The Must Have Electronic File Management Features For Remote Work.

The Must Have Electronic File Management Features For Remote Work.

By Hellen Lubanga

Many organizations have a number of employees working remotely. This means ensuring your communication and collaboration network is effectively running is critical in order to support remote employee productivity and output.

File sharing has been possible across multiple online platforms such as Google Drive, Drop Box, Jump Share, and others for a while now. Though these platforms work well for what they offer, none of them has features as extensive as those available on a digital management system.

Before picking out an electronic file management provider, we advise that you first take a look at the following features so as to identify the drawbacks of sticking to traditional file sharing as opposed to investing in a document management system. So let’s get started!

1. The Filing, Retrieval, and Search components.

Both file sharing drives and DMS systems act as a central repository where staff members can file retrieve and search for their documents. However, how they store it is vastly different, unlike file sharing platforms. DMS soft wares include a variety of sophisticated ways to find what you’re searching for, such as using metadata to help locate the data you need. This makes it faster and easier to search for and retrieve a document.

With DMS, you may search for files by name, file type, date stored, keywords, phrases, or even numbers inside a file (for example, an invoice number), which helps in the standardization of your filing system. This in turn ensures that information is stored in the proper location, thereby decreasing or even eliminating instances of misfiled papers.

2. Accountability and Security

A DMS is safe to use since each user has their own login credentials. When someone performs an activity (logging in, opening a file, changing a file, etc. ), a digital audit trail is established, meaning any system administrator can track who makes changes or tries to access protected documents. Permissions can also be configured to control employee access and editing rights. The finance department, for instance, cannot tamper with human resources documents and vice versa. This is a feature not commonly found on file sharing platforms.

If an employee would like to temporarily work on a document without any input from their colleagues, some DMS software possesses the option of “checking out” that document. This assures that it can only be edited by one person at any given time. Users also possess the option of working with the most recent version of a document, although earlier versions can still be accessed whenever needed.

3. Document size support.

The sharing of large files is something that can be very difficult to handle when staff work remotely. Using a DMS simplifies the process of distributing huge files that would otherwise be too large for email or other file sharing platforms, thus making document sharing seamless. Not only that, but since users are already using the company’s DMS, they do not need to create new accounts just to share large documents, as is the case with a lot of online sharing platforms.

4. Dual online and offline functionality.

A DMS may be put on an existing on-premises server or in the cloud before being configured remotely. This means you have the option to choose to work offline or online, depending on the tasks you need to accomplish. As expected, since your employees do work remotely, a cloud server would make more sense. Remember, though, that unexpected things happen, such as a failure in internet connectivity, which affects any cloud-based functionality. This doesn’t always have to mean that all work ceases, as some document management functions will still work as you continue to work offline, then update once connectivity is restored. This way, you’re far less likely to be completely blind-sided by sudden internet connectivity loss or power outages.

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Tips on Being Cyber Safe While Using a Document Management System

Tips on Being Cyber Safe While Using a Document Management System

By Hellen Lubanga

We have gotten to a point in the workforce where our jobs are performed entirely online. Whether the change has been a welcome or nuisance depends on an individual. However, if you ask around, you will find that due to our work processes becoming digitized, more and more people are pointing out that there has been a noticeable increase in phishing and spam emails, fraud, impersonation, cyber-attacks, and other digital-related scams and crimes.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help protect you as you navigate your DMS software.

1. Keep your usernames and passwords strong and secure.

People have the habit of using the same password for everything since it is easier to remember one password as opposed to multiple passwords. However, this isn’t advisable as all it takes is one person to access all your accounts when they discover your preferred password. Document management systems are no different as they tend to have password-protected access and various internal features to manage employee access to certain information.

The threat is not always external, but internal as well. Departments such as human resources tend to store extremely sensitive information about company employees, so any information leak would result in devastating effects. To protect yourself and your entire team from software hacks, always use strong, secure usernames and passwords, and remember to alter them frequently.

2. Only use secure WIFI networks to connect to the Internet.

When using a publicly accessible network, any device on the same network can connect to that network. They can use that same network to access the data on your device without you even noticing. Seeing that you do need the internet to access your company’s network, you can either run the software on trusted networks or invest in a VPN (Virtual Private Network), which establishes a secure, encrypted connection between your computer and the internet, providing a private tunnel for your data and communications while you use public networks. As an extra precaution, a company can opt for enterprise VPN packages to protect their staff and software as an extra precaution.

3. Authenticate identities before releasing any information.

Before disclosing your information to anybody, always make it a habit to verify the identity of the other person on the other end. Impersonation is one of the most common types of fraud, so never disclose any information to another party until you have verified without any doubt that they are in fact who they claim to be. Any genuine individual would not hesitate to provide proof of their identity.

 

4. Be careful with URLs shared with you.

Always double-check website URLs. Hackers have found ways over time to develop phony website URLs that mimic those of websites you regularly use and trust, such as your healthcare provider, bank, or other providers, in terms of both the URL and homepage. To avoid falling prey to this, instead of clicking on the URL shared with you, type the URL manually into your search engine. Furthermore, ensure that the UR of the site you’re visiting begins with HTTPS; these sites are more secure than those that begin with HTTP without the S at the end.

There are various things you can do if you feel you’ve received a questionable email.

  • Make sure the URL is correct. It will contain ‘https’ at the beginning of the web URL if it is encrypted.
  • Make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. These might indicate that the email is not from a legitimate company.
  • Do not open any attachments or click on any links until you get confirmation from the person labeled as the sender.
  • Remove the email from your inbox and blacklist the sender.
  • In your email settings, turn on the spam filter

1. Keep management in the loop.

If you notice any suspicious activity or security loopholes anywhere in the document management system software, speak up. The best people to approach are top-level management, as they are more likely to provide a solution and less likely to be security risks themselves. It is their organization, so chances are a data leak would be a cause for concern and be acted on quickly.

 2. Request a multifactor authentication feature to be included in the DMS

With multifactor authentication (also known as two-factor authentication), you must provide more information before accessing or using your account. For example, a code you are meant to type can be sent to your mobile or email to verify that it is you logging in before you are granted entry. Without this supplementary piece of information, you will be denied access to your account.

3. Use password managers when sharing private credentials.

If you need to send or receive log-in information to a remote colleague, the safest way to do so is by using a business password management platform rather than sending an email or text message. These password managers allow users to store passwords in a secure, encrypted vault where they can also be shared with other colleagues or departments.

4. Backup your data

It is important to always back up any data that is essential for business operations. Viruses and ransomware such as Trojans can encrypt, steal, or delete data. So, in the event of stolen or lost data, you can quickly retrieve your data from backed-up sources, which will allow you to keep running your business without too much downtime or disturbance. It is also beneficial to remember that backups should be secure and restricted so only designated employees can access them.

 

  1. Install security software updates.

Document management companies sometimes offer security feature updates to patch up any flaws within the system so as to fend off newer cyber-based attacks or threats. This is why it is essential that you keep your document management system security features up-to-date. This means no more ignoring update prompts, as these updates are legitimately there to protect you, your data, and that of your company.

 

 

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Signs That It Is Time To Invest In a Document Management System

Signs that it is time to invest in a Document Management System

By Hellen Lubanga

An electronic file manager, often known as a document management system (DMS), is an automated solution for storing, managing, safeguarding, and grouping files. Document management software entails features such as organizing, securing, capturing, digitizing, labeling, and authorizing your digital documents.

But how do you know that you are prepared for a DMS system? The easiest way to figure this out is by taking a deeper look at your current processes and their efficiency. After your internal audit, you will likely need to onboard a DMS system if:

1. You have too many folders to keep track of.

Before investing in electronic file management software, chances are you are using a desktop or laptop. The majority of organizations keep a distinct folder for each client. This is a sensible strategy in the short term. As additional files are uploaded, however, these directories will no longer provide a consistent structure. Users will have a hard time locating files in different “client directories” as a result of this. As a result, a significant amount of time will be wasted.

 2. You have started to forget the names of your files.

In most firms, pre-determined file naming standards are used. This procedure is intended to make it simpler to identify files and locate them on a file server. However, in order to locate the file, you must know its specific name, which isn’t well suited to general searches if the exact file name isn’t known. A quality DMS will not need you to know the exact name of the file, as you can just type in related tags and pick from the various suggestions brought up.

3. File duplication is proving to be a recurrent problem.

If you work in a business where there is intense collaboration on projects, then duplication of documents is unavoidable. With a regular computer server, your employees would have to download the files being worked on before sharing them with the next person. This means they would have the unedited version somewhere in their email, plus a new version they have worked on. Now replicate this for the five to ten employees (or even more in some instances) and imagine the number of duplicates in existence. Accounting for all versions would be quite a headache!

4. Access control and management is a challenge

Controlling who has access to what documents and folders in your company can be quite tedious if you don’t have an IT person on board responsible for managing access permissions, access requests, and access revoking. The good news is that the majority of DMS have a strong user access management system that includes an audit trail of activities against this file. This means not only can you grant or revoke access with a few simple clicks, but you can also keep a trail of when and how the permission was handled. Convenient, right?

5. You are wasting too much time searching for the information you need.

Time is finite. Normal workdays last about 9 to 10 hours, meaning the amount of time you have to finish work (unless you work overtime) is limited. By spending large amounts of time constantly tracking down information, the efficiency of your business is greatly affected, which in turn impacts the quality of your service and eventually your income. At first, it may not seem like a lot, but when you do the math, it does add up.

Say you spend an average of 4 minutes looking for a file, and you use approximately two files an hour. That’s 8 minutes in an hour. In a full 10-hour work day, that’s 80 minutes. In a month, that is 2480 minutes. Now multiply this by the number of employees you have and it should help you visualize just how much time file searching consumes.

6. The company has plans to expand in the future.

As a business grows, chances are that additional branches are likely to be opened at different locations. Or maybe to improve productivity, the company could include a work from home policy. Whatever the case, it would make much more sense to have one cloud-based system than multiple systems all over the place.

7. Company Files keep disappearing.

When you start to realize that documents are being misplaced, then it is definitely time to look into getting a DMS. Not only will this store backups of your documents for years, but you will also reduce the chances of a data leak, thus saving you millions in damage control and legal fees. (Read our article about paper data breaches to learn more.)

 

 Ready to start your digital paper management journey? Talk to us today!

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Printing Paper: The Forgotten Data Theft Risk

Printing paper: The Forgotten Data Theft Risk

By Hellen Lubanga

When we hear stories of data breaches, our mind instinctively forms an image of computer hackers getting a hold of our personal data through stealthily accessing our devices. More often than not, this is not the case. In reality, a substantial number of data breach cases are actually as a result of organizations’ failing to outline proper strategies meant to guide the protection of confidential and sensitive information.

Picture this: you go to make a photocopy of a client’s information only to find your colleague at the printing station. While there, you strike up a conversation that ends up distracting you as you complete the tasks that brought you to the printer in the first place, but as you leave, you forget to clear the data from the printer or leave behind the original. You may think since it is a private office that your data is safe, but the truth is that organizations do have malicious insiders waiting for an opportunity to get their hands on data for their own benefit.

Whether data breaches could result from intentional or accidental actions, companies should always look beyond cyber security measures and focus a spotlight on physical document security as well.

So exactly how are your paper processes high-risk?

1. Documents are left out where anyone can see them.

If you work in an office setting, it is instinctual to set aside documents in your workspace as you sift through your to-do list. Unfortunately, this means that if this is something you are used to, chances are you may treat confidential documents the same way out of muscle memory, even when you did not intend to. It is safer for companies to provide lockable storage for employees so that it becomes an ingrained company culture that documents are not meant for the public eye.

2. There is no accountability for document access.

Most companies have password protection or authorization requirements when it comes to their digital records. However, a lot of those same companies do not treat paper data with the same urgency. Depending on the size of your organization, you should have a clearly defined strategy for which employee is in charge of which document and at what stage. The strategy should also include the clearance and handover process for when the data has to be shared with another party, as well as the consequences of not adhering to the outlined process.

3. There is no formal training in place that covers paper confidentiality.

Companies do not take the time to formally train their employees on how to handle paper. This includes, but is not limited to, the document disposal process, the use of shared printers in the workplace, the authorization process, the emailing process, and so on.

If you want to get ahead of any risks resulting from breaches, while employees are being trained on other aspects of the company culture, document handling should also be given the same effort.

4. Companies are not investing in basic paper security

Sure, adding locks to cabinets may increase your expenditure budget, but investing in the security of your workplace is worth it. Or better yet, find ways to go completely paperless. There is a popular saying that goes, “cheap is expensive,” which makes a lot of sense because, by trying to cut costs by sacrificing security, you risk paying dearly down the line in the event of a data breach or leak. The government takes data leaks very seriously, and covering the cost of the damage resulting from leaked data will far outweigh the cost of enhancing your office protection.

5. Overlooking the little things

We cannot stress enough how important it is to have set procedures or policies dictating how company employees are meant to treat paper. This goes for the “insignificant” policies as well, such as a clear desk policy, if left unattended, or a bin-emptying policy. When it comes to data protection, nothing is “too small.”

These are just a few of the steps one can take to ensure their data is protected, but if you want to ensure airtight document handling, look into getting a document management system. Not sure where to start? Talk to us today and we can walk you through the process of locking down your document safety digitally.

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Hard Drive Disk Vs. Solid State Drives–Is Your Data Still Safe?

HARD DRIVE DISK VS. SOLID-STATE DRIVES–IS YOUR DATA STILL SAFE?

By Hellen Lubanga

Storage devices have come a long way since the dawn of computers. How our devices store data now is vastly different from what it was when computers were first popularized in the workplace.

A lot of companies alter their work processes to accommodate the change in external computer parts such as obsolete hardware and software. However, many companies fail to alter their strategy and procedures when the internal components of the devices evolve to improve functionality.

This is large because the average person is more likely to notice improvements in what they can see and interact with, rather than the internal workings of the device. They may pick up on things like faster performance and reduced noise, but they are not likely to understand the inner workings of why and how these improvements came to be, and how they affect their current operating procedures.

This article is meant to demystify storage types and try to help you understand what this means for you and your data safe. For us to understand why your data destruction policy needs to recognize and plan for different types of drive disposal, we must first understand what makes the storage media so different, and the effects these differences have on your data destruction policy.

Hard Drive Disk vs. Solid State Drives-Functionality

Hard drive disks, commonly referred to as HDDs, primarily differ from solid-state drives (SSDs) in regards to how data is added or written to the device, as we shall outline further below.

HDDs

Hard drive disks use the same style of electro-magnetic technology that debit and credit card strips use. With HDD A series of disks (referred to as platters) coated in a magnetic material is rotated at a high speed while the read/write arm follows the commands needed to read or write information, which provides you with everything you need, such as programs or documents stored on the device.

When you save files, the hard drive magnetically writes a binary code for the files onto storage cells located on the platters. This way, the drive can read the code later, recognize the code used to store the document, and pull the document up again.

The only commands that a traditional hard drive has been “read” or “write.” This means that there is no delete or erases command. If you “delete” a file or a program on your computer that uses HDD, you are telling the drive to treat the space like blank space. Essentially, you’re just ignoring the file or files until the hard drive fills that space with new information. Because of this, the information is still there until new information is written over it. This is why files on hard drives are often easily recovered after they’ve been “deleted” (assuming that they have not been overwritten already).

SDDs

SSDs differ from HDDs in how they store the data saved on the device. However, as mentioned earlier, this difference is not as noticeable when you save, delete, or move documents.

Unlike an HDD drive, which uses magnetic features, SSDs store and retrieve data using only electronic circuits, without the use of any moving parts, i.e., nothing in SSDs moves. So how exactly do SDDs work? Like HDDs, the drive has read and write functionality, but it also has the ability to erase data. However, this doesn’t mean that your files are removed just because you used the delete command. Unlike HDDs, where a magnetic pattern is created every time data is saved, with SDDs, the data is electronically programmed into the storage cell. These cells are organized into page-like formats. These pages are then grouped into sections known as blocks that can only be written into once fully, and then they have to be completely erased and re-written.

An interesting thing about SSDs’ delete feature is that every time data on a block is erased, this causes slight wear and tear on the drive. This shouldn’t worry you, however, as SSDs are programmed in such a way that data will be stored on newer blocks (if available) before they are stored on older blocks, which reduces or levels out the wear and tear aspect. With this in mind, it is important to remember that there may be copies of your “deleted data” on the drive.

So what does this have to do with the destruction?

Physical destruction has been and continues to be the best way to dispose of digital storage. This is because the drives are actually damaged beyond repair, as long as extra care is taken to make sure the tiny storage chips are completely eradicated.

Software-based destruction is more viable for HDD-based media as compared to SDD-based media. This is because the overwriting features of HDD make it a lot easier to overwrite existing data using software, making it unrecoverable. On the other hand, since SDDs are designed to create new data blocks rather than overwrite exciting data so as to avoid wear and tear, software-based erasure is not a good fit as there is no way to control the specific region in the old data was written on.

The same goes for degaussing (read our hard drive destruction article to learn more about degaussing). In summary, degaussing uses strong magnetic fields to render storage media useless, which works better for HDDs as the data is stored magnetically. For SDDs, on the other hand, where the data is stored electronically, a degausser may not do a thorough job of data eradication, leaving you exposed to data breach risks.

Seeing that more and more device manufacturers are leaning towards the use of SSDs, it is important that your data and asset disposal strategies clearly outline the best destruction procedures for both.

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Data Protection And The Law

Data protection and the law

By Hellen Lubanga

In order to understand the importance of paper shredding and data destruction in your company, it is very important that you identify the laws that govern said data and why their proper disposal should be taken seriously.

On November the 25th, 2019, Kenya’s Data Protection Act was passed by the National Assembly and enacted as the main legislation governing how data is sourced, stored, and distributed in the country.

The Act consolidates statutes that outline the treatment of people’s data while giving clear requirements on how organizations are expected to treat their users’ data. This was done with the aim of giving the population more control over their personal information, thus boosting and complementing their right to privacy as outlined in article 31 of the constitution.

The main objectives and purposes of the Act include:

  •  Regulating the processing of personal data.
  •  Ensuring that the processing of personal data of a data subject is guided by set principles (located in section 25 of the act)
  • Protection of the privacy of individuals;
  •  Establishing the legal and institutional mechanism to protect personal data
  • Providing data subjects with rights and remedies to protect their personal data from being processed illegally 

The data protection act covers a substantial range of information. However, in this article, we shall consider the data protection laws affecting how organizations collect, store, and dispose of consumer data.

While referring to organizations or individuals, the Data Protection Act uses the terms “data controllers” and “data processors.”

 The data controller

The data controller determines the purpose for which and the means by which personal data is processed. So, if your company is the one deciding “why” and “how” the data is to be processed, then it is the data controller. Employees processing personal data within your company do so to fulfil your tasks as the data controller.

The data processor

The data processor processes personal data only on behalf of the controller. The data processor is usually a third party external to the company.

The duties of the processor towards the controller must be specified in a contract. For example, the contract must indicate what happens to the personal data once the contract is terminated. An example of a data processor has outsourced services that handle company data, such as IT solutions, cloud storage services, and outsourced accountants that handle payroll and payments.

The data processor may only sub-contract a part of its task to another processor or appoint a joint processor when it has received prior written permission from the data controller.

It is important to note that there are situations where an entity can be a data controller, a data processor, or both.

Joint controllers

Your company is considered a joint controller when, together with one or more other organizations, you both determine “why” and “how” personal data should be processed. For example, you own a property you rent out for events, but do not have a restaurant, so you partner with a catering service as a value-added service. So the clients can choose to rent the space with the additional option of catering services. Both companies could also be involved in the set-up of the website, making the two companies joint controllers because not only do they agree to offer the possibility of “combined services”, but they also design and use a common platform.

Data retention and disposal according to the Data Protection Act

Data processors and controllers are required to retain personal data for a lawful purpose and only for as long as may reasonably be necessary for that purpose.

Under the regulations, data controllers and processors are required to establish a data retention schedule with appropriate time limits for review of the need for continued storage. Periodic audits of the data retained are also required.

Upon lapse of the purpose for which the personal data was collected, data controllers and data processors are required to erase, delete, destroy, or make the data anonymous or pseudo-anonymous.

Consequences for failing to properly store or dispose of client data

There are certain specific offences under the DPA, which include:

  • Unlawful disclosure of personal data in a manner incompatible with the purpose for which the data was collected;
  • Unlawful disclosure of personal data that the data processor processed without the prior authorization of the data controller;
  • Obtaining access to personal data without the prior authorization of the data controller or processor holding the data;
  • Disclosure of personal data to a third party without prior authorization by the data controller or processor holding the data
  • Sale of personal data obtained unlawfully. Advertising the sale of such data constitutes an offer to sell under this offence;
  • Failure to register with the Office of the Data Commissioner as a data processor or controller
  • Provision of false or misleading information during the application process for registration as a data processor or controller; and
  • Obstruction of the Office of the Data Commissioner during an investigation.

If convicted, an offence under the DPA carries a general penalty of a fine not exceeding Kenya Shillings 3 million or an imprisonment term not exceeding ten years, or both. In addition, obstruction of the Data Commissioner during an investigation is an offence liable to a fine not exceeding KES 5 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both. If data is leaked and it is proven that the data was exposed as a result of company negligence, you risk being held accountable and convicted.

This is why paper shredding and hard drive destruction are of the utmost importance. Do not take the risk. Reach out to us today and let us help you take the necessary steps needed to ensure your company stays safe from data leaks.

 

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Hard Drive Destruction: Answering the Industry’s Most Asked Questions

Hard Drive Destruction: Answering the Industry’s Most Asked Questions

By Hellen Lubanga

Being relatively new to the data disposal scene, a considerable number of people are still on the fence when it comes to hard drive destruction as they feel like they do not possess all the information needed to paint a full picture of what the entire process entails. If this sounds anything like you, then worry not because you have come to the right place!

In this article, we shall explore the most frequently asked questions our team has gotten in regards to hard drive destruction, and hopefully, by the end, you will feel more equipped to make informed decisions for you or your company.

The FAQs (frequently asked questions)

1. What is a hard drive and what does it do?

 Simply put, a hard drive is a physical piece of hardware on your desktop or laptop that stores all your information and data. This includes your operating system, your pictures, your music, your applications, your videos, and your audio files, among other things. In summary, your hard drive is your computer’s main storage that holds onto your data even when your device is off.

2. How is data stored on the hard drive?

 Inside every hard drive is a CD-shaped device known as a platter made of either aluminum or glass. Inside the same hard drive, you will also find a tiny piece of metal known as the head. The head records the data onto the hard drive as the platter rotates.

The rest of the hard drive is made up of several other components that help the hard drive function properly.

3. What is the best way to destroy a hard drive?

Technically, you have the physical capability to attempt the destruction process at home. However, unless you possess in-depth knowledge of data destruction, there is no way of knowing whether you were effectively able to destroy the hard drive and its data. Furthermore, hard drive destruction is a dangerous process that tends to result in by-products that can either gravely harm you or those you share your space with.

The most foolproof way of ensuring that the hard drive can never be revived and is disposed of safely, legally, and ethically is to entrust the destruction process to professionals. Certified data destruction companies possess the skills and resources needed to effectively destroy hard drives and data. They also have protective equipment and procedures in place on how to safely handle and dispose of the toxic remnants of the destruction process. Lastly, they can provide you with physical proof of destruction in the form of a destruction certificate that can act as evidence if the need ever arises, such as an inquisition from the authorities.

4. If hard drives are this dangerous to destroy, does this mean they are dangerous to use?

Not at all. Hard drives are perfectly safe to use as long as they are gotten from a trusted source and you do not disassemble the device yourself. Safety becomes an issue during the disposal process due to things such as pieces of metal or glass flying everywhere while crushing, or the fumes produced during burning, etc. It is advisable to let more experienced and prepared companies that specialize in hard drive destruction help you to ensure your safety.

5. But what if I submerge the hard drive in water?

The only thing dipping a hard drive in water will do is damage the hard drive’s electric components. The information would remain intact on the platter, and all one has to do is dry the platter to retrieve all the personal information stored on the hard drive.

6. What if I add extra components to the water, such as detergent, vinegar, bleach, or salt?

Again, this would not do anything other than ruin the electric parts and make the hard drive sticky. All the data still would remain on the hard drive and could be easily retrieved.

In order to destroy a hard drive, the liquid would have to be highly corrosive, such as a strong acid. One should never attempt to work with highly corrosive materials, as you risk chemical burns or death. It is best to just approach the professionals.

7. If one of the ways of destroying a hard drive is by using a magnet. Can’t I just use my magnets at home?

 It is true that hard drives can be destroyed by industrial magnets. This is usually done in a process known as degaussing. The problem is that degaussing uses extremely strong magnets that eliminate the magnetic components of hard drives, thereby permanently destroying the device and clearing out its data. Retail magnets would not do anything to permanently erase the data on the hard drive. At best, magnets used recreationally at home would cause the hard drive to misbehave when used, but nothing more.

8. Can’t I just delete or format the data on my hard drive if I need it gone?

 Deleting or formatting data from your hard drive will not permanently get rid of the data; it will just “archive” it so that your hard drive views the space as free to be used for more data, but the data still exists on the hard drive somewhere. A file recovery program can easily scan a hard drive for these deleted files and restore them. Now, in the hands of somebody who knows what they are doing, this information can easily be retrieved and used for malicious gain.

Have questions you think we missed? Let us know on our socials!

 

 

 

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Answer To The Most Asked Questions About Document Shredding

ANSWER TO THE MOST ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT DOCUMENT SHREDDING

By Hellen Lubanga

There’s been an increased interest in waste management; specifically document shredding as more and more companies seek to become compliant with the newly introduced data protection laws.

Today we shall be answering the most asked questions we have received concerning document disposal. This article is to assist you with information that will help you make ethical and informed decisions when it comes to you and your company’s document destruction needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What do I need to do to prepare my documents for destruction?

 Answer: The answer to this depends on what you choose to keep, and what you choose to destroy. If you would like to Re-use or hold onto your Binders, or plastic covers then we would advise setting them aside before document pick up to indicate that those are not intended for destruction. The same goes for paper clips, pins, and wiring. If you have no intention of retaining any of the above then all you have to do is put aside the documents scheduled for destruction.

2. What happens to my document’s remnants once the documents are destroyed?

 Answer: Once all the documents are shredded, the strips are further mixed together as an extra precaution and recycled.

 3. How can I be sure that my highly sensitive data is safe with your company?

 Answer: You will receive a Certificate of Destruction once the process is complete, so as to ensure that all sensitive documents are completely destroyed, according to the highest standards in the industry. As an extra precaution, however, a Non-disclosure agreement can be signed to ensure complete discretion.

 4. What are the most advisable destruction methods for my documents?

 Answer: Shredding is the safest and most cost-effective way to deal with paper waste.  We use crosscut shredders to ensure the paper is shredded into very tiny pieces. Most office or at home shredders use strip-cut shredders which produce thin strip-like pieces of paper which can be pieced together if someone is determined enough.

Burning or soaking the paper is not only damaging to the environment and illegal, there is no way to be sure or prove that the legal steps were taken to ensure that highly confidential data was truly destroyed.

5. Can an individual come on-site and use your shredders?

 Answer: No. Unfortunately independent on-site shredding is not allowed as we do carry out shredding services for multiple individuals and organizations at a time. In a bid to ensure that your and their data remains confidential, we do not allow anyone who is not a certified and trained Cadtech Services Ltd staff member to come in contact with any of the documents being shredded.

6. Can I at least watch my documents being shredded?

Answer: Yes you can, however, this only applies to onsite shredding where we come to destroy the documents at your location before transporting them for recycling.

7. Do you offer scheduled pick-up, or is it strictly an on-need service?

 Answer: Here at Cadtech services ltd we believe in helping you figure out what works best for you. One size doesn’t always fit all. We however do advise you to hold onto your documents till they are a sizable amount so it can be as cost-effective as possible on your end.

8. Do you offer Off-Site Document Destruction?

 Answer: Yes we do. We have systems in place that allow the secure transportation of your documents to our premises where there destroyed under the watchful eyes of our destruction team.

9. When will I get my destruction certificate?

Answer: Certificates are issued as soon as the destruction process is complete and the documents are awaiting recycling.

10. Do you offer services for residential clients or Businesses?

 Answer: We offer shredding services for both residential customers and businesses. We do however advise residential clients to work in bulk so that it can be cost-effective on their end. No need to spend the same amount on two documents that you would spend on 5Kgs of documents.

 

Learned something new from this article? Why not share the information?

Once, that is done Feel free to contact us at info@cadtech-services.co.ke , and let us guide you through the data destruction practices fit for you or your company.

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Why Do-It-Yourself Hard Drive Destruction Is Dangerous

Why Do-It-Yourself hard drive destruction is dangerous

By Hellen lubanga

Data Security is a big deal, and it is becoming an even bigger deal now that more and more countries are coming up with legislation meant to protect consumer data by holding companies accountable for how they collect, store and share said data. With this in mind today we shall look at the reasons why a do it your self-approach; commonly referred to as a DIY approach; may not be the best idea for you or your company.

1. Data Security is a Huge Concern for the Government

Cybercrime is a growing worry for most businesses. With the introduction of data protection legislation. Choosing not to adhere to data protection laws can be treated as a considered a crime as the government will have zero tolerance for leaving data exposed. Most businesses, have access to or tore very sensitive information such as account information, passwords, account details, medical histories, etc. It is because of this; your business should seriously consider destroying its data after it’s done being used to avoid the consequences of not adhering to the law.

2. Do-It-Yourself Methods are Risky

When researching the ways to destroy data, some may seem expensive making it enticing to simply take matters into your own hands and destroy the data yourself with the tools you have such as a hammer or hand-held drill. However, this is extremely dangerous and can result in a trip to the hospital or worse in the extreme. Shards from broken hard drives can cause serious injury if they are not disposed of correctly. Imagine accidentally leaving behind shards of metal somewhere your colleagues, family, minors or even pets usually access to. The risk is never worth the amount you may save. Furthermore, many people often underestimate the dangers that are present when demolishing hard drives. Interacting with highly toxic material such as strong magnets or tubs of Acid should be left to the professionals and under no circumstances should they be done at home or workplace.

3. Manually deleting files Does not erase the data

Another thing that people remember is that hacking is evolving the exact same way technology is. Hacking methods are becoming much more advanced to the point even deleted files can be retrieved as long as you possess the necessary know-how. Deleting files off of your device is not an adequate solution anymore as deleting data still leaves it on the hard drive anyway meaning data destruction is the only full-proof way to ensure the security and anonymity of your sensitive information

4. Using software to erase data is not full proof either

Sometimes organizations turn to computer programs that can scrub your hard drive s an alternative. Programs such as these render the data on a hard drive to an unrecognizable form that hackers could not decipher. Though this may be less costly It is, however, not 100% foolproof like data destruction is because, at the end of the day, any data that is scrambled through a program still leaves the hard drive intact. While most top-of-the-market erasure programs are thorough, there still exists a possibility that not all of the data will be destroyed. Total Destruction of the hard drive gives company owners and employees peace of mind ad they are assured that their and their client’s information is completely destroyed.

Take away

Hard drive destruction should only be carried out by professionals seeing that information disposal is subject to regulation. The most advisable way of destroying a hard drive safely is by using the services of a certified data destruction company. That’s where we come in.

Cadtech Services Limited handles everything from data erasure to secure destruction of hard drives, to paper shredding. We ensure that your data is securely handled in a manner most convenient to our clients. stop worrying about potential hard drive breaches today by reaching out to us to discuss the best data destruction package for you or your organization. Learned anything new? Share this article with anyone who you think would benefit from learning about the secure destruction of hard drives.

 

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Hard Drive Destruction Simplified

HARD DRIVE DESTRUCTION SIMPLIFIED

By Hellen Lubanga

Due to how ingrained our devices are in our everyday lives, it is easy to forget that our entire identities are saved onto our phones, laptops, and desktops.

This is because the hard drives on our devices store a large amount of our personal information such as our contact details, credit history, debit or credit card numbers, bank/SACCO account numbers, login authorization, past searches, pictures, passwords, and more. These records even when “erased” or reformatted using data wiping software can never really be truly destroyed. So before you throw out or recycle your pc, make sure you wipe your drives. It is best to approach data destruction professionals who possess expertise in hard drive disposal to make sure that the records on the hard drives being disposed of are untraceable by data thieves.

So how is your information disposed of safely?

Hard drive destruction and disposal is done in several ways, however, the most commonly used methods involve:

  1. Drilling

Drilling refers to the puncturing of holes into the device in an attempt to destroy the plating of the hard drive. This ensures that the data on the device can never be accessed or retrieved. Another benefit of this method is that you only need a drill or handgun to complete the process and there is no need for more complex equipment. But before you go out and buy a drill, you have to keep in mind that this process can be extremely dangerous if you do not possess the protective equipment and know-how needed to safely carry out the process. Before drilling, you need to predetermine and prepare for the steps, resources, and responsibilities legally required to protect the person entrusted with destroying the hard drive and the owner of the data.

2. Shredding

Shredding in this instance involves the crushing/ breaking of the hard drive into tiny pieces using an industrialized shredder. This process makes it impossible to recover any parts of the hard drive once the destruction process is complete.

Shredding should be left to the professionals, not only because they possess the specialized equipment to carry out the process safely, but they are also are less likely to contaminate the environment with the remnants of the shards of metal and plastic that previously made up the hard drive. Data destruction companies already have a recycling procedure in place that they follow to ensure all waste is ethically disposed of.

3. Disintegration

With Hard drive disintegration, the hard drives pass through a conveyor belt system where they are met by hardened Steel blades that slice the hard drives into minute-sized particles. The equipment used is commonly known as disintegrators, which are extremely effective in Hard drive destruction, however, they require specialized installation and upkeep which would not justify the purchase of one for in-house use. This is why it is advisable to approach professionals

4. Puncturing

Puncturing is similar to drilling, however, the difference is that puncturing is automated therefore more precise and faster. During the puncturing process, the hard drives are placed in a machine and punctured with multiple industrial-sized pins. This process leaves the hard drives full of holes making them permanently unusable.

5. Melting

Melting of Hard drives involves submerging the devices in a molten vat of hot liquid or Acid. In comparison to other forms of document destruction, this is easily the most dangerous, the use of Acids such as nitric acid or Hydrochloric acid should only be handled by professionals. Attempts to carry out the processes as a company or individual not trained in this particular form of destruction is highly discouraged seeing that you not only risk physical harm but toxic environmental leaks with long-term effects.

6. Degaussing

Degaussing is relatively new to the market when compared to the other destruction methods discussed. In simpler terms degaussing refers to the use of a device known as a degausser that contains strong magnetic energy used to scramble hard drives by altering the magnetic direction that the storage devices used to store and function normally, that way the information cannot be used or read. Degaussers should not be confused with everyday magnets. A smaller retail magnet does not have nearly enough magnetic force to alter how the hard drive stores data and would not be able to carry alter the inner workings of the device.

The major disadvantage associated with degaussing is the fact that it uses magnetic fields to scramble data, it, therefore, is not as effective on external storage such as flash disks or tapes that are not power reliant as is the case with hard drives

Need to learn more about Hard drive destruction? Reach out to us today on any of our channels!

 

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