Proper Disposal of Electronic Devices

In addition to effectively securing sensitive information on electronic devices, it is important to follow best practices for electronic device disposal.

Computers, smartphones and cameras allow you to keep a great deal of information at your fingertips, but when you dispose of, donate or recycle a device, you may inadvertently disclose sensitive information, which could be exploited by cybercriminals.

There are several methods of getting rid of personal information from your devices, but physical destruction is the most reliable. Services are available that will disintegrate, burn, melt or pulverize your computer drive and other devices.

These sanitization methods are designed to completely destroy the media. If you choose not to use a service, you can destroy your hard drive by driving nails or drilling holes into the device yourself. I find that a shop hammer and cold chisel work well.

The remaining physical pieces of the drive must be small enough (1/125 inches) that your information cannot be reconstructed from them. Even if you entered a bit of personal information one time on a computer, it may be possible for scammers to recover this information.

There is no sense in taking the risk. Hoping that your information will not be discovered is not a good method of protection.




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