Dispose of Sensitive Information

First Read the NU Information Disposal Requirements (PDF) to determine if your data is required to be securely destroyed.

Topics Covered Below:
Disposal of Electronic Data – Faculty and Staff
Disposal of Electronic Data – Personal Computers, Hard Drives, USB Memory Sticks
Disposal of Paper Records

Disposal of Electronic Data – Faculty and Staff

NU staff and employees who store or work with sensitive data on their workstation are required to securely destroy the hard drives when the computer is to be taken out of service or reused for another employee. If the workstation is to be retired and recycled, lock the workstation in a secure location to await pickup.

If the hard drive is to be reused the Office of Information Security must securely wipe it to permanently remove all sensitive information.

To destroy or wipe the hard drive:

1. Fill out an asset disposition form (PDF)
2. Send the form to the Office of Information Security
3. Arrange with the Office of Information Security for delivery of the hard drive

The hard drive will either be wiped by the Office of Information Security and returned or destroyed and recycled.

Disposal of Electronic Data – Personal Computers, Hard Drives, USB Memory Sticks

Recycling old computers is a great way to help the environment by keeping toxic components out of landfills. There are many companies such as Dell, Staples, and Best Buy who will recycle your personal computer for free or for a small fee. Before you hand over your computer it is a good idea to effectively wipe all the data off the hard drive first.

Data that is simply deleted from the hard drive could still be retrieved through special software.
A secure wipe is a better way to remove sensitive data from your hard drive, although in some situations, data could still be retrieved from the machine.

Information on how to securely wipe your hard drive:

Gizmodo article: Leave No Trace: Completely Erase Your Hard Drive, SSDs, and Thumb Drives

Lifehacker article: How Do I Securely Wipe a Computer?

Disposal of Paper Records

Campus Secure Recycling Bins – On campus there are secure bins to safely recycle paper containing sensitive data. A company is hired to retrieve the locked bins and securely destroy the contents.

To order secure recycling bins for your department contact Procurement Services for more information.

Public secure recycling bins are located in the Snell Library InfoCommons.

Cross Cut Shredder – A cross cut shredder is an inexpensive way to destroy sensitive paper documents. Ask your department for purchasing options or you can buy a personal cross cut shredder at any office supply store.