Why you should destroy your own hard drives

This Security Awareness article is old news now, but still required reading if you missed it the first go around. The basis of the story is simple – a couple paid for an upgraded hard drive on their system and received assurances from the Best Buy techs that the drive would be destroyed so no one could recover their information from the drive.

“They said rest assured. They drill holes in it so it’s useless,” said Gerbus.

A few months ago, Gerbus got a phone call from a man in Chicago.

“He said, ‘My name is Ed. I just bought your hard drive for $25 at a flea market in Chicago,” said Gerbus. “I thought my world was coming down.”

Hmmmmm. That’s doesn’t sound to me like the drive was destroyed with holes drilled in it. It does sound like Ed was decent and wasn’t going to steal the couples’ identities. But one can never be too careful.

“He said, ‘Do you want me to wipe it clean or send it to you?’ I told him to send it to me. I wanted it in my hands,” said Gerbus.

Gerbus received the hard drive a few weeks later.

As a precaution, the couple alerted the major credit bureaus to protect their information.

“I’m not leaving myself open to indentity theft,” said Gerbus.

Target 5’s Tom Sussi contacted Best Buy to figure out how the Gerbus’ hard drive wound up at a flea market outside Chicago.

In case you are wondering, Best Buy promises to investigate the matter.  I haven’t heard anything since this story first ran, so I don’t know what Best Buy found as the cause.

[tags]Security, Data destruction, Best Buy[/tags]