Data Security

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This page has been migrated to a document on Free Geek's Google Drive.

Information remaining behind may no longer be relevant.


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Use this page for responding to info@ emails inquiring about data security

Is my data secure?

Our data security process is derived from Department of Defense (DOD 5220.22M) standards. We wipe each drive 3 times, or physically damage the drive and separate the components.

How do you wipe the drive? / How do you destroy the data?

We overwrite the drive 3 times. The first time we write 1's to every sector, the second time we write 0's to every sector and the third time we write random data to every sector. We also verify that the data was overwritten during the final step. If we do not reuse the drive, we physically damage it and separate the components so they cannot be reunited.

How long does this process take? / Can I wait/watch for my drive to be wiped? (No.)

Wiping a drive is a lengthy process that takes several hours. Although you cannot wait or watch while your drive is being wiped, you may request to watch your drive being put into the wiper and/or being locked up. If you would like to do this, please arrive with your drive in hand and we will connect you with a staff person who will escort you and your drive to our wiper and/or lock-up area.

[If someone still seems uncomfortable leaving their drive with us, do NOT encourage them to leave it. Instead offer the following advice.]

Ultimately, data security is your responsibility. We offer links to data destruction toolson our website, and we offer free DBAN disks to help you ensure the security of your data.

You are welcome to borrow one of our data destruction disks, available at the front desk, and then return the disk to us when you recycle your drive. Be aware, this disk will destroy all data on your drive, so be sure to remove any important information you want to keep before beginning the data destruction process.

We cannot make suggestions about outside parties, but we can offer some questions that a reputable provider should be happy to answer:

  1. Do you have a drive shredder?
  2. If not, what is your specific procedure for making my data unreadable?
  3. Will my drive be locked up until it is wiped?
  4. May I see my drive being locked up? 

The most important aspect of data security is making sure the customer is COMFORTABLE leaving their drive with us.

[If they are exhibiting discomfort after the above script, the best recommendation is to send them home with the data destruction disk or to recommend they seek outside help and bring the remainder of their items to us for responsible reuse or recycling, and to get their itemized tax receipt.]