Your computers, mobile phones, network equipment, printers and servers store many important personal data. Critical information like customer data, social security numbers, credit card numbers and passwords can be recovered from old electronics.
According to one of the latest research, identity theft is the fastest growing financial crime in the world among financial institutions, banks and credit card companies. Protection of our customers private information is of utmost concern to us.
At GCL, we take proper precautionary steps to prevent any security breaches and offer cost effective solutions for guaranteed hard drive data destruction services. Low-level formatting, deleting, reformatting or overwriting does not provide sufficient security. This type of data destruction allows IT criminals to retrieve discarded data.
At GCL depending on the security level of the data, we employ a) degaussing, b) drilling of the hard drive or c) complete shredding of the hard drive for a permanent and effective way for data destruction. These procedures leave no opportunity for reuse or data recovery.
We provide a “Certificate of Destruction” ( a sample is at the bottom of this page) to our customers to assure the release of all liabilities related to or arising from safe collection and recycling of all electronic devices.
Our customers are always welcome to our facility to attend the destruction process. If our customers can not be present during the destruction process, on site destruction and notary services are also available upon request.
Most people think that identity theft is most likely to happen when someone physically gets a hold of their wallet or when they lose their identity cards. Most people are completely unaware of the amount of data we pass on by giving away or selling our old electronics to other people. These facts about personal identity theft will surprise you:
I DELETED MY FILES, THEY CANNOT BE ACCESSIBLE!
This is the most common misconception about computers, hard drives, and the way data is stored. When you delete a file from your computer, while you can no longer see it, the data remains stored on your hard drive. It stays there until your computer needs to use that specific part of the hard drive for storing new content, which often takes years or even a lifetime. This is something you can easily test by saving a large file, such as a video, and then deleting it.
You will notice that saving the file will take five to ten times longer than deleting it. That is because during the saving process, your computer actually stores all of the data. However, during the deletion process, your computer does not remove all of the data from your hard drive, thereby leaving 99% of that file remaining on your hard drive. Therefore, deleting your files will not protect you against IT criminals.
I FORMATTED MY DRIVE SO A CRIMINAL CANNOT GET TO THE DATA!
While many people make the mistake of thinking that formatting a hard drive or wiping it completely clean eradicates the data, this is simply not true. The reason is that, your operating system is much more interested in getting the job done fast and allowing you to get back to work, than ensuring 100% eradication of data. As hard drives have increased storage capacity into the range of 1TB and above, eradicating the data completely from a hard drive takes a minimum of several hours. Therefore, operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS are not designed to delete all of the data when you format a drive.
MY COMPUTER IS NOT FUNCTIONAL, SO THERE IS NO DATA THAT A CRIMINAL COULD GET!
You may assume that just because your computer no longer turns on and functions properly, the data you used to have stored on that computer is completely gone. However, the data stored on a hard drive is not the same as the operating system of the computer. Since most computer-related issues pertain to hardware other than your hard drive or the operating system, even if you cannot turn on your computer or start the operating system, a criminal can easily access the data you stored on that hard drive. Throwing away an old laptop or computer that no longer works without complete eradication of the data is one of the easiest ways of handing a criminal your personal data and allowing them to steal your identity so it’s definitely not the best identity theft protection.
I DON’T STORE ANYTHING CONFIDENTIAL ON MY COMPUTER, SO THERE IS NO DATA RISK!
In the 1980s and 1990s, most of the personal data stored on your computer was data that you personally typed into the keyboard. Today however, that is not the case. Most of the personal data stored on your computer is stored passively and without your knowledge by web browsers, cloud providers, and other programs running on your system. Your browser is consistently storing “cookies” on your computer and other files containing much of the personal data you are accessing online. Therefore, when you access a bank account or an email address from your computer, even if you are not storing files onto your computer, your browser is automatically storing much of that data on your hard drive without your knowledge.
I’M RECYCLING MY COMPUTER, SO MY HARD DRIVE WILL BE DESTROYED!
A very common misconception is for people to think that the process of “recycling” is the same as the process of “destruction.” This is simply not true. Therefore, in order to ensure complete eradication of your data, it is critical that you work with a certified e-waste recycler like GCL and ask that they provide you with a certification confirming complete eradication on the data on your hard drive.