Securely Disposing Of Your Computer Data

Securely Disposing Of Your Computer Data.

I have a number of older obsolete PC’s that I want to get rid of, should I just donate them outright?  Should I take them the directly to the nearest recycling center?

The answer to the these question should always be NO… at least until the following is considered.

In this ever expanding world of technology, your sensitive information is everywhere.  Even though you may have deleted data, and/or re-formatted the hard drive, the data off the drive or media may still be retrievable by hackers, or other criminal types who are determined to find sensitive data. All that they need is physical access to the drive, and the right set of tools.

Physical locations of permanently deleted data could include any or all of the following:

  • Computer Hard Drives.

  • Backup Drives (Including external devices such as USB Thumb Drives, Portable Hard Drives).

  • Transportable Media – Floppy Disks, Tape Media, CD’s, DVD’s

  • Photocopy Machine Hard Drives.

  • Fax Machine Hard Drives.

  • Cell Phones.

Most common office shredders are capable of shredding CD’s and DVD’s.  Most Tape media can be physically destroyed, and thumb drives can be crushed, however, hard drives are another matter altogether.

Options of destroying data on a hard drive, v.s. physically destroying the drive:

Using Data Destruction Tools  – There are available tools that allow you to do multiple overwrites of data on a hard drive that would render your data impossible to resurrect. However, most of these tools are not commonly known, or available to the casual computer user.  There are also some dangers inherent in these tools, such as one accidentally destroying data on the wrong drive.

Rendering the physical drive unusable – There are physical ways to render a hard drive permanently unusable and then make the physical disks unreadable, even if they were put in another drive case.  However, most people don’t either the skills, tools, or time to do this properly.

If you would like some assistance with properly and safely disposing of any of your computer data, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department.

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