Stealing private computer data which is stored on various types of media, used by various kinds of businesses, has become a favorite pastime for highly intelligent thieves called computer hackers. They are typically born computer-savvy and it, therefore, requires no special stretch of knowledge in order for this elite breed of computer users to get what they want, which is why precautions must be taken when disposing of computer storage media. Typically, if a data storage device such as a thumb drive, hard drive, or CD stop working, the owners will either outright throw them in the trash or, to a certain degree, destroy them. However, the common methods used by uninformed people to destroy storage media are inefficient and lead to increased risk of data exposure. For example, scratching CDs or DVDs have proven to be inefficient for rendering the data therein unreadable — there are professional services and DIY methods that can be used to restore scratched optical media, in some cases. There are alleged DIY methods for destroying flash drives and traditional hard drives as well, but in general, trusting the security of private, highly-sensitive data to do-it-yourself tutorials on the internet is a gamble.
Data breach statistics of the past couple of decades hint to the increasing value of stolen data. Whether using stolen data for identity theft, financial theft, political gain, or outright for thrill-seeking, data theft is here to stay and, therefore, professional methods should be used in the destruction of sensitive computer data stored on removable media. Services are also available whether individuals or businesses have data destruction needs and should be sought if more appropriate than purchasing media destruction equipment. When utilizing computers to run a successful business, part of the game is data security in which the importance thereof which should not be underestimated.
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