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Reselling Hard Drives Can Lead To Identity Theft

The movie “Office Space” vividly illustrates the joy in destroying an electronic device. After dealing with a defective printer for too long, the employees take it outside and smash it to pieces. Yes, they were able to let out some built up rage, but they also avoided having the confidential information stored in that printer get into the wrong hands.

Office Space Printer Scene

When it comes to reselling electronic devices, the only option that stands between you and identity theft is to destroy the hard drive properly.

Smashing the hard drive with a hammer in a passionate outrage isn’t exactly what we are getting at, but physically destroying a hard drive is the best way to keep private information as it’s intended to be…private.

The Importance of Destroying Your Old Hard Drive Properly

We’ve posted before about a study done in Australia by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) that found 30 percent of recycled computers contain highly confidential personal information. The report indicated that much of the information was confidential personal information from medical facilities and law firms. These computers, with their hard drives intact, were sold to public-access purchasing sites. Though the information contained in the devices was likely attempted to be deleted; accessing deleted data is a simple task. Data can still be recovered using specialist software that is widely available.

A survey released by a New York computer forensics firm found that 40 percent of hard drives bought on eBay hold personal, private, and sensitive information. According to the study, hard drives were likely from computers sold to third-party resellers that disassembled them and sold off the parts.

Most all electronic recycling or IT asset disposition companies attempt to recycle the electronics and then re-sell the hard drives. DataShield customers know there is no conflict of interest for us—our mission has always been and always will be to protect your information.

Companies that do both the recycling of electronics and reselling of hard drives increase the chance at making an error by putting a hard drive in the wrong area of operations. At DataShield, the designated hard drive destruction area is the only area of the warehouse that hard drives ever go to ensure each hard drive is properly destroyed.

DataShield’s method of accepting, handling, and physically destroying data can be outlined in 5 easy steps.

Hard drives are often the windows into some of the most sensitive data that belongs to an individual or organization. In a technologically-driven world, protecting sensitive data needs to be your top priority. Companies that expose confidential information risk their reputation, lawsuits, and thousands and thousands of dollars.

Contact DataShield today to start physically destroying hard drives before they get disposed of improperly.

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