Data shredding: FAQs
When disposing of old documents that are no longer of use to us or our businesses, we don’t think twice about throwing them in the shredder to confidently eliminate any trace of personal information.
This has become second nature for most of us these days.
On the other hand, having our electronic devices such as hard drives and USB sticks shredded is something that will often slip our minds.
But: it’s just as crucial as shredding those paper copies!
Read on for the answers to your most frequently asked questions on data shredding.
Why is data shredding so important?
Well, where do we start?
Firstly: Disposing of electronic media irresponsibly makes it possible for sensitive information about you, your business or your clients to be leaked or accessed by identity thieves.
A study by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID®) suggests that a whopping 40% of used electronic devices being resold to the public contain information that is personally identifiable.
Which is of course a hacker’s dream, and something you should want to avoid at all costs…
Secondly: It’s now the law. When the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in 2018, it brought with it more stringent rules for keeping people’s personal information safe.
What is the worst-case scenario for getting it wrong?
GDPR regulations mean more dire consequences. Any business that fails to comply with GDPR could face legal action, with the maximum fine currently standing at an eye-watering £500,000.
And if that’s not reason enough to seriously look into getting your data shredded, failing to protect their personal information will likely also lose you the trust of your customers or clients and you’ll be forced to wave goodbye to them as a result.
The bottom line is: you definitely want to get it right!
Is it not sufficient to delete the files from the device?
In a word: no.
Anyone who has erased a file from their phone or computer in error might be under the impression that it’s gone for good.
But in fact, it’s really quite easy to recover. Not even emptying your computer’s recycling bin will permanently erase your files.
That’s great news if you want to be reunited with that beloved holiday snap which you deleted by accident!
But really bad news if you’re carrying on your daily life blissfully unaware that traces of your clients’ personal information are left on your device even once you have deleted any relevant documents…
Is there any way I can destroy data myself?
There is software out there that claims to permanently erase your data, and some even do so free of charge.
However, in order to comply with the law, you must be in possession of an official Certificate of Destruction which proves that the data has been destroyed and disposed of responsibly and securely. This isn’t something you will obtain by doing it yourself.
For peace of mind, it really is worth considering professional data shredding services from a reputable company that you trust.
Only this way will you be able to guarantee and prove that all data has been completely destroyed and is irrecoverable.
Are you eager to get some data destroyed or are you simply unsure if your business is doing enough to comply with GDPR regulations? Find out how we can help.