Posted on July 16th, 2012 No comments
The fact that accidentally deleted data isn’t necessarily gone forever might come as something of a relief but there are worrying consequences too. If you can’t properly delete the data on your hard disk prior to selling or disposing of your PC, or merely allowing someone else to use it, the consequences could be disastrous.
When you need to destroy data permanently, there are some rather extreme methods to render the entire disk unreadable (we’ll get to these later) but these do rather depreciate the value of your PC. Here, we’ll show you how to securely delete your data while keeping your disk intact.
The method is simple enough and there are several software packages that provide secure deletion facilities. In addition to removing reference to the file in the disk’s directory, the software overwrites the areas of the disk occupied by the file with random data.
The exact process differs depending on the file system and because flash drives tend to use a different file system from the hard disk, you should look for an application that supports both FAT variants and NTFS.
Interestingly, it has been suggested that overwriting a file with random data isn’t enough. The argument is that when data is written to a disk, the resultant magnetic flux has a tiny contribution from the data previously occupying that part of the disk. It would follow, therefore, that if you extract the analog signal directly from the disk’s read/write head, and subtract the signal corresponding to the current data, you’re left with that tiny contribution from the previous data.
For this reason, some secure deletion software overwrites not just the once but many times. We discussed this with an expert in hard disk technology at Western Digital who told us that he didn’t know of anyone ever having achieved it. And while not suggesting that it was impossible, he added that it would be so expensive and time consuming that he couldn’t imagine it being attempted except by government agencies when national security was at risk.
So although there’s no reason to avoid software that claims to overwrite files 40 times, this shouldn’t be a criterion in selecting a suitable product.
Optical discs, such as the variants of CD, DVD and Blu-ray, are quite different from magnetic or flash drives and most secure deletion products won’t touch them. For rewritable dics this really isn’t an issue since you’re not going to be disposing of them along with your PC as you would with the hard drive. If you do decide to give an optical disk to someone it’s normally specifically because you want them to have your data.
However, write-once disks such as CD-R, DVD-R and DVD+R are quite different because you’ll throw them away when you’ve finished with them. In this case, the way to prevent your data falling into the wrong hands is to physically destroy the disk. You can buy paper shredders which will also shred optical disks and if you’re paranoid you might choose that solution.
However in our experience, low-cost home shredders really aren’t tough enough for this sort of treatment and shredding CDs on a regular basis will probably contribute to premature failure.
Nobody is going to spend countless thousands on leading edge data recovery in the off-chance that a CD-R they find in your bin contains valuable data so just ensuring that it’s in two pieces will be enough. Cutting it with scissors (not your best pair, though) is one option or you could just snap it in two, having first wrapped it in a cloth to protect yourself from flying shards of plastic.
Encrypt Your Data
None of the methods we’ve talked about so far will prevent your data from falling into the wrong hands if your PC is stolen since it’s your active data that will be at risk. If data security is a big concern it’s worth encrypting sensitive files.
Destroy Your Disks
Data can be effectively deleted from a hard disk using nothing more than a secure deletion utility. However, if you take the view that anything less than physically destroying the disk isn’t good enough, here are a few suggestions…
Bear in mind that we’re not recommending the methods here (there’s really no need) and they all carry the risk of injury. Remember that some disks contain glass platters which could shatter and cut you and if your PC no longer has any value to you, it’s possible that a charity could benefit from it. With these caveats in mind, let’s get on to the fun stuff.
When you remove a disk from a PC, the most easily accessible part will be the circuit board on the bottom and, as such, the easiest way to abuse the drive would be to get to work on that board with a hammer and chisel. But while that might be the simplest approach it would be futile.
This isn’t where the data is stored and if someone were to replace that board they’d be able to read your data. Instead, any attempt at destroying a disk should concentrate on the platter or platters – the silver disk(s) that you’ll see once you remove the screws (some of which may be hidden under labels, and use security heads) and take the drive apart.
Just scratching the platter(s) with a screwdriver will suffice even though it’s not a particularly satisfying experience. If you really want to release that pent-up energy, a sledge hammer would be sure to do the trick quite nicely 🙂
If, on the other hand, you consider yourself something of a pyromaniac, a conflagration will also ensure that your data never sees the light of day again – heating up the platters to a red glow with a blow torch would be just perfect as would dropping it into the heart of a garden fire. If you have an angle grinder to hand, that will be pretty effective, too.
These are just a few sure-fire favorites but all that stands between you and an exciting way to wipe out your disk from the face of the earth is your imagination.
If you live in Florida, call MicroShred, LLC to help destroy any sensitive data you may have. Our service is mobile (we come to you), easy and affordable. Contact us for a FREE Consultation, Demonstration and Estimate 1.866.467.4733
Posted on June 26th, 2012 1 comment
Confidential Document Shredding Company – Palm Beach, Florida
MicroShred, South Florida, is a leader in providing mobile shred services in Palm Beach, FL.From small personal shredding services to large corporate document destruction services, we can come to you at your location, and confidentially destroy all personal / business information under your supervision. Our services include scheduled shredding, annual shredding, off-site document destruction, commercial non-paper destruction, medical record, legal document, and financial paper shredding. Demand for confidential destruction is at an all time high – fear of identity theft and new rules and regulations require businesses to properly dispose of sensitive information. The quickest and best way to maintain your secure identity would be to shred documents promptly and professionally. Protect yourself from risky business in Palm Beach!
Palm Beach, Florida Secure Destruction Services
Palm Beach On-Site Scheduled Route Service –
Daily, weekly, monthly, and semimonthly (or, biweekly) scheduled paper and commercial shredding services are available in South Florida. With this program, several sizes of stylish and office friendly shred bins are provided at no charge to easily store, lock and secure all sensitive materials designated for shredding.
Palm Beach Off-Site Shredding Service –
While our core business is mobile / on-site document destruction, we will provide off-site shredding services at no extra charge when a client requests it.
Palm Beach Occasional Purge / Annual Shredding Service –
For those requiring annual, one-time or occasional shredding services, we offer a specially priced purge program in the South Florida area.
Palm Beach Excess or Rejected Inventory –
We can protect your South Florida company from possible theft by destroying inventory that is overstocked, damaged or outdated. Products such as uniforms, labels, CD’s, plastic ID cards, etc can be easily destroyed.
Palm Beach Financial Record Shredder –
MicroShred can handle all your financial record shredding needs in the South Florida area. Utilizing truck-mounted powerful industrial shredders, we provide a secure, convenient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly method to dispose of highly confidential documents and other materials. Our mobile shredding units come to your South Florida location and shred all sensitive material at your location, under your supervision.
Palm Beach Hard Drive Destruction –
MicroShred’s shredding trucks are equipped with two independent powerful shredders, one for paper shredding and the other specifically designed to destroy computer hard drives and related media. The shreds created by the two shredders are kept uncontaminated by one another in separate compartments for recycling purposes. This fact allows both paper and hard drives to be shredded on-site and on the same service stop, so clients can witness the destruction of both.
Palm Beach Medical Record Shredder –
Did you know that medical records are one of the primary targets for identity thieves? Thieves can steal your identity to get health services or insurance under your name. And just like your credit history, it’s important to keep track of your medical records, shredding any copies of them the second you’re done.
Palm Beach Legal Document Shredder –
It’s a well-established fact that attorneys who deal with their clients’ financial activities fall under the mandated provisions of the Financial Modernization Act of 1999 – better known as the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, or GLB. If your practice menu includes real estate closings, financial planning, or estate planning – or if you represent a client in any other financial area – you fall under GLB guidelines.
Call MicroShred Now
These directions are from Mapquest starting from:
Palm Beach County Government
301 N Olive Ave, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Total Est. Time : 1 hour, 2 minutes
Total Est. Distance : 57.78 miles
- Start out going NORTH on N OLIVE AVE / US-1 N / FL-5 N toward 3RD ST. <0.1 miles
- Turn LEFT onto 3RD ST. <0.1 miles
- Turn LEFT onto N DIXIE HWY S / US-1 S / FL-5 S / FL-805 S. 0.6 miles
- Turn RIGHT onto LAKEVIEW AVE / OKEECHOBEE BLVD / FL-704 W. Continue to follow OKEECHOBEE BLVD / FL-704 W. 1.0 miles
- Merge onto I-95 S toward MIAMI. 53.6 miles
- Merge onto IVES DAIRY RD / FL-854 W via EXIT 16. 1.6 miles
- Turn LEFT onto NE 10TH AVE / NE 10TH AVE RD. Continue to follow NE 10TH AVE.0.5 mi.
- NE 10TH AVE becomes NE 195TH ST / CALIFORNIA DR. <0.1 miles
- Turn LEFT onto NE 10TH AVE. <0.1 miles
- End at 19593 Ne 10th Ave Miami, FL 33179-3577, US
Posted on October 19th, 2011 1 comment
There comes a time for any business interested in staying current to upgrade hardware around the office. Oftentimes this means moving data from one hard drive to another, leaving motherboards and towers rendered obsolete. One might think all that needs to be done is to simply erase all folders and files from the drive, then click on the trash icon to wipe out. Private information gone forever and the company is safe, right? Not necessarily.
Old Computers = Security Risk
Even if you clean out the hard drives of old computers to ensure sensitive data is no longer accessible, you may not completely get the job done. To a novice user, a computer with no visible folders and files may appear clean, but an experienced programmer or hacker can work diligently to uncover fragments of data, including financial information like bank routing numbers and consumer identification, which can be used to commit theft. Just as nothing truly disappears on the Web thanks to archival sites, there is always the chance something can be unearthed. Forensic computer scientists, for example, employ such tactics to gather evidence when it appears wrongdoers are trying to cover their tracks.
The Solution? Shredding!
How does a business ensure the security of its interests, employees, and clients? Shredding! MicroShred offers hard drive destruction services which take invalid drives and other hardware – and even disks and flash drives – and grind them until they are totally unreadable. Destruction is the best method for protection if you are concerned about sensitive data remaining where it can be found.