When you’re dealing with confidential or proprietary information, it’s vital to protect your data. You already shred all paper documents you don’t need anymore, but what about your hard drives? Do you simply throw them away in the trash when you don’t need them anymore?
Doing so is a big mistake. Anyone can find your financial records, customer data, employee files, and proprietary information when you don’t carefully dispose of your hard drives.
The only way to ensure your company data and is protected and compliance is met is to securely destroy your hard drives.
That being said, here are some mistakes you should avoid at all costs when it comes to hard drive destruction.
1. Throwing Hard Drives in the Trash
As we’ve already mentioned, simply throwing away your hard drives when they’re no longer needed isn’t the way to go. Sure, you may have wiped the drives clean before throwing them out, but that doesn’t mean the data doesn’t still exist on them.
Plus, you might not think anyone would be interested in the drives or know how to retrieve data from them after they’re wiped, but data thieves are clever and can easily access your data this way. Anyone can sift through the trash to steal your valuable company, employee, and customer information.
2. Destroying Hard Drives on Your Own
Do-it-yourself (DIY) approaches are great when it comes to crafts, home renovations, and other areas. But it’s not a viable option when it comes to hard drive destruction.
Taking a hammer to your hard drives or stepping on them till they break may save you money and time, but it won’t ensure your critical data is protected. If the hard drive is still intact in any way, even when it’s partially destroyed, your sensitive information on the drives will still be at risk.
3. Destroying Hard Drives at the Wrong Time
Did you know certain information needs to be retained for a specific period of time? If you destroy your hard drives in any way before the data on them has reached the end of its lifecycle, you could put your business at risk of fines.
Compliance is vital in business. A professional data destruction company can help ensure you’re meeting your compliance obligations by scheduling destruction at the appropriate times.
4. Not Destroying Them at All
If you’re nervous about destroying data at any point, whether because you think you might need it in the future or because you’re not sure if it has met the end of its lifecycle, you could just end up storing all your hard drives on-site.
This is another mistake you should avoid. It increases the risk that you’ll not only potentially violate compliance standards but that you’ll make it easier for opportunistic data thieves to get a hold of your valuable information. Why make it easier for them? Destroying your hard drives at the right time is vital.
5. Working with the Wrong Data Destruction Company
So, you know how important it is to destroy your data, not only at the right time but in the correct manner. Even with this knowledge, you could still end up making mistakes that put your company at risk.
How? By working with the wrong destruction company. If you end up partnering with an inexperienced firm, it could hurt you. Its employees may not know how to effectively and safely destroy hard drives. It may not offer you the documentation you require to ensure compliance. Or worse, it could employ data thieves who steal your hard drives en route to their final resting place.
To keep your data safe, make sure to partner with a professional, reputable company that understands the importance of secure hard drive destruction—and has the certifications to prove it. You should feel safe knowing your data is completely unrecoverable.