A Few Words About Hard Drives and Your Privacy

      These days, most everyone is concerned about their personal privacy.  At Computer Ministry, we get a lot of questions about this.  In particular, folks want to know what steps we take to prevent the personal data on their hard drives from falling into the hands of others.  The hard drive (sometimes known as a hard disk) is the device that the computer uses to store information, such as files, documents, etc.
 
     We think it is very reasonable for you to have questions about your privacy.  WE WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT, AT COMPUTER MINISTRY, WE TAKE VERY SERIOUSLY THE PRIVACY OF THE FOLKS WHO GIVE US THEIR COMPUTERS!!
     Because of concerns about privacy, some organizations and people are willing to give us their old computers, but not their hard drives.  We’d appreciate it if you WOULD give us your old hard drives.  We tend to get many more computers that we can refurbish and give to worthy users than we have hard drives to put in them. 

Below is some information on what we do to protect your privacy.

First, it is a very good idea for you to erase all personal and private files from your computer before you donate it to us.  That is a good first step.  But, regardless of whether or not you do this, we will take steps to protect your private information.

When we receive hard drives, whether in a computer or separately, we inspect them to see if we can reuse them.  We divide the hard drives we receive into two categories, ones that we may be able to reuse (Category A) and ones that we are sure we will not be able to reuse(Category B).   Category A includes hard drives that are large enough (have enough gigabytes of storage space) and that appear to work.  Category B includes hard drives with insufficient storage space and ones that are not in working order.

We then take each hard drive in Category A and “wipe” them using a program known as Derik’s Boot and Nuke or DBAN.  DBAN is open source free software that is widely used to wipe hard drives.  DBAN is designed to securely erase a hard drive until the data is permanently removed and no longer recoverable.  This is done by overwriting the data with pseudorandom numbers.  Here is a link to a Wikipedia article about DBAN:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darik's_Boot_and_Nuke   Here is a link to a review of DBAN on the internet site about.com:  http://pcsupport.about.com/od/data-destruction/fl/dban-dariks-boot-and-nuke-review.htm  During the wiping process, we often discover that a hard drive that we thought might work actually does not work.  When that happens, we move these unusable hard drives from Category A to Category B.

As for the hard drives in Category B, we drill holes in the “disk” portion of each one, using a drill press we have at Computer Ministry.  This makes the hard disk unusable.  We then recycle these hard drives with authorized and licensed recyclers.

We have also purchased a machine that is designed to remove the information from the hard drive and then install a new operating system and various other programs that are needed.

We hope this information gives you assurance that we take your privacy seriously, and that you can trust us with your hard drives.  Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.
 

 

Do you or your organization have a need for refurbished computer equipment?

Computer Equipment Request

 
 
Donations will be accepted during the Mission Central
regular hours of operation
 
 Visit Mission Central's web page for their hours of operations

Monday:
9 am - 3 pm
Tuesday:
Closed
Wednesday:
9 am - 3 pm
Thursday:
Closed
Friday:
9 am - 3 pm
Saturday:
Closed
Sunday:
Closed

Call: 717-766-6373

 Copyright 2015 Computer Ministry, Inc.


  
     Computer Ministry, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher whose purpose is to offer the benefits of technology to other non-profit organization locally, nationally, and internationally.
Contact us at 717-766-6373