Data Destruction - Protecting Your Information/PrivacyWritten By: Jeff H. Reynolds
All of us need to be concerned about the safeguarding of our personal information. Especially when it comes to finanial data and other records. ID theft and financial fraud has become rampant and each and every one of us must take responsibility to protect ourselves from those that would cause us harm. Businesses also need to be concerned about their customer information in addition to information that may be proprietary to their operations.
This brings me to the subject of the article. Data Destruction.
Most everyone has a computer today. And, most of us have personal information contained on that computer. And certainly all of us have information on the machine that we don't want to just give to tom, dick or harry. If you are retiring a computer, replacing it, or otherwise wanting to get rid of data and information... you need to take a bit of care in doing so.
There are some misconceptions out there. Some wrongfully believe that reformating or repartioning a hard drive will protect them. Unfortunately, these steps do not destroy the data on the hard drive. It just means that it is a bit more difficult to get to.
One overwrite will generally eliminate any chance that data could be recovered from the drive. But, the Department Of Defense seems to have established standards that require three overwrites for sensitive and secret material.
And, there are a few federal laws/acts that have been developed dealing with the concern of data destruction and privacy protection. See, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act); theGramm-Leach-Bliley Act; Sarbanes-Oxley Act; The Patriot Act; and, Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act. Corporate officers and directors can have exposure to both civil and criminal liability for noncompliance with these laws/acts.
You can purchase software programs from a wide variety of companies that will wipe your drives and protect you sufficiently... and not cost you a fortune. In fact, the software can be as cheap as $40. See, WhiteCanyon.Com or EraseYourHardDrive.Com for example. And, there are a few programs out there which you can download for little if any money such DBAN. You can find copies of DBAN on eBay for next to nothing.
This small investment will help keep you in compliance with federal laws and give you a deserved sense of security.
So bottom line is this... before you get rid of that hard drive or computer system, you need to take care to wipe the hard drive. Don't just throw the machine in the dumpster. Take a moment... and either take a hammer to the hard drive (not the case of the computer) or use one of the many software programs to overwrite the data.
If you have any questions, contact us.