Why Proper Hard Drive Destruction is Crucial

Oct 27, 2020

While humanity has incredible capacity for creation, we’re also pretty good at destroying things.  Even a five-year-old can appreciate the thrill of breaking a plate by dropping it on the floor, or pulling doll’s head off.  Because destruction is not only relatively easy, but kind of fun, you might think you’re fully capable of destroying hard drives on your own in order to dispose of the data they contain.  However, this is a mistake.

The main problem is that there are specific standards you must adhere to when it comes to data destruction, and the approved method for destroying hard drives is shredding. However, that’s not the end of it.  Consumer privacy laws set forth specifications for destruction, including the type of shredding machinery to use, recycling practices, and more.  In some cases, even stricter standards may apply to industries that deal with particularly sensitive data, like medical or financial information.

The point is, proper destruction is essential to protecting your North Dakota or South Dakota company and keeping confidential customer data safe.  How can you properly destroy hard drives and what could happen if you fail?

Getting Professional Help

It’s not at all unusual for companies to outsource tasks that require significant knowledge, skill, and experience.  For example, plenty of businesses work with third-party suppliers, CPAs, and all kinds of other professionals.  When it comes to shredding hard drives, you have every reason to partner with a trusted vendor that specializes in this type of service.

You’ll certainly want to seek out a certified ITAD service provider that you can trust to provide the secure and ethical services you expect.  The right vendor will offer the compliance and transparency that puts your mind at ease and adhere to certifications such as e-Stewards and R2.

First and foremost, you’ll reap the benefits from the use of industrial shredders that ensure compliance with applicable consumer privacy laws and industry regulations like HIPAA and FACTA, just for example.  ITAD professionals will also keep up with changing rules on your behalf in order to remain compliant.

Mobile shredding services provide you with locking bins and regular pick-up schedules to meet your needs, going so far as to shred on-site so you can personally verify hard drive destruction.  Alternately, bundles of equipment can be transported to a secure facility for shredding, complete with chain-of-custody tracking and a 24/7 client portal access so you can track progress by serial number.  With a verified Certificate of Destruction and Recycling for your records, you gain peace of mind.

Using a professional is a much easier option than purchasing and maintaining your own expensive shredding equipment and tasking employees with shredding duties, or alternately, engaging in fruitless DIY hacks like pounding nails through hard drives or dipping them in acid (neither of which effectively destroy data and prevent recovery).

 Consequences of Failure

What happens if you try to destroy hard drive data on your own and fail?  Maybe nothing, but the consequences have the potential to be dire.  If data falls into the wrong hands, it could be used to infiltrate your networks in a data breach, or it could be used for customer or employee identity theft.  This, in turn could result in penalties, lawsuits, loss of revenue, loss of reputation, and perhaps even the end of your business.  In short, it’s best to do all you can to properly destroy hard drives and prevent potential data theft.

SEAM is a certified ITAD service provider located in Sioux Falls with the expertise and resources required to properly dispose of your hard drives.  Contact us today at 605-274-7326 (SEAM) or online to learn more and request 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.