CDs, DVDs, and other optical media can hold a wealth of information. Despite their popularity diminishing somewhat since the advent of the USB thumb drive, optic media items are still used extensively to transport and store confidential information. Unless CD & DVD shredding is used to securely dispose of unwanted optical media, sensitive information could easily end up in the wrong hands.
Thousands of Taxpayer’s Data Lost On One DVD
When huge data breaches are reported, the culprit is usually a large-scale hack of a company’s computer system or a cabinet full of unencrypted hard drives being stolen or misplaced. But the Canada Revenue Agency recently proved that a single DVD can cause sensitive taxation information of more than 28,000 people to be breached.
The Agency stored tax information relating to 28,000 people in Yukon – about 75 percent of the territory’s population – on a DVD bound for a government department. But the courier entrusted with the safe passage of the DVD misplaced it, along with the highly-sensitive information contained therein.
The tax information was in relation to the tax record filed for the 2014 financial year, and had been encrypted, but there has been little information released since to show whether the information had been accessed and used.
Why CD & DVD Deletion Is Not Enough
Unfortunately, many people – and worse, companies and organizations – still have not fully embraced the fact that so-called data “deletion” or formatting does not actually remove data from a CD, DVD, hard drive, or any other device.
Software that purports to completely erase or delete data from optical media or otherwise format a drive does not take into account the fact that hackers typically have access to much greater technology than other people. Indeed, protecting data from hackers is often akin to a game of cat and mouse, with security experts aiming to catch up to the ever-developing technological solutions of hackers and other wrong-doers.
CDs and DVDs that have purportedly been erased or formatted have, in fact, just had the data hidden slightly. Hackers and anyone else intent on gaining access to the information stored on the device will undoubtedly find a way to bypass any formatting or erasing measures that have been put into place.
The only way to completely destroy an optical device is with CD & DVD shredding.
DIY CD & DVD Destruction Methods That Do Not Work
A quick online search will prove the point that many people do not understand how easily hackers can bypass any security measures or DIY attempts to destroy or erase CDs and DVDs.
Many methods of DIY CD & DVD destruction are touted online, including cracking a disc in half, scratching the surface of a disc with scissors or a knife, kicking or pounding a disc with a hammer, punching holes into a disc with a hole punch, applying heat to a disc with a microwave, melting a disc with a blow torch, scratching the surface with sandpaper or wiping it with acetone, or even applying duct tape to the surface of a disc and then ripping it off.
While we now know that the only way to completely destroy a disc is with CD & DVD shredding, unfortunately many people still believe that they can format or delete the data on a disc using one of the ineffective and potentially dangerous DIY methods.
Treat Your CDs & DVDs Like Confidential Paperwork
CDs and DVDs are simply other means of storing data. Prior to the invention of USB thumb drives, CDs and DVDs were widely used as a means of storing data, especially since they were relatively inexpensive, easily obtained, and highly portable. Even today, CDs and DVDs remain in high use.
It stands to reason that optical devices are capable of holding as much sensitive data as a USB thumb drive or even a folder or stack of paper. Just as confidential paperwork should never be simply thrown away or recycled, CDs and DVDs require certified media shredding services for their data to be completely protected.
CD & DVD Shredding
When CDs and DVDs are no longer required, certified media shredding services such as CD & DVD shredding must be employed. Failure to know how to destroy a CD or DVD is a failure to protect your company or organization and a failure to protect information entrusted to you by your clients, customers, or staff.
All Green Recycling can take care of your CD & DVD shredding needs. Contact us today to find out how we can help.