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How to destroy confidential data

Written by on May 24, 2016

hard drive destruction

As a company, it can be easy to think you’re doing the right thing – but find out it actually opens you up to all kinds of issues.

One example of this is getting rid of old computers when your lucky workers get an upgrade. Perhaps you give them to charity, allow employees to take them home, or send them off for recycling.

But before you do that – did you remember to delete all the data from them? But, to be honest, bearing in mind how clever hackers are now, deleting is not enough – wiping/destruction is the only way of ensuring everything is permanently erased.

protecting your data

If you send your computers off to the recyclers, which is of course a good thing to do, many can be refurbished and reused. Sometimes they’re stripped for parts, if they’re too far past being rescued. Either way, it could lead to people accessing data they shouldn’t, even when it’s been superficially ‘deleted’.


The Data Protection Act holds businesses of all sizes accountable for any breaches of security – whether it’s financial leaks, customer details or confidential records which find their way out into the open. It can be something as ‘small’ as an email address, but if you’ve had that information and let it slip through your fingers to the wrong people then you could be facing a big fine.

So how can you get rid of that data once and for all?

There are special shredders for hard drives, which will break them down into nothing more than slivers of scrap. Another technique is to pass hard drives, disks, memory sticks and tapes through a powerful magnet, which scrambles the data contained on them. Overwriting is another option – replacing what is on the hard drive with new data using specialist software.

Whichever method is deployed, make sure you choose a reputable company, who meets industry standards. At McCarthy’s Safe Shred we can securely wipe all data from your hard drives, USBs, DVDs or CDs, before disposing of them securely and in accordance with the WEEE Directive (Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment Regulations). This specifies the safe destruction of electrical equipment and electronics – 2 million tonnes of which are disposed of by British households and businesses every year.

mccarthys shredding van

We’ll also provide you with a certificate of destruction, so you can feel confident you’ve met your obligations.

For more information call us on 0113 350 9590.



Extremely efficient and prompt service. Lee and Conner were very helpful and the job was completed without a hitch. I would recommend them and definitely use the service again. Thanks.

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This is an impressive facility which is extremely well-managed. Colette and Tina are marvellous with the customers explaining procedures clearly and with patience. We would recommend this company without hesitation.

5 Stars

Professional and friendly service
Efficient and nice staff
They moved me twice and stored my house contents

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