What to Know about Digital Device Disposal

It’s hard to imagine life without digital devices. Mobile phones, laptops, and hard drives are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. A recent Global Web Index study found that the average person owns three to four  digital devices. Now imagine how many unwanted digital devices are discarded each year – millions upon millions. Before tossing that old hard drive, here’s what you should know about digital device disposal.

Dumping of Electronic Waste is Illegal

Digital devices contain hazardous materials that can potentially damage the environment and pose risks to human health. California was one of the first states to pass an electronic waste disposal law. As a result, your old digital devices must be discarded according to California’s Electronic Waste Recycling Act.

Data Doesn’t Disappear from Reformatted Drives

 Many people reformat old hard drives before reselling or discarding them, but they don’t realize that sensitive data remains. Even after the information on your media is “deleted,” a ghost of that data remains. With the right tools and a little know-how, an identity thief can gain access to client files, employee records and financial data.

To make sure your data is gone for good, use a hard drive and media destruction service. Your unwanted and expired digital devices are collected and destroyed with specialized equipment. Background-screened employees, strict chain of custody procedures, and surveillance technology all ensure seamless privacy protection during destruction.

Data Destruction Must Follow Federal Regulations

The following federal laws contain specific provisions about the disposal of private information:

  • HIPAA
  • FACTA
  • SOX
  • GLB

This means that data on your digital devices should be disposed of in a manner that complies with federal regulations. You need written proof of destruction. A media destruction service can offer a Certificate of Destruction each time your hard drives and backup tapes are destroyed so you can prove your data is destroyed promptly and in a legally-compliant manner.

To make sure your digital devices are disposed of legally, securely and sustainably, use the points we’ve mentioned here to help you decide on a media destruction provider.

Sentry Storage Solutions offers media destruction solutions in the Greater San Diego area and the city of Chula Vista, California. For more information about our services, please call us or complete the form on this page.