Old Computers Could Bring New Problems1

Old Computers Could Bring New Problems

Old Computers Could Bring New Problems

All computers have a hard drive. That hard drive is an electronic storage device for everything you have done on that computer. If someone was to get access to that hard drive, they could retrieve all that personal and private information.

When replacing a computer, there is really only one way to securely eliminate the information on the hard drive. You need to destroy the magnetic platter or disc inside. It’s the only safe way to stop criminals from stealing data from unneeded computers.

Deleting Files is Not Enough

Widely available software can be used to recover files that users think they have been permanently deleted. Even though people think they have deleted or wiped data from machines before they dispose of them, the files still remain on the hard drives. Some of that data could be banking information and other personal data sufficient for identity thieves to use to create phony accounts, or worse, get access to your accounts. Computers contain more confidential information than ever before because of the increasing use of computers to shop online, online banking, and even social networking sites that often provide too much personal information.

An Example

A computer that was sold on eBay had bank account numbers, mother’s maiden names, and the signatures of one million American Express, NatWest, and Royal Bank of Scotland customers that previously belonged to a data processing company. The information was discovered by the purchaser that had no ill intentions, he just bought a used computer.

The Hidden Problem

The problem lies in the way that hard drives work and store data. A computer processor creates an index file on the hard drive that is the location of a file and when anything happens with that data it stores and updates a file. When a file is deleted from the system, the index entry is removed, but the file itself is still on the hard drive. Therein lies the problem. It can serve a useful purpose if a hard drive crashes so some or all of the files can be recovered, but it can be devastating if the hard drive falls into the wrong hands.

Hire a Professional

If you think you can do it yourself, think again. Computer experts warn that even treatment with a hammer may not be the end of your data. Hire a professional hard drive destruction company they have the right equipment to physically destroy your hard drive. Make sure the company you hire will record the serial number of each hard drive and provide you with a Certificate of Destruction that lists each hard drive that was destroyed. There are three approved methods for destroying a hard drive. These methods include crushing, shredding, or punching a hole through the hard drive. All three are effective.

Crushing — A piece of equipment will crush and bend the hard drive until the platter is bent or broken. Once this is done, your information can no longer be retrieved.

Shredding — Your hard drive is put into an industrial shredder and turned into small pieces of metal and plastic, completely destroying the hard drive.

Punch — A hydraulic piece of equipment will punch a hole through the hard drive’s platter making it inoperable and the information not retrievable.

FileShred is a locally owned document shredding and hard drive destruction service in Connecticut that will help you implement the best information destruction program for your company. Give us a call or visit our website at www.fileshred.net.