Data Destruction for Everyday People

Do you have unnecessary sensitive documents laying around? How about old electronic devices that have your data stored on them, but which you no longer use? In this article, you’ll learn how to properly and securely dispose of your data.

Why Do You Need to Destroy Your Data Properly?

Dumpster-diving for your private documents

Professional dumpster-diver Jim Stickley makes a living stealing trash. He is hired by large organizations to identify weaknesses in their security. In his book “The Truth About Identity Theft,” he describes how he could (if he wanted to) easily steal the identities of everyday people simply by going through their trash.

In an excerpt from his book published by Today, Stickley writes about one of his contracts. He was hired to find out whether members of upper management at a large financial institution were at risk of identity theft. “Each week I would snap on my rubber gloves and go through every item of trash: grocery store shopping lists, sticky notes with phone numbers, a private invitation for a little girl to a friend’s birthday party, and much more. As I continued to go through the managers’ trash, I was able to compile a list of their service providers: water bill, phone bill, gas and electric, cable, and so on. I could use this information not only to gain access into their lives but, if I wanted, to take over their lives.”

Imagine what he could do with your hard drive.

Discarded computers may be worth more than their physical parts

There have been numerous stories of secondhand computers sold on eBay and other online markets whose data wasn’t properly erased. In one case reported by The Guardian, a computer was sold with a list of the bank account details of customers of three UK (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from InfoSec Resources authored by Penny Hoelscher. Read the original post at: