The Silent Threat of Hidden Data

In an age of advancing technology, hidden data within our devices has become a growing concern. While we’re mindful of the data that new technology might conceal, it’s equally vital to consider what’s hidden in plain sight. A recent encounter at SEAM Services shed light on this matter when a printer arrived with a forgotten bank document left in the scanner, underscoring the significance of thorough equipment checks.

The Unexpected Discovery: A Forgotten Bank Document

Recently at SEAM Services, a seemingly routine task took an unexpected turn when a customer’s printer arrived for disposal. Upon inspection, we made a disconcerting discovery – a bank document left behind in the scanner.

This seemingly innocuous oversight contained sensitive information, including the bank’s name, the customer’s name, routing and account numbers, and even the customer’s signature. It was a stark reminder of how easily personal and confidential information can go unnoticed, with potentially severe consequences. To safeguard the information’s security, we immediately shredded the document.

But this isn’t an isolated incident. In the past, we’ve encountered other forgotten documents within printers, such as completed federal tax returns featuring social security numbers, names, addresses, and signatures. These findings emphasize the importance of meticulous equipment checks before recycling or selling any device.

The World of Concealed Data

In today’s digital landscape, our devices are more sophisticated than ever, silently accumulating vast stores of data, often concealed from plain sight. Unearthing hidden data is not a straightforward task. It may not always be a missed sheet of paper, or reside on the device’s hard drive.

Oftentimes, identifying the hard drive itself can pose challenges! Some systems incorporate multiple hard drives, while others have onboard storage integrated into the motherboard. The complexity of modern technology necessitates the use of the right tools and knowledge to identify all data-at-rest.

The Value of Professional Expertise

Conducting data destruction in-house can be a daunting endeavor, particularly when seeking hidden data. Ensuring that all concealed information is identified and securely disposed of requires expertise and precision. This is where professionals, like SEAM , play a critical role.

Our team is trained to locate and securely remove hidden data effectively. We possess the necessary tools and knowledge to ensure that no trace of sensitive information remains when disposing of your equipment. By engaging professionals, you minimize the risk of potential data breaches and legal liabilities.

The significance of double-checking your equipment for hidden data is paramount. It’s crucial to recognize the potential security risks posed by something as seemingly simple as a forgotten document. Whether it’s a printer, computer, or any other device, dedicating the time to inspect thoroughly and considering professional assistance ensures your data remains protected and concealed data no longer poses a security risk.

SEAM: Data Experts in South Dakota

SEAM offers several NAID AAA-certified data destruction services, including onsite, in-plant shredding, and sanitization of both hard drives and solid-state drives. As the sole certified provider in teh Dakotas, we are located in Sioux Falls, and proudly serve clients throughout South Dakota and North Dakota. If you’re looking for support with your organization’s hidden data, look no further. Contact us to learn more today.

Levi Hentges

Levi Hentges is the Vice President/Business Development at SEAM. He helps clients build and manage their IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) programs to comply with legal, corporate and environmental requirements surrounding their technology devices; including asset recovery and resale, data destruction and secure electronics recycling. 



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.