Record management, storage and retrieval are the major areas businesses would focus on during their run. Destroying superfluous paper-based data by incineration or other similar methods seems logical to get rid of obsolete files that are no longer needed, however, disposition is quite critical for every firm due to the rising concern about privacy and security. Removing digital data from electronics is not as easy as you think in today’s world. Hence, careful analysis and handling is essential to prevent disclosure of preserved information. Hi-tech companies consider this as their core responsibility and sophisticated measures are invented to remove the chaos of IT disposition. Visit http://www.tracetm.com/ to know about the management of IT assets and recycling. If you are curious to know about environmental benefits and the detrimental effects of e-wastes on environment, check http://www.brighthub.com/environment/green-computing/articles/71375.aspx
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, whatever systematic methods are being implemented, it may leave some traces of data inside. Unauthorized access to information, trashcan diving for improperly disposed data, etc. are good sources of illicit information that could hurt clients as well as business firms.
Disposition in a broader sense, is the end stage of a record’s life. It encompasses active, semi active and inactive stages. In the first two stages, chances are more to get the information accessed. Prior to disposal, the governing operations should regulate the electronic records to ensure compliance.
How critical is this?
Due to the massive increase in the extent of business activity, companies are pursuing methods to store information in the Cloud-servers and onsite or offsite storage devices like laptops, portable tablets and phones. Hence, the situation demands the necessity for secure disposal of such devices. Sensational and confidential data should not fall into the wrong hands and may lead to lawsuits, punishable offence, business falls and judicial action. Electronic data like e-mails, texts, voicemail, patient or customer files, and financial records require strict observations while throwing away. These correspondences, if deleted to trash do not remove them completely from the system. Hence they should be judiciously sanitized by adopting methods like pulverizing or incinerating.
· Destruction by the name itself refers to the complete removal of the data from storage-devices that are not required for future use. It is done by shredding and incineration.
· Purging refers to a secure magnetic erase or degaussing the files on a hard drive. However this is not effective with DVDs and CDs.
· Clearing means overwriting the data by using software. This is accomplished by fixing letters, numbers or symbols in a linear method.
· Disposal refers to the collective dumping of materials, usually done for non-confidential data. However, if the privacy is breached and sensitive data is leaked, the company as well as the client could be held responsible and may face legal consequences.
While choosing methods to destroy files and electronics, an organization should consider many factors like the quantity of records, cost of disposal, environmental effects on adopting methods like incineration or pulverization and above all will the technique meet the adequate guidelines and legal compliance standards.