Identity theft is more common today than it has ever been and that’s due to improper disposal of electronic devices, such as hard drives. When you throw away a computer, hard drive or cell phone, it is important that you wipe the memory clean. However, some hackers can retrieve erased data and steal your personal information anyway. With that being known, it is important that you securely dispose of your personal electronic devices. The same goes for commercially used computers that may contain sensitive corporate data, such as social security numbers, addresses, names, account numbers and company secrets.
There are electronic recycling companies that offer this service and will even come to your home to remove the device from your premises. But how do you know whether or not your data will be completely wiped off before being recycled? You should search for a reputable electronics recycling facility that follows the regulations of the US Department of Defense, NSA and National Institute of Standards and Technology, regarding media sanitization.
There are three different ways that your data can be wiped clean, through soft data removal, which is deleting everything from the hard drive, then leaving it inside of the computer. The other option is to have the hard drive physically destroyed, which is done by shredding hard drive to bits. Some electronics recyclers offer degaussing, which is when a high magnetic field is used to destroying whatever is on the magnetic strips of the hard drive. This causes irreversible damage.
Make sure that any electronic recycler that you choose offers the type of data destruction that you are looking for. They should abide by certain regulations that guarantee that all of your personal data will be erased before being recycled and reused. There are types of software that you can purchase from Windows and other companies that will erase data completely from your computers.
Recycling electronics is one of the most conscious acts you can make as a technology consumer. Over the decades, tons of electronics have been dumped into the landfills, adding more emphasis to the environmental problems that we are facing. By recycling your electronics to an e-waste warehouse, you can help this problem. If you’re only interested in having data destroyed, you can simply recycle the hard drives only to these facilities and they will do it the way you specify.
To learn more about data security of discarded electronics, give your local electronics recycling company a call.