Data destruction 101: There's more to it than wiping your drive [Infographic]

What you need to know about preparing hard drives for reuse, recycling, and disposal

destroyed hard drive
Data destruction infographic teaser Sims Recycling Solutions

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In 2009, a team of journalists who were investigating the electronic waste, purchased a computer in a Ghana market that was found to contain "sensitive documents belonging to U.S. government contractor Northrop Grumman," wrote Robert McMillan in a story at the time. "Northrop Grumman is not sure how the drive ended up in a Ghana market, but apparently the company had hired an outside vendor to dispose of the PC."

That's a nightmare scenario, to be sure.

And in the years since, businesses have continued to store vast quantities of data on servers, hard drives, and media storage devices — sensitive data that should be protected or destroyed. But the options for data destruction can be overwhelming.

Some methods allow the device to be reused. Others render it obsolete. Some aren't appropriate for the type of media you have.

This new infographic from Sims Recycling Solutions, a provider of IT asset disposition (ITAD) services, clearly explains some of the methods available and reasons why you may want to choose one over the other.

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