When disposing of your computer, there is one vitally important part that may go overlooked by people. It is understood that it is impossible to wipe out all the information and data on a hard drive. If the hard drive itself is still intact, then there will inevitably by the risk of having that information stole.
Obviously, there are many different ramifications for that. Whether it is old personal documents and information that could be damaging to a reputation, or financial and business documents that could threaten your livelihood.
1. Security risks
If you do not tend to your hard drive when getting rid of your computer, you are leaving yourself open to a multitude of risks. If you are a business, it is also not only about yourself. Any employee or client information could be on that hard driven, and all of that is at risk if a hard drive is not destroyed properly. Right now, there is no reason to take any risks, and anything short of destroying the actual hard drive can leave you exposed.
2. How to destroy it
Given the sensitivity of what is at stake, you need to make sure you know exactly how to properly destroy the hard drive. There are different ways you can do it, but the most important thing is to make sure you, or someone you seek out, knows exactly how to do this properly, alleviating any stress about information being stolen.
3. Is it really destroyed?
One thing to keep in mind is that even if you think the hard drive looks destroyed, there are often ways to recover information. Trying to smash or burn it, or use homemade chemicals or even household objects may not be effective enough. The kind of destruction you are looking for is not something you can afford to go wrong.
If you are insistent on doing this yourself, the first thing you must do is take it out of the computer. Once you remove the magnets that hold it into place, you can take it and do as much damage as possible. You want to crush and shatter it into as many different pieces as possible. Keep in mind, it is possible to recover data from a partially damaged hard drive, so you cannot be more cautious in how much damage you are doing to it.
4. Professional help
If you do not trust yourself to destroy the hard drive by yourself, then there are other options that can give you some piece of mind. You may consider it a waste of money, considering it is possible to destroy yourself. That being said, the only way you can really lose in this situation is if it is not destroyed properly and information is stolen.
5. Crushing services
One option would be to go to a crushing service. There are companies that will undertake the proper measures, and have the appropriate tools to make sure there is no chance at all that information could be retried off it. What this service will do is puncture a permanent hole through the hard drive with 7 500 pounds of pressure. Obviously, this is not something you can do with your household objects, and it guarantees that the hard drive is permanently destroyed with no recoverable information.
6. Shredding companies
Another great option is paper shredding companies. There are companies that will give you a certificate guaranteeing that the paper you want shredded will be done properly. Some of these companies will do the same thing for hard drives. They have the tools and the knowledge to be able to guarantee the destroy of the hard drive, and the certificate they provide will give you all the peace of mind you need.