Skip main navigation

Secure Disposal of Physical Documents and Storage Media

In this video, you will learn how to securely dispose of physical documents and storage media.
6.2
In this video, we’re talking about secure disposal of physical documents and storage media. As we already know from previous videos, dumpster diving attacks and other form of attacks can take place from discarded media and trash. So if you have a dumpster, you should have some sort of locking mechanism on it. Something like this bar here that’ll slide over and then you can apply a lock to it. And that’s pretty much standard for any dumpster. So even though it’s there, you do need to make sure that you physically secure it on a regular basis. Another method is you could also enclose it inside a fence like this. And make sure you keep a lock to help discourage dumpster divers.
47.9
On the software end, you always could use a software file shredder. There’s a number of free ones out there, and open source ones for every operating system. So you do want to take a look around. This is a pretty good one for Windows, called File Shredder. And it is a free one. And you can set how many times it does a file shred. There’s also shredding companies. So shredding companies will typically give you some sort of repository, such as a garbage can with a lock on it or a locked physical box that you dump your files into. These are great ways to actually have your files shredded from a company.
84.8
Make sure you vet them out first beforehand However, if you have a lot of documents to shred, these are great ways to go. If you use a home shredder, say you have a small business or you’re making sure your documents at home are shredded, make sure you get a good paper shredder. Something that either does a diamond cut or a crosscut, not a straight cut. The problem if you do a straight cut is that it is possible to reassemble it if you have the patience, or there’s even software out there that can help put these files back together.
121.7
So you do want to make sure it’s a diamond or crosscut, make it a little bit harder for people to try to reassemble these things. So these are different ways that you could actually do file shredding, both from the physical end and from the software end. Again, just to recap, secure your dumpsters. Dumpsters should either have a lock on the dumpster itself and/or fenced in a enclosed area that’s always locked. Invest in a good file shredder. Again, for a small business in a home, consider finding a shredder that does crosscutting or diamond cutting. And if you have a larger business, you might consider using a file shredding company.
160.6
But again, I would be sure to vet those companies ahead of time. There’s also file shredders for software. Again, there’s a number of great file shredding programmes out there. They’ll do multiple deletions on the same file to make it harder to recover. And also, there’s E-waste companies. If you have things like old hard drives and whatnot, you could hire an e-waste company to take those e-waste components, memory, hard drives, and whatnot, and destroy them for you or recycle them. But be sure to vet them ahead of time. Make sure that they will wipe out the data for you.
197.3
And it’s also a good idea to find out what methods they use to shred these files or destroy the files on there before it goes somewhere else. So this was all about securing your media. Thank you for watching. I’ll see you in the next video.

In this video, you will learn how to securely dispose of physical documents and storage media.

Here are the different ways you can securely dispose of physical data:

  • secure your dumpsters and trash bins
  • invest in a file shredder
  • invest in a software file shredder
  • employ an e-waste company to assist you

Reflect and share: How do you currently dispose of your data? Were you aware of these steps? Share your thoughts.

This article is from the free online

Cyber Security Foundations: Why Cyber Security is Important

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education