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Old Media: A Risk Without Destruction

There are many articles of old media floating around the world right now. These can range from old cassette tapes, CD’s, floppy disks, older cell phones, and old USB sticks. It’s easy to lose track of these as time goes on. Many, when they get a shiny new device, simply toss the old one in the trash, which can be a very dangerous prospect depending on what data they store.

media destruction

How Old Data Can Come Back

It may not occur to everyone, but old data can actually come back to haunt you when you least expect it. By in large this comes from a misunderstanding in how data is stored and destroyed, with many believing deleting is enough. In reality, deleting data is not enough to permanently destroy it.

When data is deleted, what is really happening is the space in which the selected data uses, becomes flagged as being available. Eventually in time as new data is created, the old can be overwritten, and is then lost. This is not a perfect system however, as data fragments can still exist, and it may be some time before deleted data has new data saved over it. All of this results in an increased risk for that data to be recovered by a determined individual with little time or effort. Even fragments of fully lost data can be retrieved.

This is one of the ways identity theft, and information theft, can occur to businesses and individuals. Imagine what could happen if the data recovered by a less than savory individual involved your old financial records. It could be enough for them to commit some serious banking fraud, which will leave you with headaches for years to come. Stolen medical records can lead to you being recommended treatments and medications for conditions you never had, but they’re logged on your records from someone posing as you. No matter what it is, your problems could just be starting if you aren’t careful.

What To Do

So how does one avoid this unfortunate situation? The only way to be safe, truly safe from old data being used against you, is to have this media destroyed physically. What does this mean exactly? Service providers use shredding machines, which you can think of as essentially large grinders, to crush, and shred, the devices into tiny little pieces. This makes it truly impossible to recover data, as there is nothing left to recover data from.

An added benefit of this type of service is that the destroyed material is then recycled into new products. This lowers our impact on the environment, and keeps harmful materials out of landfills. It ends up being the best of all worlds: keeping you safe, and helping the environment! What more could you want really?

Remember it’s not wise to merely delete data, nor is it responsible for you to lose track of that old media. Keep information protected while in your hands, and when it’s time to move on or get rid of it, make sure you are using some form of physical destruction process. The leftovers should be recycled after to be extra responsible. You don’t have to approach it alone; we’re able to assist you with this.

Let us know.

March 9, 2021