A Few Words About Hard Drives and Your Privacy
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.