The Importance Of Data Destruction

Due to the removal of old office equipment including filing cabinets and computers, most office clearances require data destruction services as there can be a plethora of confidential materials to take care of.

Computer waste

What is data destruction?

Data destruction, also known as data disposal, refers to the process of destroying physical, electronic and digital data. Following data destruction, the original document should be completely unreadable or unable to be accessed.

Data destruction services

Various types of data are stored in different formats which require unique data disposal services.

Clearing physical data

It’s not unlikely that physical confidential documents will eventually join your collection of unwanted items. This is usually the case for businesses because they have been digitised and archived. However, if the documents are simply no longer needed because they’re historic and serve no further purpose, that doesn’t mean they don’t contain potentially sensitive information.

It is essential that you know how your confidential documents are being disposed of. There have been countless reports of sensitive documents being found in dumps and other completely unsafe locations. This practice not only endangers the people they concern, it also damages the reputation of the company who were responsible for them.

Clearing electronic and digital data

So you’ve shredded all the classified information that has no further purpose. Surely, that’s the tricky legal part out of the way?

Not if your office clearance is anything like the norm.

A typical office clearance will see at least one computer thrown out. We’re not just talking about straightforward removal operations where everything needs to be disposed of either. Sometimes businesses who are relocating won’t take every PC or Mac along with them. Perhaps it’s because the machines are outdated, slow, riddled with malware or just surplus to requirement.

Even if the computer has a broken power supply unit (PSU) or other defects that render it unusable, it probably still contains a functioning hard drive. This is the part of the computer that stores information, and it can be extracted and put to use in another machine. Because of this, any company must think of computers as a filing cabinet that contains bank details, medical records or any other personal information.

If you’re using a clearance company to clear your office, they will take care of this but you need to make sure they can destroy your data effectively and then prove that they have done so.

Due to an inefficient data destruction company, NHS Surrey discovered that sensitive information regarding 3000 of their patients had been accessed by someone who had acquired one of their machines on eBay.

Waste of electronic equipment

Data destruction methods

These are the most common methods for performing data destruction, depending on the type of data.

  • Shredding
    While effective for DIY physical data destruction, this can be a laborious procedure. This is another reason why using a clearance company can make an office clearance easier and faster.
  • Overwriting
    For digital data, overwriting can be an effective solution. Conducted through the use of specific software by a professional company, it can be applied to specific parts or the entirety of a storage drive.
  • Degaussing
    Using a device called a degausser, data can be erased through removing or reducing the magnetic field on either a storage disk or drive. It is extremely effective as degaussers are exclusively designed for this purpose.
  • Using a screwdriver and hammer
    You can perform digital data destruction yourself, but you will want to read a guide on how to do it safely and thoroughly. Some companies also perform disk shredding, melting or other methods that render data unreadable.
  • Hiring a professional clearance company
    A professional clearance company can use the most appropriate methods for your requirement. As long as you can be provided with a legitimate Waste Carriers Licence and a detailed audit trail of your items,  This will ensure that your data destruction has been conducted professionally.

At Clearance Solutions we also try to make extra money through selling the stuff you don’t want to keep, but we use that extra money to reduce the cost of your office clearance.

So we may sell on parts of your unwanted computers, but only after we have provided you with certificates that prove we have destroyed your data (both physical and digital) thoroughly and completely.

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