Why NOT to destroy your hard drive!

What is a hard drive actually? How does it work? How can you protect your data?  These questions are extremely relevent to you own personal or business data security. 

What is a hard drive?  The hard drive is a piece of computer related hardware responsible for storing information about your computer or cell phone etc.  Basically it consists of a couple of boards, a platter for storing data and a write head which actually transfers electronic data to your platter for later use.

How does a hard drive work? The hard drive in your personal computer or business computer functions much like a cd player in your car or the cd/dvd drive on your computer!  To put it simply a hard drive contains a "platter" or disc which stores electronic data ( a series of 1's and 0's along with a few other characters) written in partitions (picture a pie already cut into slices, each slice would be a partition) and saved making data such as documents, applications and computer programs accessable to users. 

Destroying your electronic data should involve two aspects, a secure, thorough data destruciton process and responsible disposal of the hard ware.  Protecting your personal or business data is extremely important and should never be overlooked.  Ensuring data security is easier than you think, yet some commonly used data destruction or "hard drive destruction" practices are comically uneffective and harmful to your local environment!

Searching the internet for "hard drive destruction" or "how to destroy a hard drive" will often land you on a youtube video of some fellow with a hammer attempting to smash his home computer's hard drive. While this approach may serve as a stress reliever and a good 2 minutes of online entertainment, there are much more safe and effective ways to securely and responsibly dispose of an old or sensitive hard drive. 

Destroying your hard drive data and disposing of the left over hard ware should be single process.  Simply tossing your self destroyed hard drive in the house hold garbage contributes to the growing amount of electronic waste (ewaste) found in landfills.  Currently ewaste contribute 1% of U.S. landfills however they account for 70% of the toxins found in our landfills.  As our world population continues to become ever more dependent on electronics the amount of electronic waste produced is expected to grow world wide by 17 percent in the next five years.

By contacting a compliant electronics recycling company, one which is EPA certified and compliant with NIST/HIPAA data destruction processes you can assure data security and responsible recycling of your hazardous ewaste. 

How to really destroy hard drive data?  This question leads to the common misconception that the data on your hard drive can be "destroyed."  The only way to thoroughly and compliantly "destroy" your data is through an electronic process, often refered to as "ghosting" or "whiping,"  simply formating your hard drive     DOES NOT render your personal or business data unobtainable!  The United States Department of Defense (US DOD) as well as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have written a set of standards defining data destruction requirements for personal and business electronic data destruction.

The term "electronic data destruction," actually refers to a process of re-writing a random series of 1's, 0's and a few other characters over the current data stored on your hard drive platter.  To comply with the US DOD standards ciompliant electronic recyclers are required to run a three pass re-write, completing this process satisfies US DOD, NIST, HIPAA, FERPA, FACTA and SOX (industry specific regulation boards) electronic data destruction requirements and recommendations.  Using a compliant or certified electronic recycling service assures your data will be securely "destroyed."

Remember when it comes to data security and electronics recycling, contact a certified electronics recycling service.  Some electronics recycling services will even offer a certificate of secure data destruction!  Secure your data and Recycle Responsibly!





Read 3607 times Last modified on Tuesday, 13 June 2017 22:23


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About STS Electronic Recycling

STS Electronic Recycling, Inc., an a EPA Certified IT Asset Disposal Service Provider and Recycler based in Jacksonville, Texas, provides free computer, laptop and tablet recycling as well as computer liquidation and ITAD services to businesses across the United States.