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Getting Rid of Your Hard Drive? Degauss, Shred, Wipe or Destroy?

Southeastern Data destroy wipe shred hard drivesA recent study, analyzing used hard drives and mobile devices being sold online through places such as Amazon and eBay discovered that 75% of the drives contained residual data from their previous owners.

This poses the question, “How far should a company go in its efforts to destroy all information contained on a hard drive or digital device before recycling?”

The answer depends on various factors including the confidentiality of the information contained on the drive or device, individual company standards, and the level of security mandated by government regulations or industry standards.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed guidelines for Computer Security and Media Sanitization (NIST 800-88). These guidelines define the most secure way to destroy data contained on computer hard drives and backups. Organizations regulated by data privacy laws such as HIPAA, HITECH and GLBA should be aware of these hard drive destruction guidelines when disposing of servers, hard drives and computers.

Ewaste and Electronics Recycling

E-Waste Security is one of the critical steps in ewaste management and recycling. Companies can no longer allow computer hard drives or devices containing any kind of company data out of their custody without first destroying the information or hiring a certified data destruction vendor to do so.

There are a number of options available to secure data of obsolete electronic equipment such as computers or data containing devices.

Data Privacy Day (yes, it really exists) doesn’t come around again until next January, but it’s never too soon to learn some ways we can protect confidential business information.

1: A document management system should be in place. Not every employee needs access to every piece of data.

2: Have a plan in force for the duration each document will be retained. Unneeded documents should be removed from storage and destroyed.

3: Have a shredding policy in place. Have strategically placed bins for employees to leave documents to be shredded.

Out with the old computers and in with the new. But, what happens to the information on those discarded hard drives? With the legal ramifications faced by companies who do not deal with this properly, it is important to know how to handle it.

Many companies do it on their own with drive wiping tools, while others outsource this task. There are some questions you should ask a data destruction company you are considering.

As if wary internet browsers didn’t have enough to worry about. Here we go with yet another scare-ware campaign aimed at surfers, and this time they are claiming to be our own Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Multiple sources have reported on a new scare-ware campaign targeting consumers, and it is using the FBI as its moniker. These impersonations come with e-mails that are marked as being “high priority.”

This hasn’t been a great year for Sony. They are scrambling to get their Qriocity service and PlayStation network back online, and now they are dealing with another breach of security. This time a hacker has launched an attack against numerous websites, all linked to Sony Pictures.

A group known as “LulzSec” was the culprit, after they recently hit the homepage of PBS. They announced their hacking of and their hijacking of over a million individual accounts on the site. Also uncovered were nearly 4 million coupons and 75,000 music library codes.

Ok, maybe valuable was the wrong choice of words. How much useless drivel have you posted to Facebook in the past? I’m going to guess the answer is quite a bit.

So, where is it all?

The truth is that no one really knows where it is, and if you are deleted, disabled or hacked, you may lose some valuable information (and some not so valuable stuff).

Citigroup has announced that at least one percent of its United States credit card accounts were breached last month, and the personal details of customers stolen.

The exact number of breached credit accounts is 360,083, with over 200,000 being issued fresh credit cards due to the breach.

A bank statement says that the remaining accounts that have been affected were not reissued cards because they were either closed or had already gotten new details. They stressed that the affected accounts would be monitored closely.

If it seems like you are turning on the TV or reading the newspaper each day, only to hear of another major company being hacked; well, it isn’t a figment of your imagination.

According to a recent study of nearly 600 United States companies, over 90 percent say their computers have been breached by hackers at least once over the past year. The study was done on behalf of Juniper Networks and conducted by Ponemon Research.

Two Germans have been sentenced in a German court for their connection with the computer hacking of material and data belonging to Dr. Dre, Lady Gaga and other artists. The individuals stole e-mail usernames and passwords, as well as banking data.