Media Destruction is a Must for Compliance
What is media destruction?
Any electronic media that is used to store personal and business information should be physically shredded at the end of its lifecycle, before it is discarded. It needs to be completely destroyed so no information can be retrieved from it. “Media” includes:
- Hard drives (magnetic, solid-state, and rotational)
- Backup tapes
- USB drives
- CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays
- Microfilm and microfiche
- Fax machines
- Mobile phones
Why can’t we just discard our media?
Every day, individuals and businesses discard electronic media into the recycling bin. There are multiple problems with these methods:
- Discarding media into the garbage bypasses recycling entirely and allows toxic materials to leach into soil and groundwater, as well as putting waste management workers’ health at risk.
- The recycling bin is not the right place for discarded electronic media. In New Mexico, electronics cannot be placed in standard curbside recycling bins or dumpsters. They must be safely and properly recycled to avoid personal harm and environmental damage, as well as to recover the materials, including precious and semi-precious metals, contained inside.
- Tossing media into either the garbage and recycling bin leaves it vulnerable to any passer-by, waste truck driver or plant employee—anyone can take your media and steal the information contained on it.
Electronic media has a high value for data thieves, which leaves you open to the disaster dreaded by every business owner and manager: “data breach.” Hackers are intentionally looking for discarded electronic media to scoop up your employees’ and customers’ information. They also benefit from any operational and financial documents that may still exist.
Can’t I just erase the information before discarding it?
When you erase or overwrite your media, the information doesn’t disappear. Anyone with a little patience and know-how can recover it. By having your media shredded, you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing it will be impossible for anyone to retrieve data from it. This is why having your media physically destroyed is the best solution to staying compliant.
What does it mean to be “compliant” with media?
New Mexico and the federal government have created data privacy laws with the sole purpose of protecting your clients and employees from identity and information theft. As electronic media has continued to evolve, older laws have been updated and newer laws have been imposed, including:
- The Health Insurance portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), enacted for the purpose of protecting medical patients’ records and personal health information (PHI).
- The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), instituted to fight identity theft and hold accountable anyone negligent of the misuse of private and personal information.
- The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), created to govern and protect the information that financial institutions save and share.
How can I be sure our electronic media is destroyed properly?
Your business will likely have more media to dispose of than you think, and there’s no way of destroying it safely, securely, and completely in-house. This is why reputable shredding companies have purpose-built, industrial-strength equipment to shred with electronic media so that, in the same way you need to shred paper documents securely, you can have your media destroyed securely as well.
Shred Boss provides state- and federally-compliant media destruction to Southern New Mexico businesses and residents. Because we are NAID AAA Certified, our media destruction services are held to the highest security standards, and you can be confident that your information is completely destroyed. If you want to get and stay compliant with your media destruction, give us a call at 575-347-4733 or complete the form on this page. Don’t let your discarded media put you at risk!