Media sanitizing is electronic file destruction. In the same way that paper files containing sensitive information can be shredded or burned, electronic files can be destroyed using various methods. The most effective form of electronic data destruction is done with file shredding software.
Benefits and key features
IS&T will wipe, repurpose, or recycle MIT-owned computers and other electronic devices to mitigate the risk of data leaks or privacy breaches. MIT has an agreement with NCS-Global, an IT Asset Disposition services firm, to manage the disposal of IT products across the Institute, in collaboration with VPF Property.
- Wiping/erasing hard drives and other data storage media.
- Recycling or repurposing aged MIT-owned machines.
- To wipe the drive yourself, use a utility tool that overwrites every sector of the hard drive with binary 1s and 0s. For more information, see: Removing Data from Computers.
- Removing Data from Mobile Devices
- If you only have a few computers or devices, MIT Facilities will pick them up at no cost (items must weigh under 50 lbs). However, they will NOT remove the data from the drives. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Learn more about eWaste disposal at MIT.
- For large amounts of equipment, consider paying a service to wipe the drives for you. The potential liability if sensitive data gets out could easily justify the cost.
- If you're not using any of these routes, make sure to use vendors who are National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) certified.