Time and time again, the message about hard drive shredding gets put out there, and still, some people don’t understand why it is necessary.
This is a dangerous situation for both yourself, clients, and the environment. The reason primarily rests on the fact that people are not clear on how their devices are working. Let’s clear that up so you can better understand what is happening and why you need to destroy the devices properly.
Why Hard Drive Shredding?
Deletion Does Not Destroy Data
The primary issue here is a misunderstanding about what deleting data actually does. You would think that selecting a file and deleting destroys it, when, in fact, it does not do that at all.
When data on a hard drive is created, it is allocated a spot on the hard drive. This spot is flagged as taken, and no new data can be written over it. A “directory” listing is then created which points to the data’s location (this is the icon you see on your desktop).
When you decide to delete the file, program, etc, what you are really doing is removing the directory listing, and then the space that it uses is flagged as now available. The data is still very much there. Have you noticed that if you go into the recycling bin and select a file for restoration that it all comes back? Now you know why.
What will happen over time as new data is made is that space will eventually get overwritten by something else, effectively destroying the old data, though fragments often still exist. A little time, and some software, can recover this data in many cases.
If the data recovered happens to be all your personal information, finances, banking, etc, then you are at serious risk of becoming a victim of fraud. Which can lead to large damages to you and/or your clients and years of hard recovery on your part.
They Harm The Environment
It may seem like a stretch to the skeptical, but it’s true that letting electronics break down in the landfill harms the environment. This is due to the heavy metals that are inside the devices. When these metals break down they release toxins into the air, soil, and water.
From there, they find their way into plants and animal life, and then into humans who eat, drink, and breathe them. Severe health problems can arise from this.
It’s The Only Safe Option
Hard drive destruction ensures that you are neither at risk of having your data recovered nor leaving the device out to rot and leak chemicals.
Since the device is completely destroyed physically there is no chance of any data surviving, as there is physically nothing for it to exist on. From there the fragments are sent for proper recycling into new products, or safe disposal when they can’t be. It really is a win-win.
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