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Why, When and How to Destroy Unwanted Hard Drives

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Three wooden blocks being stacked by a hand. Each block has a question mark on it.To prevent identity theft, expired paper records should be shredded. But what are best practices for discarding unwanted hard drives? Do you erase them? Can they be resold? Is it okay to toss unwanted hard drives in a trash or a recycling bin? In this blog, we explain why, when, and how to destroy unwanted hard drives.


Hard drives are used to store various types of confidential data, including sensitive financial records, personally identifiable information (PII), and protected health information (PHI). Wiping and reformatting a hard drive doesn’t guarantee the erasure of sensitive data. Identity thieves may still be able to access footprints of data on wiped hard drives. Physical destruction of unwanted hard drives is the most reliable method for keeping data out of a criminal’s hands.

And hard drive destruction doesn’t just protect your privacy; when done the right way, it protects the planet. Hard drives contain components toxic to the environment. An eco-friendly hard drive destruction solution prevents these toxins from being released into the soil and atmosphere.


Most data has an expiration date. Failing to destroy expired data can lead to identity theft and non-compliance fines. HIPAA, FACTA, GLBA and several other privacy laws require businesses to destroy expired, hard copy and digital PII and PHI. Adhering to statutory data disposition requirements helps your organization avoid non-compliance penalties.


So, how do you destroy hard drives securely without harming the planet? Partner with an e-Destruction company. Your e-Destruction provider sends a mobile shredding truck to your home or business. A security-screened representative takes your devices to the vehicle and destroys them onsite while you watch. They shred each hard drive into small pieces to prevent reconstruction. The shredded material is recycled by your e-Destruction partner in an eco-friendly manner. Afterwards, you receive a Certificate of Destruction that notes the day and time of your e-Destruction project. Whether you need onetime or scheduled destruction of expired hard drives, an e-Destruction provider offers a privacy protection tailored to your requirements.

For more information about hard drive shredding and e-Destruction, please call us at (610) 692-TEAR (8327) or complete the form on this page.

Wiggins Shredding serves Pennsylvania and the Tri-State Area of Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. We are your trusted, locally-owned mobile onsite shredding resource!

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