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Media sanitizing is electronic file destruction. In the same way 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.

Available To 
Students, Faculty, Staff, Affiliates

Benefits and key features

IS&T will repurpose or recycle computers and other electronic devices without the risk of data leaks or privacy breaches.

Service includes:

  • Wiping/erasing hard drives and other data storage media
  • Wiping/erasing mobile phones and tablets
  • Recycling or repurposing aged machines

Getting started

  • To wipe the drive yourself, use a utility tool that overwrites every sector of the hard drive with binary 1s and 0s. Tools that meet government security standards overwrite each sector multiple times for added protection. For more information, see: Removing Data from Computers.
  • For cell phones, see: Removing Data from Mobile Devices.
  • If your area has a contract with IS&T through the Distributed IT Resource (DITR) group, your consultant will arrange for your systems to be wiped here on campus and will store your items in a safe location prior to being picked up by third-party vendor Arrow Value Recovery.
  • If you only have a few computers, hard drives or thumb drives, MIT Facilities will pick them up at no cost (items must weigh under 50 lbs). Facilities will NOT remove the data from the drives. The items are then prepared for pickup by third-party vendor, IRN, a recycling company, who must destroy the drives of computers they recycle. They guarantee to remove data according to MA data protection law standards. Contact recycling@mit.edu for more information. Learn more about eWaste disposal at MIT.
  • If you have a large amount of computers in one area that are at end of life and being replaced, Intechra can arrage a pickup of a minimum of one pallet of equipment. Intechra will ensure with a certificate that the computer drives are wiped securely prior to repurposing or recycling them. Contact Melanie Jacques at Intechra to arrange for the pick-up and disposition of equipment.
  • If not using any of these routes, make sure to use vendors who are National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) certified.