A common concern we hear when we take computer equipment for recycling is – will anyone be able to get to my data once my equipment is gone? If you don’t take the appropriate measures before the hardware is disposed of, the answer is very likely yes.
However, there are a few things that you can do to prevent the bad guys from getting access to the data on your old computers and servers:
- Remove and destroy all hard drives in all computers and servers you intend to dispose of. Common wisdom has it that you can just use a drill to poke a hole through the drive, but with new discoveries in data recovery science, this often isn’t enough. We recommend finding a company that is properly certified to shred hard drives and properly recycle your old equipment. If you’re in the DFW area, we highly recommend Computer Crusher.
- If you intend to reuse or resell the computer or server, make sure the hard drives are securely wiped. We’ve had great luck with DBAN (short for Darik’s Boot and Nuke), which you can burn to a CD for free and use to securely wipe the hard drives in a unit. Please note that DBAN is not certified for use with Solid State Drives – for that, we recommend Blancco 5, which operates very similarly to DBAN.