Digital Ghosts: Was Your Data Really Erased?

In today’s world, “digital ghosting” refers to abruptly ending all digital communication without warning or explanation in friendships, dating relationships, or even after job interviews. While some may find it effective, it is widely considered to be a rude and disrespectful approach.

An eraser on the end of a pencil is shown sliding across a hard drive.

There is another form of digital ghosting concerning information storage – the belief that we can effortlessly erase all data from electronic devices, including:

  • Laptops
  • Disk Drives
  • Memory Cards
  • DVDs
  • USB Flash Drives
  • SD Cards

Reasons to Erase Storage Devices

Over time, storage media becomes outdated or breaks down, leading to eventual replacement and the need for disposal. However, data privacy laws create issues with these disposal options:

  • Storing a device risks data theft and unauthorized use, as the information may be past its retention date.
  • Erasing the data yourself and recycling the media still leaves you open to a data breach as “erased” data isn’t fully erased.
  • Selling or giving away a storage device risks retrieval of any data, even if it has been “erased.”

Why Erasing Storage Devices Isn’t Foolproof

Merely deleting files or formatting hard drives does not guarantee data security. Data theft is on the rise, with thieves actively retrieving personal information for their benefit.

Deleted files still exist until they are overwritten, and even a factory reset may not safeguard your confidential files since data recovery software can reconstruct information. Attempting to clear drives and storage devices is time consuming and risky, and could be very costly to your business if a data breach occurs.

The Best Way to Protect Your Data

To protect your business, clients, and staff, never store, discard, sell or give away a storage device. Ensure no information can be retrieved by engaging a local, NAID AAA Certified shredding company. This is a wise choice as shredding companies have industrial equipment to shred hard drives and media and recycle the left over materials. They will also provide a Certificate of Destruction proving the devices were securely destroyed and the responsibility is out of your hands.

CI Information Management has the equipment and experience to completely destroy your electronics and storage drives, ensuring your digital information remains fully protected and compliant with all state and federal privacy requirements. Call us at 706-724-7982 or complete the form on this page.