Besides death and taxes, another certain event that will occur sometime in one’s life is what to do with their broken or obsolete computer. Many people just throw them in the trash or donate them without properly deleting everything on their hard drive (HDD) making them susceptible to attacks by dumpster drivers and other technology criminals. Many people believe that formatting their computer HDD will erase everything on it. For most common reasons this happens, but the truth is the data is still on there. Virtually everyone stores some type of sensitive information on their computer whether it’s financial, intellectual, or private data.
Company computers mainly because there computers house customer information and financial information which must be protected. Individuals and organizations cannot afford to dispose of their broken or obsolete computer HDD improperly. Individuals, as well as groups, should send their computers or HDD’s to third party companies that specialize in erasing, degaussing, and destroying computer media. These companies use specialized equipment that will permanently delete everything stored on the HDD of the material utilizing Department of Defense (DOD) and National Security Agency (NSA) standards.
Now you probably think this is a highly expensive service. The good news is these services are relatively inexpensive. Most services run anywhere between $5 and $30 with a median of about $25. Many of these companies also have U.S. Government contracts and are trusted to destroy DoD classified computers media up to Top Secret.
With that being said groups were having GSA contracts can be trusted to properly destroy everything on your computer ensuring 100% privacy is maintained. Once the computer has been erased, certificates are issued with the serial number of the hard drive certifying the service has been completed.
This is a convenient piece of paper especially for companies since it mitigates liability associated with the discarded computer and hardware. Stay away from software claiming to delete everything on your computer. They cost more and are less efficient than just shipping it out to a specialized company. Don’t trust a software package to protect your sensitive information.