Experts say that a lifespan of a computer is around 5 years, a laptop 4 years and a hard drive 3 years. Even with the best maintenance, your precious electronics will die on you one day. Now, what do we do with lifeless electronics?
Many make the mistake of just leaving their old computer at the curb. Unintentional as it may seem, this poses an invitation to hackers to steal our private information. In the business setting, we need to keep our client’s information secure at all times. Since we live in a digital world, most of our private information are easy to figure out. A person’s address can be pinpointed on a social media post. A phishing email can be used to steal your password and hack into your online banking system and steal from your account. Most of our sensitive information, including our client’s are electronic. They are on computers, laptops and mobile phones. Hence, we need to think twice about where we dump our obsolete electronics.
Don’t Throw Your Password and Identification in the Dumpster
It is best to take our old electronics to a trusted Computer Recycling Center. For businesses and corporations, it is important to note the importance of properly destroying information saved on a hard drive. This is not just for the safety of the company but for the sake of our clients too. The large South Korean company Samsung learned this lesson the hard way. It is unfortunate that modern conveniences like the Smart TV and Galaxy Phones are used by hackers. Such a hacking scandal cost the company and many of their consumers. This is why it is crucial that we look for the best data destruction company that one can afford. Note that electronic waste recycling and data destruction go hand in hand.
What to Look for in a Data Destruction Service?
You need a data destruction service that is trustworthy and reputable. Here are some important questions you need to ask when looking for a reliable company to work on your hard drive.
- How do they destroy data? There are two ways to destroy data, either they shred the hard drive or wipe the hard drive. If you still need the hard drive, you can have it wiped clean using DOD Protocol. The Department of Defense Protocol process will wipe the hard drive three times using a special software to verify every wipe. If you don’t need the hard drive anymore, you can opt for the hard drive to be shred. This can be done at your premises or at the e-waste recycling facility. This is an effective way to destroy and dispose hard drive in compliance with local laws.
- How do they prove data has been erased? A good company will provide a certificate of destruction and will sometimes allow a witness from your company during the process.
- Do they do offer on-site data destruction? This is a good and sure way to have peace of mind that data on the hard drive has been wiped or shredded. If the process is done off-site, your hard drive should be locked in a tamper-proof container and traceable. The hard drive should then be stored in a locked and monitored area until the process is completed.
- Do they trust their employees? Ask about their hiring process and how they do in-depth background check to make sure that your data is in safe hands.
- What certifications do they have? Certifications note the quality and reliability of their service. Certifications may include OSHAS 18001 Certification, and ISO 14001 Certified Electronic Recycler, among others.
- How much is the cost of data destruction? While data destruction should not be too expensive, don’t opt for the cheapest service without certifications and enough years in the industry. Typical cost for DOD wiping services is $5-$10 per hard drive and for shredding, it is $3-$8.