4 Data Destruction Misconceptions

May 5, 2022

4 Data Destruction Misconceptions

Now more than ever, businesses rely on data to develop policies, create growth strategies, and provide services to their customers. The benefits of data are clear. Companies can use the information to create better customer experiences, streamline core competencies, etc.

At the same time, companies are taking on more responsibility for the data they collect, store, and transmit. This responsibility includes the obligation to properly destroy data and data storage devices as required.

While most people understand that data destruction is necessary, they may also hold onto some dangerous misconceptions.

If you’ve based your data security policy around any of these common misconceptions, it may be time to make some changes:

1. Formatting a Device Effectively Destroys Data – False!

Personal computers became commonplace in the 1980s. That’s also when this misconception began to take hold. While formatting a disk can make it difficult for the average user to access the data that was on it, a skilled hacker will have no problem doing so. Running a delete command on the files on a device is equally ineffective.

There are still good reasons to format devices. It can clear storage space. This process makes room for adding more apps or data. Just keep in mind that this is not an effective method of destroying data.

2. Data Destruction Is Simple and Should Be Handled In-House – False!

It takes specialized equipment and know-how to effectively shred paper documents and wipe data to ensure compliance. These aren’t something that the average business has on-site or has the time or expertise to perform. In most cases, it’s simply not cost-effective to purchase this equipment or train employees to do these tasks. The best thing to do is outsource this work to a company that specializes in data destruction.

3. Destroying a Device Means Destroying the Data – False!

Unfortunately, when businesses do attempt to handle data destruction on their own, they easily make mistakes. They may use hammers to smash disk drives, place devices in contact with magnets, or disassemble them to dispose of them in multiple places.

It’s easy to see why people would think this works, but it simply does not. All it takes is a single solid-state chip left intact, and a data thief will be able to extract information. We’ve  heard many stories of employees being injured attempting the hammer smash or finding data online after a company thought they had destroyed it themselves.

4. Small Businesses Aren’t a Worthwhile Target- False!

When a large company experiences a data breach, it makes the news. This notoriety has led to the misconception that small businesses aren’t at much risk. In reality, the opposite is true.

Hackers know that smaller businesses are less likely to have strong protections in place and may not have staff that understands the importance of good data destruction policies.

Worse, small businesses may not have the resources to investigate and find the cause of a data breach. Many small and medium-sized businesses that suffer data breaches go out of business soon after.

SEAM Offers Data Destruction that Works

If you have a business in North Dakota or South Dakota, you don’t have to worry about misconceptions. Our team is happy to handle all of your data destruction needs with guaranteed results. Just contact  our team of experts, and we’ll provide a quote.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.