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The Hard Facts about Hard Drive Destruction


We’ve highlighted plenty of reasons why the secure disposal of and shredding of confidential documents is important. But while the safe shredding of paper documents is vital for your CSR you shouldn’t ignore the fact that an awful lot of data is now stored digitally.

As such, as well as paper shredding, businesses should seriously consider hard drive destruction when confidential data is being held on them that needs to be disposed of.

An appetite for hard drive destruction

It’s worth pointing out that when we talk about hard drive destruction, we meant it in the most thorough way possible.

While it’s strangely satisfying to watch the kind of industrial shredder that can obliterate a piece of technical hardware, it’s just as important (if not more so) to ensure that none of the virtual data is retrievable before that happens.

That’s why, before shredding, all hard drives are wiped using a degaussing method to ensure everything has been completely erased. This should be done to HMG Infosec Standard 5.

Leave it to the experts

We won’t hold it against you if you’re not aware of the specifics when it comes to HMG Infosec Standard 5. After all, that’s our job.

It’s just one of the reasons why using a fully-accredited data destruction company is the safest and easiest way to ensure that you are disposing of data securely.

You’ll be certain that data and hardware are being stored securely and confidentially right up until the point of destruction. You can also be confident that no is retrievable after the hard drives have been destroyed.

What not to do

If you’re a Breaking Bad fan, you might think that using an over-sized industrial magnet is enough to erase data from a laptop. While that might have been the case many years ago, hard drives and the data stored on them are a lot more robust now.

Don't just erase it

A Data Recovery Study purchased 200 used hard drives and found that 67% of them still held personally identifiable information, despite being erased.

Don't stockpile hard drives

Some businesses don’t have a hard-drive-destruction policy. Even if they are stored in a locked area, if the information is still intact there’s a chance that it could be accessed.

Don’t perform DIY destruction

Venting all of your frustration on your hard drive with a hammer might help you feel better, and it might even work theoretically to destroy it enough, but there’s no guarantee.

Plus, a professional business should really be disposing of everything from documents, data and hard drives securely and compliantly. Using a professional destruction company will also mean that you’ll be given a Certificate of Media Destruction for your own records.

Don’t just recycle them

You can’t guarantee that a hard drive sent for recycling won’t be intercepted and the information it contains accessed.

Don’t do nothing

The worst thing you could be when it comes to hard drive destruction is complacent.

All companies that handle private information could be targeted for information theft. Businesses companies also have a legal obligation to comply with data protection laws, which is even more relevant in light of the impending EU General Data Protection Regulations.

By far the most effective and risk-free way to dispose of hard drives is for a professional document destruction company to wipe the data stored on them and physically shred them.