Since most organizations’ have IT equipment that contains sensitive data, many companies struggle with secure hardware disposal when they upgrade their technology.

Data sanitization services ensure that your data is completely destroyed and has no chance of falling into the wrong hands.

At PCs for People, we offer a no-cost data destruction service for all our clients. Keep reading to learn how our data destruction service can keep your organization’s information safe.

hard drive sanitization
Our hard drive destruction service saves your data from falling into the wrong hands.

What Is Data Sanitization?

It’s possible to recover deleted data from media like hard drives even after formatting them. In fact, some of the most commonly used methods of clearing data from hard disks are ineffective. These include:

  1. Manually deleting files: You can easily recover deleted files with data recovery software.
  2. Reformatting the disk: This can be effective if done correctly. However, most users lack the expertise and leave the disk vulnerable to data recovery software.
  3. Physically smashing the hard drive: While this might seem effective on the surface, a smashed hard disk can still be salvaged and reconstructed.

Hard disk sanitization services destroy all the hard disk data, so it’s not recoverable. To do this, several data erasure algorithms are employed to overwrite or destroy the existing data.

Methods of Data Sanitization

Data can be destroyed from devices in various ways. Here are the most common:

Physical Destruction

The most obvious data destruction method is physically destroying the drive containing the sensitive data. However, when most people do it themselves, they are not thorough enough.

This often leaves salvageable parts that can be used to reconstruct the drive and recover the stored information. You don’t want these pieces from your office or personal computer to fall into the wrong hands.

At PCs for People, we use industrial shredders, which break the hard drive into small, unsalvageable pieces.

Physical destruction is the most effective method of data disposal as it destroys the drive completely, which means it can’t be reused.

hard drive destruction
A hard drive with salvageable parts can be reconstructed.

Data Erasure

This technique uses special software to write random 0s and 1s through the entire drive, ensuring no previous data exists.

Data erasure is an effective hard drive sanitization method because it ensures all the data is replaced down to the byte level. It is also possible to generate auditable results on how much data has been destroyed.

Compared to physical destruction, the main advantage of this process is that the drive is still operational so that it can be reused or sold. However, it is time-consuming and requires every decommissioned drive to undergo a strict sanitization process.

Data Masking

This data destruction method involves creating fake versions of the existing data but retaining its structural properties.

For instance, masking a customer database would involve replacing the names with other randomly selected words.

Masking techniques include word replacement, shuffling, and randomization. More importantly, the masked data cannot be reverse-engineered to generate the original values.

Data masking is a highly effective method of hard drive sanitization. One of its key benefits is that it can sanitize the data while still in use.

Cryptographic Erasure

hard drive sanitization
Cryptographic data erasure involves advanced data encryption.

This data sanitization method uses public-key cryptography with at least 128 bits to encrypt the data. Without the key, the data cannot be recovered. Finally, the key is disposed of, essentially making the data inaccessible.

While cryptographic erasure is effective, it relies on encryption features that come with the hard drive, which might not always be up to the task. It’s also possible for malicious actors to access the key before its disposal.

At PCs for People, your data’s security is our priority. Our methods and software are compliant with many industry standards, including DoD 5220.22-m, HIPAA, and NIST 800-88.

If not all the data can be erased, we securely shred and responsibly dispose of the physical drive.

How Secure Data Destruction Benefits Your Organization

Any organization dealing with classified data, such as personal or monetary data, must ensure its data is securely disposed of.

Data destruction services ensure that:

At PCs for People, we offer certified data destruction and no landfill recycling.

We are NAID-AAA certified, meaning the data on your used technology is highly protected through a thorough and frequently audited process. We are also certified in the R2 standard, meaning we practice environmentally-friendly recycling.

These certifications give our partners peace of mind that they have done their due diligence in selecting a responsible vendor for their data and equipment.

What We Offer

Our recycled hard disks don't end up in a landfill.
Our recycled hard disks don’t end up in a landfill.

As a part of our complimentary e-waste recycling services at PCs for People, we offer the following:

Recycle Your Retired Computers Securely With Us Today!

hard drive sanitization
We transport your hard drives from your location to the destruction site.

Getting rid of old hardware securely is one of the best ways to avoid data breaches.

At PCs for People, we value your data’s security and offer data destruction services for free. Contact us or find a facility near you to learn more.