In today’s world, neither individuals nor businesses can risk sensitive data stored on hard drives getting into the wrong hands. As such, proper hard drive destruction is critical before disposing of computers, laptops, and mobile devices that have reached their end-of-life, perhaps because they’re too outdated for modern use, not in good working order, or you simply have no more use for it.
If you’re looking to simply wipe the hard drive clean of any data so it can be reused, then any responsible IT professional should be able to perform the task properly. Generally, what is required is to overwrite and clear the data, after which you will be free to use the hard drive as you wish. Wiping the disk can help to:
- Overwrite sensitive data.
- Remove a virus or malware.
- Get rid of personal data from a previous owner and personalize the hard disk.
Whatever the reasons, wiping the disk drive is a fairly easy process that you can even perform yourself using the right tools. But what if you need to destroy the hard drive?
Hard Drive Destruction
If you’re planning to destroy your hard drive, then there’s a process you should follow to make sure that you don’t wipe out important data. First, you should take inventory of all the functions that the device has been used for over its lifetime. For instance, has the computer or tablet been used to store and process financial, health, or other personal data like social security and credit card information?
Depending on the sensitivity of the data that has been handled, you need to pay closer attention to the destruction process. So the second step is to find a reputable hard drive destruction company to determine whether the age of the hard drive allows for responsible recycling, or it can be destroyed directly. Destruction typically involves removal of the magnetic charge within the hard drive, a process that wipes it clean and makes it unusable. Any parts that can be reused are separated and the hard drive is passed through a shredder. At this point, a certificate of destruction is issued.
Some hard drive destruction services are provided on-site, so you can monitor the process individually and ensure that all the drives have been destroyed before leaving the premises. Both options eliminate the risk of a security breach, identity theft, or penalties.
The Role of Your Hard Drive Destruction Provider
If you’re considering destroying your hard drives, it’s because you want to protect the privacy of your data and information contained in the devices. But before you begin the process, you must ensure that any content on the drives is 100% useless, and that anything you want to keep has been backed up. It will be impossible to retrieve the data after hard drive destruction.
Your hard drive destruction company can assist with the entire process by:
- Providing on-site backup services, such as copying and storing all the important data and information in your hard drives before they’re wiped clean and destroyed.
- Providing data wiping services on-site or at their secure offices for added security and privacy.
- Allowing for witnessing destruction services to ensure that the privacy of your information is protected and for your peace of mind, especially if you plan on recycling or reselling the electronics.
- Providing a complete diagnostic evaluation of each individual device in order to identify any problems with the devices, evaluate possible solutions to these problems, produce a quote for refurbishment, and repair the device for redeployment or resale. This process typically involves a functional assessment, cosmetic grading, and market evaluation. If the device is obsolete or too damaged to be repaired, then the service provider will provide you with a detailed report and recommend recycling or destruction of the drive.
- Providing refurbishment, repair, and upgrade services for any electronic devices that can be refurbished following the diagnostic evaluation. This process leaves your device fully operational for redeployment or resale with maximum return on investment.
- Providing storage for any old electronics that are still functional and valuable after recycling, but you have no immediate use of the old technology or storage space on your premises to keep the devices.
- Allowing for hands-free recycling of old devices, whereby they are recycled and refurbished at a nearby service provider’s location, and then transported back to your premises for redeployment or resale without your involvement. This can save your team both time and money.
- Providing asset tracking of all devices so you can get updates and confirmation that your device has been wiped clean, recycled, refurbished, or being transported back to your premises.
When you work with a hard drive destruction service provider, you should expect a Certificate of Destruction, as well as a comprehensive data report indicating the devices received, the services administered on each of them, and those that were ultimately recycled. If you wish to resell the items, they can also conduct market research and discovery to determine the current value of your recycled assets.