While CD and DVD discs are starting to phase out, many households and businesses still have many old discs on hand. Due to their age, you may be tempted to toss your old CD-ROMs or DVDs into the trash. However, you could be putting your personal information at risk by doing so. Learn the five reasons why you should destroy used optical discs before you toss them.
1. Prevent Identity Theft
One of the biggest reasons that businesses, organizations, and individuals utilize shredders for shredding optical discs is to prevent identity theft. Optical discs such as CD-ROMS, DVDs, and more support information storage, and they can house personal information that is sensitive to your business or personal life. Thoroughly destroying these pieces of media will prevent thieves from gaining access to this information via these discs.
2. Protect Employee/Consumer Information
As a business owner or organization leader, not only do you have to worry about your personal or company information, but you’re also responsible for protecting your employees’ and consumers’ privacy as well. CDs and DVDs may contain information relating to your employees, consumers, and organization members, which is crucial to keep safe and secure.
3. Follow Government Standards
Another crucial reason to destroy your optical discs before tossing them is to adhere to government standards. Government organizations have strict rules and regulations regarding information disposal. But even if you work outside of a government institution, there are still laws for other businesses and organizations requiring proper disposal of information.
4. Prepare Them for Disposal
You should never throw an intact optical disc directly into the trash or recycling. Thieves could easily steal intact discs and pop them right into a disc drive to read your personal information. Shredding an optical disc prepares them for proper disposal to protect your information. Some recycling centers will even accept shredded optical discs and hard drive particles. If you don’t have a degaussing machine handy to wipe your optical discs before recycling them, a shredding machine will help.
5. DIY Methods Aren’t Always Accurate
There’s also the matter of how best to destroy your optical discs. Sometimes, simply cutting up a CD-ROM isn’t enough to render the information stored on it useless or unreadable. Using a high-security CD shredder is one of the most secure ways to completely destroy the information stored on your optical discs.
Don’t let your sensitive information fall into the wrong hands. Remember these five reasons why you should destroy used optical discs the next time you’re about to toss a CD, DVD, or other computer accessory.