Data breaches are becoming increasingly common, such as the recent Cash App breach, giving hackers access to valuable data they can use for identity theft and more.
If you’re keeping business data you don’t need any longer, but you’re not successfully or securely deleting it, issues like data breaches could result in costly lawsuits.
There are many reasons you may want to delete data, but whatever the reason, make sure you follow these tips to ensure it’s permanent.
Pressing Delete Isn’t Enough
You can’t simply add an item to the digital recycling bin or press delete on a phone and assume that data is gone. Contrary to popular belief, the data isn’t gone when you do this. It still exists in the device’s memory.
Even if you empty the digital recycling bin, someone with advanced computer skills can still access it when they look at your unallocated disk space.
Hackers can access sensitive data if you’re not careful, putting you in a bad position. If you’re obligated to delete customer and employee data permanently, pressing delete isn’t enough.
So, what steps do you need to take to ensure you’re taking data security seriously?
Writing Over the Files
If you want to permanently destroy those files containing sensitive business data, you need to securely erase them.
On a Mac, you can select “Secure Empty Trash.” This encrypts the erased data so no one can get their hands on it.
On a PC using Windows, you can use third-party wiping software to write over the files.
Follow these steps for a Mac:
- Click and hold on the trashcan icon
- Hold the Command key and click on the trashcan icon
- Select “Secure Empty Trash”
If you’re using a Windows computer, you’ll need erasure software.
As a company, you need to take business security seriously, especially if you’re in charge of any patient, client, or employee data. So you can’t forget about data backups and storage systems.
We recommend choosing data erasure products like Certuse hardware, which is compliant with GDPR and NIST 800-88 and ensures you can reuse IT equipment safely.
This way, you can erase data from multiple HDDs and SSDs, and you’ll get a Certificate of Erasure, which you can use if you encounter any legal issues.
Business Data in Emails
You remembered to wipe your computers and other devices and any online data backup, but what about emails?
Most email programs will delete files within a specified period or when you run out of space. That can take a while, and that data is sitting there in your deleted folder.
Look for a “delete forever” option, or reach out to the company to ask their customer service how you can securely delete emails and data.
Make Sure Data Is Gone for Good
As a responsible business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you follow strict business data deletion protocols. The last thing you want is to find yourself in hot water for mishandling data, so use these tips.
From data security to the latest technology for businesses, you can find many useful posts on our blog. Check out some of our other content before you go.