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The Most Important Steps to Achieve Secure Hard Drive Destruction

Secure Hard Drive Destruction

Most people might assume that destroying their hard drives is as easy as burning them, chopping them up into pieces or crushing them in a hydraulic press. Although it may make logical sense, the reality is that the information stored on those drives you’ve shattered to pieces can still be stolen!

Here are some important steps to take for secure hard drive destruction or when destroying other information storage devices:

#1 Leave Destruction to the Professionals
The headache of secure hard drive destruction is best left to a professional shredding and destruction service. In order to ensure that it’s done properly and in a compliant fashion, it’s best to hire a service with years of relevant experience. Whether it’s hard drives, they’re in your desktops or laptops, tablets or smartphones, it’s essential that you maintain compliance with the constantly changing e-waste regulations.

According to a recent Department of Health and Human Services report, data breaches in the health industry due to improper disposal of e-waste are becoming more common. Make sure your vendor can guarantee that your drives are completely destroyed—and that their data is unrecoverable.

#2 Know That Hard Drives Exist in Most Technology
It’s hard to remember that hard drives are embedded in most technology – everything from laptops, to tablets to video game consoles. When it’s not exactly sure what items need to be destroyed, a trusted secure hard drive destruction service will help determine how to select your e-waste shredding.

#3 Get Proof That Your Confidential Information Was Destroyed Properly
Most shredding and destruction services will provide you with a certificate of destruction. This document states that the data stored on your hard drive has been properly erased and all of its hardware has been disposed of. This is proof that you are in compliance with the official information security regulations in your state.

#4 Recycle Remainder of Plastics and Metals to Save the Environment
The latest report from the EPA states that Americans toss between two and three million tons of electronics every year. There is so much e-waste that it ends up being dumped into huge landfills in West Africa. There are definitely high-quality professional shredding and destruction services which will ensure that no toxic materials end up in landfills or are exported to other countries.

IntelliShred provides clients with on-site mobile shredding and secure hard drive destruction services. Our advanced mobile shredding and destruction trucks will come directly to your location and destroy your hard drives and other materials. We can guarantee your hard drives will be properly destroyed before being discarded. We’re also committed to saving the environment, so we will deliver any recyclable materials to the proper metal and electronics recycling center.

IntelliShred has earned the NAID’s AAA Certification and we only send e-waste to certified recycling partners that comply with federal and state regulations. The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), is a trade organization which provides a voluntary certification program for member companies that provide information destruction services.

Contact us today for more information on our services – we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about shredding and destruction.

Business Records Retention Schedule

Cleaning up your office space every quarter is necessary in order to keep confidential information secure. Not only does the process of cleaning up create physical space, it allows your company to purge old paper documents and information storage devices that have been sitting around. These items, if left in piles or in unlocked drawers, can end up being prime targets for identity thieves.

The best way to get rid of confidential information that is no longer relevant is to set up a business records retention schedule. This is a process where every so often (could be monthly, quarterly or annually), the company goes through its records (both paper and digital), to determine what is still necessary to keep on file.

Of course, it can be difficult to decide which or what type of confidential information needs to be shredded or destroyed. There may be certain records which need to be kept for a longer period of time, but it’s important that those items which are no longer relevant be shredded or destroyed.

The records management life cycle begins when information is created and ends when the information is destroyed. The ultimate goal is for organizations to monitor the cycle on a regular basis to determine when they should go through a purge of their files.

Specifically, in the healthcare industry, there are state regulations which apply to the length of time you can keep a patient’s medical records. There are record retention guidelines for the healthcare industry, but they vary by state. When the patient is a minor, the company should retain health information until the patient reaches the age of majority (usually 18), plus the period of the statute of limitations.

There are several reasons why a business records retention schedule is important in the healthcare industry:

  • It’s crucial to ensure the availability of timely, relevant data and information for patient care
  • It’s essential to meet federal, state, and local legal requirements regarding confidential data
  • It’s wise to reduce the risk of legal discovery and identity theft

There is not a standardized business records retention schedule that companies and organizations must follow. There are a variety of retention requirements that must be met, but each company can develop their own customized retention program. Individual states have retention requirements that should be used, so you should refer to your state laws for specific requirements.

Remember, confidential information on hard drives and other electronic media also require shredding and destruction. Thieves are using advanced data retrieval software that can recover deleted information, so simply hitting the delete button won’t work. Shredding or destroying the information storage device takes it to another level so that the data is irretrievable.

Although there are many ways to dispose of important documents and electronics, the most secure and cost-effective method would be to hire local document shredding services. Mobile shredding trucks can come straight to your location and perform the shredding right there on site. It truly is the most secure and cost-effective way to shred.

IntelliShred has led the shredding and destruction industry for 20 years. Our team provides customers with confidential data destruction and information security solutions. We are committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards and practices, and outstanding, personalized service. We’re proud to be members of the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) and we have consistently achieved AAA Certification – the highest level of security in the shredding industry.

Contact us today for more information of how we can help keep your information safe and secure.

Local Document Shredding Services

Protecting confidential information can be one of the biggest challenges for companies today. Every size company – from small mom-and-pop businesses to large corporations, consistently face the threat identity theft. It’s been estimated that about 9 million people have had their identities stolen each year. Drained accounts, damaged credit, information about medical treatments – paper documents, information storage devices and files are at risk, so it’s necessary to put the right security measures in place.

Having a written identity theft program is essential for every company. In fact, the FTC’s Red Flags Rule requires many businesses and organizations to implement a written identity theft prevention program. The whole idea behind it is to help detect the “red flags” of identity theft in their day-to-day operations, take steps to prevent the crime, and mitigate its damage. This type of safety net can help businesses spot suspicious patterns and prevent the costly consequences of identity theft.

  1. Reduce the amount of confidential information you store.
    It’s essential for your business to store confidential information, but if you maintain too much of it, it’s easier for criminals to steal. You should try to only store information that’s absolutely necessary to conduct business. If it’s possible to maintain your operations without storing all kinds of data, it may save you from higher risk of theft.
  2. Be sure that your company has a data destruction policy.
    The easiest way to increase identity theft protection is to eliminate confidential information that’s no longer relevant. This not only includes shredding paper documents, it also includes the destruction of computer equipment, hard drives and data storage solutions. Simply sending old equipment out to the landfill is a big mistake, this is where local document shredding services come in.
  3. Protect all of your paper documents.
    It’s critical to keep any time-sensitive printed information under lock and key to prevent unauthorized access. It’s wise to only allow the most trusted employees to have access to these documents and storing them in a secure location, such as a safe. Once documents are no longer relevant, call up your local document shredding services. There should never be a chance that employees leave important documents out in the open unattended.
  4. Use firewalls and anti-virus software on all computer systems.
    Digital fraud is also a serious issue, so you should make sure all of your computer systems have the appropriate level of protection. A firewall, anti-virus and anti-malware technology is all highly recommended. It’s also crucial that your employees are given a comprehensive security awareness training, so they are equipped with the skills to protect against a variety of threats. The training should include information on the malware, ransomware, and Trojan horses.
  5. Use an on-site shredding and destruction service.
    Local document shredding services can save you money and provide you with confirmation that your confidential information has been destroyed properly. Professional shredding companies provide a Certificate of Destruction, which offers documentation of each shred and protects your business in the event of an audit or lawsuit. Think about the amount of time an employee could spend on shredding with a small office shredder – you can’t ignore that precious time and wages will be wasted. Plus, the depreciation and maintenance of the office shredder could cost even more over time as hiring a shredding service. Good local document shredding services shred more than paper, they have the ability to handle destruction of other information storage devices.

If your confidential data gets into the wrong hands, your company, employees and clients could be exposed to information fraud and identity theft. In turn, your business could be subject to severe penalties, fines, bad PR, and lost business because you did not remain compliant with current laws governing information.

At IntelliShred, our team is made up of experienced information security technicians that can help your organization stay compliant with the ever-changing federal and state information destruction laws. Contact us today so we can help you manage your confidential waste shredding and avoid the risks of identity theft.