If You’re Not Shredding Hard Drives, Your Business Isn’t Compliant

Take the Test

  1. A stack of computer hard drives isolated on a white backgroundDo you have an area in your business facility that stores replaced, out-of-date, or damaged hard drives of any kind because you’re unsure of what to do with them?
  2. Do you have extra, unused USB drives that are collecting dust?
  3. Do you have discarded company cell phones, fax machines, tablets, PDAs, PCs, laptops, external backup drives, and other digital equipment that stores information lying around?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these, your company may not be compliant with state and federal privacy laws. How is that possible when your business gives detailed attention to protecting personal information and shredding paper documents? By neglecting to shred those hard drives, you’re overlooking an important factor of staying compliant with stored personal information.

Solving Shredding Assumptions

1. Why shred hard drives instead of storing them?

  • Your stored hard drives could contain private information. While the drives are stored, they have the potential of being misplaced or stolen. You are liable for that information and could face fines or legal issues if that information is leaked outside your organization.
  • Retention dates apply to all stored information, not just paper documents. This includes hard drives and other electronic media. There could be information on the drives that could render your business non-compliant with privacy rules, even if the drives have been “erased.”
  • By having the drives shredded, you ensure that the information has been properly destroyed so it can’t be retrieved.

2. Why shred hard drives instead of reselling them?

Never resell your hard drives or any other electronic media, no matter what condition they are in. Any private information that exists on those drives is forever your responsibility, and you will never have any proof that the information has been properly destroyed. When your old hard drives are in someone else’s possession, you have lost control of that information, making your business non-compliant. By shredding the drives, you end the drive’s lifecycle and protect any private information that could be on them.

3. Why shred hard drives instead of discarding or recycling them?

You would be fulfilling the dream of data thieves by discarding or recycling your drives. Anything that is placed in the garbage or recycling, or taken by an electronics recycling service without being destroyed first, is vulnerable to theft. Data thieves intentionally look for these opportunities. You will be liable for any information they find on those drives. By having the hard drives shredded, you bypass the trash, recycling bin, and therefore the data thief, by making it impossible to read the information on your electronic storage media and devices.

4. Why shred hard drives instead of erasing them?

You may have always thought that erasing your hard drive wipes out all the stored information. Not true. You’ll need to do more than just delete the files. Deleting just reassigns storage space so new files can overwrite the old ones, but there is no way to predict what will be overwritten and what will remain. If deleting files is the last thing you do before tossing, recycling, or selling a hard drive, all the files are intact, just waiting to be accessed by a thief. By shredding your hard drives, USB drives, and other electronic media, you will never have to worry about what information remained on the drive before you discarded it. Let the hard drive shredding professionals handle it.

How to Stay Compliant with Data Privacy Laws

At the moment your hard drives are shredded, the possibility of any breach of information is eliminated. Partnering with a reputable shredding and destruction company will not only ensure data security, but also that the shredded material will be properly recycled, keeping the drives and the heavy metals they contain out of the landfill and recycling the aluminum, platinum, palladium, and other precious metals inside. Ask for a Certificate of Destruction to prove your compliance in case of an audit, and the circle is complete!

Richards & Richards is Nashville’s only NAID AAA Certified media shredding company. We shred your hard drives in accordance with state and federal laws. Call us at 615-242-9600 or complete the form on this page to find out more or schedule your shredding service. Our friendly experts are standing by!

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