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Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

Stopping Data Theft From Old Devices

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America’s inexhaustible appetite for the latest and greatest digital devices comes with a high cost. Every year millions of tons of e-waste finds it’s way into our landfills, with some even being shipped overseas to pollute countries beyond our borders. But while those environmental issues are being hashed out through a combination of legal regulation and recycling efforts, all these discarded devices pose another serious threat on a more personal level.

As it turns out, most people don’t think about stored information when they go to get rid of their old computerized gadgets. You might think that old laptop with a cracked screen is trash, but a wealth of information can be gleaned from it’s contents by professionals if not disposed of properly. Fabrice Tourre, a trader at Goldman Sachs, found this out the hard way during an investigation by the Securities & Exchange Commission. In the midst of courtroom proceedings, The New York Times managed to find an old computer that he had donated to charity after thinking the information had been wiped; this eventually led them to find incriminating evidence linking his activities to major mortgage fraud. These revelations in the media led to his eventual arrest and detainment; while his activities were undeniably illegal it demonstrates how vulnerable discarded devices can be.

So how best to combat this? The most reliable solution is also the easiest in this case. While returning gadgets to their factory settings and running software programs to wipe drives are a good idea, there are programs designed to allow criminals to easily restore files after deletion. In this case, full destruction and shredding of the devices or drives is the most secure option.

While experts say that this can be as simple as taking a hammer to the computer at home, for certified destruction in larger amounts or where there just isn’t the time services like our Data Shark can help. Featuring barcode tracking of devices, certified personnel, and environmentally friendly recycling practices after the shredding; The Data Vault helps combat the issues surrounding secure disposal of electronic devices used to store information. We can handle orders of any size, from a simple home office to large manufacturing facility, and we guarantee complete satisfaction with the end result. If this is something your organization has a need for, reach out to us today and one of our experts will be in touch!

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