Jan 29 2020 | John Barwick
With an average life of just three years, computers and laptops are discarded every day by individuals and businesses who have replaced them with the newest machines on the market. Unfortunately, these discarded computers hold a treasure trove of information – often everything a thief needs to do extensive damage to your organization, its customers, or your personal finances. By rummaging through your waste or purchasing a used computer at a thrift store or rummage sale, those with just a little knowledge in the technology realm can access all of the private information that was originally stored on your machine.
By taking the appropriate steps, you can discard your computer without compromising security for yourself, your organization, or your clients.
Thieves will steal any information they can find on a discarded computer hard drive that’s potentially beneficial to them, including your social security number, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, PIN numbers, date of birth, usernames, passwords, and vital records documents that have been scanned in, such as your driver’s license or birth certificate.
These data compromises can wreak havoc on your credit and financial standing when thieves use it to:
· Earn income under your social security number
· Open a bank account or credit card in your name
· Take out a line of credit in your name
· Charge purchases to your bank account or credit card
· Open utilities accounts in your name
· Take over your current accounts to use the benefits/services themselves
· Assume your identity (identity theft)
Businesses face the same risk; thieves steal propriety information as well as the private information of business owners, clients, and employees from discarded hard drives.
Very few consumers know how to destroy a hard drive completely. While many people “wipe” their hard drives before discarding them, restoration is still possible. That is, a thief who comes across a wiped hard drive may be able to recover the information that was stored on it before it was wiped. For this reason, the only safe way to protect the information stored on the hard drive of a computer, personal electronic device, copy machine, or digital scanner is to use hard drive shredding services. Companies that provide hard drive destruction use an industrial shredder specifically designed to shred the magnetic platter inside the hard drive in such a way that no criminal can recover the data.
The only proper way to destroy a hard drive – and most electronics contain a hard drive – is through professional hard drive destruction.
In addition to shredding services, medical waste services, records management, and data protection, Mill River Data Management offers electronics recycling. When you choose Mill River Data Management, you can rest assured that your private information is destroyed according to industry standards, protecting it from exploitation by thieves who intend to harm you or your organization for their own personal gain.
To learn more about the range of services provided by the expert team at Mill River Data Management or to schedule hard drive destruction services, contact our team today!