Alternatives to professional electronic data destruction (and why they might not work)

Scan Film or Store - Alternatives to professional electronic data destruction (and why they might not work)It can seem appealing to erase your own digital footprints. It’s the cartoon pleasure of sweeping a brush behind you as you walk, stopping the bad guys from following you. DIY alternatives to professional e-data destruction can seem a simple way to cut costs, but it’s more likely to lead to a breach of security. Here’s some DIY electronic data destruction methods and why we don’t recommend them:

Emptying the bins

Emptying your digital recycling bin may seem like you are erasing data from existence but it’s more like hiding it behind a false mirror. Your operating system can no longer find the information, but it can be readily recovered using file recovery software. So it’s only worth relying on emptying your recycling bin if it contains nothing more precious than embarrassing photos of your office Christmas party. 

Reformatting

Once upon a time, reformatting was considered the way to flush your old data down a black hole. But yesterday’s black hole is today’s open handbag. Reformatting is still a useful tool for repurposing, say, a home laptop so you can hand it down to a family member. But any sensitive data would be quickly retrievable with software you can download for free on the internet.

Data wiping

Sounds promising. With a name like data wiping you’d expect it to leave no trace. The process even allows you to go on using the hard drive afterwards, saving costs. But it is time consuming and most importantly, it’s fallible. Any data that is invisible to the host system is invisible to the data wiping software and will still be recoverable. Plus, if there’s any malicious code involved, the wiping process can be compromised. In other words, there’s all kinds of things that can go pear-shaped.

Hitting it with a sledgehammer

Everyone enjoys smashing things (especially if you’re the big green alter ego of an otherwise docile doctor). But while taking a sledgehammer to a hard drive is a more secure method of destruction than the previous options, it is not enough to prevent a skilled person from extracting the data with the right equipment. You may enjoy the smash the hard drive makes, but you’d also be taking a hammer to any guarantee of security. Maybe break up an old sofa instead.

Degaussing

Using a very strong electro-magnetic current does give results. So good are the results, in fact, that we do it ourselves. There are limits, however, as a degaussed hard drive looks exactly the same as an ordinary one. Quite frankly, it’s not worth trying it yourself and having any mix ups with serious sensitive data. That’s why when we handle the process with meticulous precision, recording the serial number, security-sealing already secure crates to move them. Then after degaussing (wiping data using an electromagnetic current), we shred the hard drive into miniscule metal chips that couldn’t be put back together by anything on earth. We even recycle the scrap metal, so it’s kinder to the environment too.

Having DIY skills is an admirable quality. But what no auditor wants to hear is ‘I destroyed the data myself,’ because that translates as ‘I attempted to destroy the data and I can’t prove that I did.’ Sadly, there isn’t a kind of data destruction kit that can provide you with all the necessary materials for secure data destruction.

But you do have us! And we’re lovely and we know what we are doing. We’ll even give you a Certificate of Destruction for your auditors and they will be most pleased. Get in touch with us for a free, fast and highly competitive quote.

The savviness and silliness of archive document storage

Scan Film or Store - The savviness and silliness of archive document storageDocument storage is a no brainer. It frees up space in your workplace, saves on storage costs and gives your business breathing room so it can grow in other areas. But what’s the best approach to document storage and how have you chosen to do it? Here some of the sillier ideas we’ve come across for storing documents and the savvy solutions we recommended instead.

Shipping it to Antarctica

Have you noticed how much space Antarctica takes up on a globe? Imagine how many secure warehouses you could put there. We know; the mind boggles. It’s only a matter of time before document storage companies make a move on the icy continent and recruit sea lions as alternative guard dogs. Protecting documents from the frost may prove tricky though, as would retrieving the documents at speed.

Secure, super-fast retrieval

We might not have figured out frozen tundra storage yet, but we do have sites that are protected and restricted access. So they’re probably even tougher than an ice shelf for data thieves to get at. The other advantage is that we can retrieve and deliver archived documents to you within a matter of hours. It might not be like having a vault in Antarctica, but it is like having your own secure compound just down the road, with easy access for you and no one else.

Recruiting Sherlock Holmes

The guy remembers everything. He’s uses that Mind Palace thing and could probably store all the world’s sensitive data inside his head. We’ve been trying to recruit him as a consultant for a while. Unfortunately, we can’t seem to get hold of him. Of course, there’s a rumour going around that he’s not actually real… but he’s faked his own death before, so he’s probably just as capable of faking his non-existence.   

Advanced barcode tracking

In the absence of the famous detective, we’ve still got a savvy way to keep tabs on everything we’re storing. Our advanced barcode tracking system logs everything within our auditable document management system, ensuring your documents are effortlessly tracked and traced. It’s our very own Mind Palace.

Shrink rays

Zapping everything till it fits into a small desk drawer would be wonderful. But we can’t seem to find a shrink ray that works. Of course, we’d also need a growth ray that could zap documents back to their original size, or else we’d have to supply our clients with complementary microscopes. Perhaps we haven’t thought this one through.

Other ways to make it micro

“Honey, I Shrunk the Documents to a Manageable Size,” might not make for the most exciting Hollywood title, but it can still bring you joy. Converting documents to microfiche or microfilm can create secure back-ups of critical information that are guaranteed to last for 500 years (unless you want us to destroy them for you). We can take care of the micro conversions in addition to or instead of storing the original hard-copy records.

Unless of course, you are ready to fully embrace…

Going digital

Everything’s going digital these days (except a few things like gardens and teeth). It’s not just a trend to follow aimlessly, it is a secure and efficient way to store sensitive data. We have a scan on demand retrieval service that can return documents to you electronically within two hours, should you need them.

Essentially, our savvy solutions (if we do say so ourselves) stop you from worrying or wasting time on document storage and retrieval, which means you get to focus on your business instead. Which is the way things should be. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you thrive, or you’ve managed to locate Sherlock Holmes, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Need some help? Try our scanning calculator!