After 12 years, support for Windows XP operating system ended on April 8, 2014. This means that there will be no more security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical support for the operating system.
Consequently, any vulnerability that will be discovered from then on will not be addressed by Microsoft. Millions of XP systems are still being used by businesses and consumers. These systems are exposed to great risk that will only continue to grow, week after week.
Due to the potential risks, XP users are recommended to upgrade to newer versions of Windows. The computer itself may not be worth upgrading and many will opt for buying new computers.
Here is where my warning comes in.
If consumers are not educated on the risks of improper disposal of their existing equipment, they could still open themselves up to breaches and information theft.
X Toss it in the dumpster. The number one source for identity thieves to obtain information is through access to physical material; lost, stolen or disposed of items. If that is not reason enough, you probably don’t care that the Illinois EPA has made it illegal to throw electronics in the garbage.
X Donation. Donating to a not for profit organization feels great and it’s free; however just like the option above. Identity thieves buy computers and hard drives to search for information left behind.
X Recycle. This option has the same risks of donation. There is no guarantee the information on the hard drive is destroyed. Wiping data on hard drives can prove useless without testing the results. Every hard drive has imperfections that can prevent programs for wiping from being successful.
Computer hard drives contain an immense amount of information.
So, what will you do with the old PC? The best way to ensure that there is no information retrievable is to use a company certified for secure destruction. The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) certifies processes for both wiping and physical destruction of hard drives. Employing a company certified by NAID ensures that you wont be jumping from the XP Windows frying pan into the fire of improperly disposed of hard drives.
For over 30 years, AAA Certified Confidential Security Corp (CSC) has been Central Illinois’ trusted supplier for secure information disposal. Hard drives that CSC destroys are left in shreds. CSC meets NAID AAA Certification requirements and carries out absolute destruction of hard drives and confidential material. To learn more about physical hard drive destruction and protecting your business visit www.ConfidentialSecurity.com.