CSO Online's Ben Rothke published a 2-part series about Why Information Must Be Destroyed (Pt 2). The series discusses why companies shouldn't hoard information and how to destroy digitally stored information.
Ben points out that the sheer volume of paper and digital media that accumulates over time requires effective information destruction policies and practices. Every company has information that needs to be destroyed, though regulations may require that certain data be archived for a few years or permanently.
The discussion talks about why hoarding data records can be a liability, gives a list of information that can be shredded when no longer needed, and talks about the regulatory environment regarding data retention and destruction. Just tossing things into the garbage is not the answer, as trashing of records without appropriate destruction can be dangerous. The article suggests that destruction of data be done on a formal (documented) and regular basis.
While the discussion of physical data continued in Part 1, Part 2 of the series looked at electronic information. The destruction of data here includes the importance of sanitizing unwanted hardware (computers, backup tapes, etc) so that no information can be recovered. Computrace Data Delete capabilities can help you do this as part of your asset life cycle. If for some reason it's not possible to delete the data (maybe it's from an extremely old computer), the hardware should be destroyed. Various acceptable and unacceptable methods of sanitation and destruction are discussed.
The whole series is a great read and may help you establish or refine your own data policies.
Image: ppdigital @morguefile