The theft of data is a growing trend that doesn't seem to be going away. While there have been attempts by governments and various agencies to slow it down, it is almost impossible to stop.
When people think of data theft, they imagine a website being hacked and bank account information being stolen. There are many times, however, when there is no hacking required.
If you've ever sold a cell phone or computer online, there is a chance your data has been compromised.
If you work with a tech, IT, or government agency and are responsible for the protection of data, you know how hard it is to protect someone's information.
Without doing a complete hard drive destruction, there is no way to truly keep your information from getting into someone's hands.
We are going to look at how damaging data theft can be, and talk about the best solution to this problem.
The Cost of Data Theft
When a business gets hacked or their data gets compromised by other means, the cost of the breach can be staggering.
First, there are the legal fees, settlements, and consultants that have to be hired.
Then there is the loss of brand confidence. When a data breach becomes public, many people will avoid using bank cards or giving information to your company, potentially costing your employees jobs and your business sales.
Personal data loss can be equally destructive to the victim. Identity theft, when someone uses the information they gain about you to assume your identity, is on the rise.
They can use your identity to get themselves loans, cars, houses, and even a new life in another country. The possibilities are endless when someone else becomes you.
This can lead not only to financial hardship but a loss of confidence in financial institutions, tech and IT companies, and government agencies. It can take years to evaluate and fix the damage, with some people never fully recovering.
Common Methods Used to Protect Data Aren't Effective
There are a few things people will do in order to protect themselves. The problem is that most of the methods are simply ineffective.
Many computer users believe that by erasing something off of their computer or cell phone it disappears forever. This is not the case though. What happens is that it takes the item off of your "memory" but leaves it on the hard drive.
People believe that password protection will help them keep files out of hackers hands. This doesn't work. With all of the technology on the market now, hackers have programs that they can simply run and then walk away from.
These programs go through millions of possible passwords in a matter of minutes. Since most people use a password that is easy for them to remember, the chances of their password not being compromised is slim to none.
There is also the time-honored approach of just throwing your computer away. After all, who would want to dig through a dumpster for your old computer?
Criminals that make their living off of it, that's who. Whereas you see your old computer as trash, they see it as a gold mine.
What's the Solution Then?
The only way to truly protect your information is with hard drive destruction. People will see that and think that this involves a hammer and some motivation. This is only part of the process, however.
In order to fully do a hard drive destruction, there are three parts. First is the wiping of data. This will remove almost anything on there that might be of value.
Next is the physical destruction of the hard drive. There will still be some data left over from the wiping, so completely obliterating the hard drive is essential. Most will finish this step and think they are done, but they aren't.
The final step is disposal. There are two reasons to make sure that your hard drive is disposed of properly: one is the environmental impact they can have if not taken care of the right way.
The second is that even if you completely destroy your hard drive, there is still a chance that someone could get their hands on it and reconstruct it. Depending on the method of physical destruction you chose, this could be easy or hard.
If you are an individual, this might not be as big of a concern, as the hacker will more than likely move on to another softer target.
If you are a company or a government agency though, this could be a huge problem.
Companies and agencies have a bulls-eye on them at all times. Businesses and Government agencies accounted for 45% of data breaches in 2014. Without a hard drive destruction, all of the information previously stored is at risk.
They are considered big scores for data thieves due to the large amount of info they have.
How Do I Do a Hard Drive Destruction
The short answer is that you shouldn't.
You can probably look it up online and figure out a somewhat effective way of completing a hard drive destruction. There is an answer for just about everything these days.
If you have data on your computer that you don't want other people to get their hands on though, why risk it? Let a professional do the work. For one, it will save you time.
It will also give you piece of mind knowing that your data is safe. Most of the methods that are listed online are pretty ineffective anyways.
Hitting your hard drive with a baseball bat will only wear you out and make you think you've destroyed some data. Same with a hammer or a press. Besides, who wants to go through all of that trouble?
Let Us Help You Keep Your Info Safe
We are a company with over 25 years experience in data management. If you want a hard drive destruction done for personal reasons or for your business, contact us with any questions you may have or request a consultation.
Don't leave your data unsecured and risk it falling into someone else's hands.