The term “Data Destruction” often more than not, strikes the fear of the unknown in most people especially, when they hear it for the first time. Data compromise is never wished for and when experienced, it is quite devastating especially since you may not be able to predict the next action point of those who are in possession of your data. Data compromise may not be prevented by even the strongest security measures as loopholes that can be explored by data thieves and hackers are often present. One thing most people dread worldwide is for data on their computer or devices to be lost or destroyed while it is imperative to be security conscious of our digital imprints at all times, it is important to have a failsafe option for data protection.
There will be a point when we’ll need to replace older electronic devices but one cannot rest assured except there is a certainty that any data stored on such media has been permanently erased. No previous user wants confidential information from their old or current devices being transferred carelessly around and this is why a proper data destruction is advised. This article aims to shed light on data destruction, why it is important, the different modes of data destruction and how to choose a competent data destruction company.
WHAT IS DATA DESTRUCTION?
Data destruction is a failsafe process that prevents data loss. This works by rendering personal and confidential information totally unreadable regardless of the electronic form they were originally saved. This completely ensures that confidential information does not get into wrong hands before they are recycled.
Data destruction is an effective solution to our everyday e-waste problem. This is because most electronic devices contain parts that can be recycled and reused. Recycling helps in the immense conservation of natural resources and it also prevents water and air pollution that are by-products of hazardous disposal. Data Destruction also helps to drastically reduce the amount of green gas emission accrued from the manufacture of new products.
Why Does Data Destruction Matter?
The reasons why data destruction is important cannot be overemphasized. Deleting a file from a device does not mean it no longer exists, in most cases, deleted files are still stored on the device’s memory chip or hard drive. Data destruction ensures such file or data are permanently erased and it prevents the retrieval of any information they contain by totally destroying the electronic device.
Our world has embraced digitization and because we are so reliant on electronic media and data sharing for our business operations, it becomes imperative to secure all forms of data across every facet of our operation, and to ensure that data can be properly discarded once they are no longer useful.
Data destruction is very important as it helps forestall several inconveniences that may present from the loss of data especially those resulting in the leakage of client’s information and data.
TYPES OF DATA DESTRUCTION
There are different methods that can be explored to discard data. Unfortunately, none of these methods guarantee 100% success rates. Data Destruction can be carried out in several ways and having the knowledge of available methods will go a long way in helping you choose the right one for your business needs. They include:
- Wiping and Overwriting data
- Degaussing/Physical destruction which include crushing, hammer, drilling and hammering
- Solid state/Electronic shredding
The following will be a brief overview of these data destruction methods.
- Wiping and Overwriting data
Overwriting data involves the replacement of the data stored in an electronic medium with new data with the aim of rendering the previously stored data unreadable. Data wiping involves the physical connection of an electronic media to a bulk wiping device. Data wiping takes longer to execute unlike other types of data destruction methods. This method is best for individuals but is not suitable for large businesses or corporations with several devices that need wiping.
- Delete and Reformat
Deleting or Reformatting data or files stored on a device will not properly erase it as recoverable elements of the file will still be stored in the hard drive of the electronic device. Deleting and Reformatting will only replace the file system with another. Recovering data from a reformatted disk is quite easy as there are many tools that can give an individual access to such files. This is not a productive method of data destruction.
Erasure is similar to overwriting. Data destruction using this method should be properly and completely done to ensure the destruction of all data stored on the device. Erasure is best recommended for businesses who acquired their devices through lease.
- Physical destruction
Physically destroying the device is another efficient way to destroy data. This gives one the highest assurance that data has been destroyed. Physical destruction of electronic medium is expensive. It is also not recommended for an organization that has a green and sustainable program for recycling old devices. Degaussing is another way to physically destroy data, however, this can only be carried out in a location that is far from human habitation.
Shredding can be regarded as another form of physically destroying data. Shredding can be regarded as a cost effective and secure method of destroying electronic data stored in any medium, and is contained in hard drives. Shredding is effective when destroying data in a large organization or business.
HOW TO CHOOSE A COMPETENT DATA DESTRUCTION COMPANY
To choose a competent data destruction company, there are many important factors that should never be compromised.
- Compliance: Ensure the company shows you how they adhere strictly to the NSA and NIST guidelines for data destruction. Find out how such company trains their staff to maintain standard practices in the industry.
- Method: Ask them to explain the methods they intend using for destruction of your data. If they refuse to divulge this information, it is advisable to look for another competent company to do it as their practices may not be safe for the environment.
- Insurance: find out if the company has an insurance scheme, as this will confirm that the company will assume responsibility of any mishap or leakage of data if it happens peradventure. Ensure the company do a thorough background check on their employees and be sure that they are properly trained to handle confidential information.
- Certificate of sanitization: This should be a must-have for any company that have carried out proper data destruction in the past. This certificate will show proof of adherence to NIST guidelines. This certificate will carry information such as media type, serial number of the media, and how it was sanitized.
If you are concerned about data security and how the data stored on your media devices can be prevented from loss and getting into wrong hands now and in the future, then look no further than American Recycle. American Recycle has solutions that are geared towards secure data destruction for any form of electronic media. We are reputable for our on-site and off-site services and strict adherence to NSA policies and other government agencies that ensure all legal and environmental requirements, and industrial practices are met.