can create many risks
Digital information is a highly valued asset today and hackers will go to great lengths to get it. Any electronic media contains digital information - not just the obvious computers or CDs but also your printers, copiers and older fax machines. If these aren’t properly disposed of then the information in them can become available to others, whether that is every document that you’ve copied in the past year or all the phone numbers that you’ve called. This kind of exposure can be catastrophic for a business - and very profitable for competitors.
Electronic media destruction is essential
Investing in electronic media destruction means having access to the same methods of disposal that you would apply to any document or file that you no longer need where data protection is essential. It can be used for a whole wide range of items, from hard drives and back up tapes to microfilm, thumb drives, CDs, badges, X-rays and cards and credit cards. Each of these could contain data that might have value to someone else - and compromise your business - but secure electronic media destruction will ensure that doesn’t happen.
How does the process work?
Electronic media destruction methods will depend on the media in question. For a hard drive it works as follows:
- The first step is to overwrite data or clear or wipe the hard drive. This will mean that standard operating commands and traditional methods of data retrieval won’t work on the media in question and will help to provide peace of mind when it comes to the destruction process.
- The second step is degaussing. This uses an electro-magnetic field to completely destroy any remaining data and will render something like a hard drive completely unreadable. Once your electronic media has been through this process there will be zero risk that any data could fall into the wrong hands.
It’s vital to ensure that your business is carefully destroying electronic media as part of a broader data protection programme.
If you are looking to destroy any electronic storage device safely and securely get in touch with Shred-on-Site today by calling 0800 181 4106 or why not try our online quoting tool.