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9.1 Physical High Risk Data Disposal

Harvard Enterprise Security Policy:

Policy Excerpt
Electronic or physical records containing confidential information must be properly disposed of so that the confidential information cannot be retrieved.

HLS Policy:

The types of personal data Massachusetts State Law protects are included in what Harvard defines as "High-Risk Confidential Information." (See Section 1: High-Risk Confidential Information.) Because of the ability to retrieve information from shredded documents, HLS ITS strongly recommends any department with HRCI use the University preferred vendor for paper destruction.

Approved Solution:

Electronic Files
For electronic files on CD/ DVD, thumb drives and other electronic media (except computers) HLS ITS provides this service to departments. Please use the cabinet in the entryway to the faculty / Staff help desk located in HA 020. Or contact the Security( for additional assistance.

Computer Hard Drives
For the destruction of computer hard drives or computers please contact the help desk to arrange for the computer to be ‘sanitized’.

Materials, Oversight, Certification
DataShredder destroys paper materials in accord with Harvard Enterprise Security Policy. A certificate of destruction will be provided for all materials destroyed.

The University Strategic Procurement Office has established a campus-wide Data Destruction Program to satisfy a variety of data destruction needs across Harvard efficiently and cost-effectively. DataShredder Inc. provides secure processes, competitive prices, and flexible options for document and records destruction, in accordance with the Harvard Enterprise Security Policy.

Scheduled Pickups and Office Cleanouts
DataShredder will pick up materials for disposal from the locked bins and at other designated sites, and will pick up materials in boxes other than the supplied locking bins from within buildings, at curbside or at loading docks. Please contact Security( for options and pricing.

For Further Information
Information is available at (see DataShredder). You may also contact Scott Hovan of DataShredder

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is meant by ‘sanitized’?
A: HLS ITS uses software that complies with Department of Defense standards for data destruction. Data is destroyed in such a way that it is not recoverable.

Q: What if my hard drive does not work?
A: Even if your hard drive does not work HLS ITS will ensure the destruction of data on it. This is done by ‘slagging’, melting the hard drive in a furnace, or physically shredding the drive.

Last modified: September 07, 2010

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