KELOLAND News has warned you about selling your old computer at a garage sale. On Eye on KELOLAND we showed you that even if you think you've erased the hard drive, your personal information may still be on it. So what should you do with the hard drive? In Sioux Falls, it's illegal to just destroy it and throw it away.
Bargain Bytes takes in all of the city's electronic recycling and the surrounding five counties. When computers come in here, they are taken apart and the hard drive comes out.
"It's a critical issue, just as recently as 2009 a major insurance carrier in the U.S. had a breach of 59 hard drives that ended up costing them over $18 million," Jake Anderson of Bargain Bytes said.
Anderson says you shouldn't just take a sledge hammer to a hard drive and feel secure that the data is also destroyed.
"There are several studies that have been done over the last five or six years that demonstrate just by simply smashing the hard drive doesn't necessarily make that data unretrievable,” Anderson said.
But Bargain Bytes says it makes sure that data doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
About 100 hard drives come in a day to Bargain Bytes. The serial number is tracked on each hard drive and then they are either destroyed or wiped.
"We can wipe it. We can put a new operating systems on it and we can resell it. If it's an older one or comes to us damaged or smashed, we will completely destroy that hard drive," Anderson said.
And it ships out to be shredded and the metals recycled. Bargain Bytes says it meets all certification standards in responsible data recycling and security.
"People want to make sure we're doing the right thing, recycling responsibly and also protecting their information," Anderson said.
That even means locks, cameras and secure areas where all those hard drives are stored before they are repurposed or recycled.