Given how quickly technology upgrades, it’s no surprise to walk into your office closet and find boxes of outdated floppy disks and detachable drives, some of which probably are not compatible with the current hardware in your workplace. When one considers the pack-rat mentality to hang onto obsolete data, one must also wonder why these disks need to remain in storage. If you need the space for other purposes, it’s time to consider massive spring cleaning.
Don’t Erase Old Computer Disks
However, invalid though certain disks and drives may be, it doesn’t mean that the information contained within is safe. Especially if you carry sensitive information like credit card numbers, addresses, and bank statements on disks, it’s important for them to be destroyed. As long as it is possible to track down the proper brand of computer to read the information, your company remains at risk. Simply throwing away software poses a threat and sends out an invitation to identity thieves to help themselves.
Don’t Erase, Destroy!
In the interest of keeping the software for later use, you might wonder why not just erase all the disks and hang onto to them? While it sounds like a reasonable solution, erasing disks and drives is no guarantee that the data will be wholly eliminated. Forensic computer specialists are able to trace information on allegedly clean computers for criminal cases, so it stands to reason a savvy tech with fraud in mind could do the same with your data. Physical destruction, rendering the object unreadable by any machine, is the safest option for your company.
What to Destroy
Most mobile shredding companies offers services to destroy software in addition to paper. Industrial-strength shredding machinery can easily crunch through the plastic and vinyl of a disk or drive until it is nothing but confetti. If you are serious about the safety of your company, it is strongly recommended to schedule an appointment to have unneeded and outdated computer data shredded:
Hard drives – from old laptops and desktop computers and storage drives
Floppy Disks – 3.5 hard plastic and 5.25 flexible
Optical Media – CD-ROMs, DVDs, and similar disks
Zip Drives – and similar large disks
The sooner this information is collected and taken care of by a licensed, bonded shredding professional, the sooner you can rest assured your company’s privacy is secured.