Data is a precious commodity that needs to be appropriately removed before being discarded. Unfortunately, many factors can affect the actual data removal process, which leaves you in a challenging position. This includes why it’s essential to remove all of the data to help ensure your information has been successfully removed. In this blog post, we will cover removing data from hard drives and SSDs.
Why Data Removal is Vital
There are many reasons why it is essential to remove data from hard drives, including:
- Preventing personal information from being revealed can lead to identity theft.
- Ensure bad actors cannot find your company’s private and confidential forms after you dispose of a device containing this information.
- Keeping tax records safe when disposing of old computers or devices used for tax preparation.
- Ensuring no competitors can access your company’s trade secrets and other information via a hard disk drive found in an old device.
Preventing Information from Being Revealed
It is not uncommon for people who dispose of computers or devices that have personal information stored on the hard drives, such as credit card numbers, tax records, and other personal documents. Unfortunately, it is effortless for hackers to gain access to these details once the data has been removed unless you take specific steps before disposing of the device or hard drive.
Prevent Identity Theft
Identity theft can occur when someone gains access to your credit card number(s), social security number (SSN), and other personal information. This increases the risk of someone opening a line of credit or financial account in your name without you knowing about it until their debt piles up.
Protecting Company Information
If you work for a company, there is always a level of confidentiality that you must maintain to allow proper business operations and protect customers’ information. Your company’s information and documents mustn’t be compromised in any way, which means you need to make sure all data has been removed before disposing of the device or computer.
Prevent Trade Secrets from Being Exposed
There can be many reasons why a business would want to keep their trade secrets safe when they dispose of a computer or device used for trade secrets and other important information. However, as long as the data is not deleted properly, competing companies can access it and may use it to their advantage.
Data Removal Methods on Hard Drives & SSDs
There are many ways that you can remove data from hard drives and SSDs, including:
- Physical destruction of the device
- Operating system reinstallation
- Disk wipe software/hardware solutions
Physical Destruction of the Device
Hard disk drive shredders are designed to remove data by shredding the internal components of a hard drive or SSD. This method is one of the most effective ways to remove all data from your device, but it can also cost you more money than other methods because it generally means less time for reuse since there are no parts left intact.
Reinstalling the Operating System
By reinstalling an operating system, you are removing all data from the hard drive. While this is an excellent way to remove files and clear out unused space on your device, it does not guarantee that all of your private information has been removed. This is because there may be remnants left behind in memory or temporary internet/file folders that will remain intact unless manually cleared before reinstalling the device.
Disk Wipe Software/Hardware Solutions
There are several disk wipe software and hardware solutions that you can use to remove data from hard drives or SSDs. These can be an effective way to remove data from your device, but they must always be used in conjunction with either reinstalling the operating system or physical destruction of the hard drive/SSD.
ITAD Company of Choice
At Avail Recovery, we have been providing data elimination services for years. We are also certified in hard drive shredding and can provide you with many options when it comes to removing data from your device or computer before disposing of it. So whether you need us to remove all the data on one large device or multiple devices, we have a solution for you.
Our Certified Data Destruction comes with peace of mind, including:
- Serialized Certificate of Destruction indicating which media was wiped and destroyed
- $5 Million Cyber Liability policy
- Clear language for privacy and non-disclosure in our Master Services Agreement
- Published Information Security Policy outlining physical and virtual security measures
Avail can also help with Asset Recovery and Buyback, Hardware Trade-in programs, and electronics recycling. Contact us today to get a free quote and find out how we can help keep you one step ahead of the competition.