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Data Disposal

Disposal of Electronic Files and Media

What are Electronic Files and Media

Electronic files and media are basically anything kept digitally. So, CDs, USB drives, Thumb drives, floppy disks, computer hard drives, cell phones, smart phones, palm pilots, photo copiers, SD memory, cameras and other devices like these. They are all devices that store data on them.

Why can't I just throw them in the trash or sell them?

Well, actually you can. As long as you are 100% sure that there is no data on them. In many cases it is possible to securely erase digital media. But those methods can be costly and take special software or hardware. It can also take a lot of time. More information on that can be found on the web or at this site.

Aren't we supposed to Surplus all of our computers, phones and devices?

Yes, all University purchased equipment should go to surplus. Once it is taken to surplus, there are procedures in place to make sure that and digital media is securely cleaned before it leaves campus. If the media contains sensitive data, it might even need to be physically destroyed. More details on Surplussing your equipment can be found on the UM System surplus site.

So, what can I do with these old drives and disks?

ITS has a way to securely destroy drives, disks and media. We routinely take digital media to a company that specialized in shredding. We securely store the media until it is delivered to that company and we witness the destruction of it. Once it is shredded it is no longer of any use.

ITS has placed secure media drop boxes at each of the Technology Support Center and the South Campus Classroom Building. You can place your media in these boxes and it will get delivered to the main ITS office. You can also use intercampus mail to send it directly to the Data Center. See locations below. If you have further questions or need assistance you can call the Technology Support Center or the ITS Data center. A link to our policy on data disposal can be found here. Data Disposal Policy

Technology Support Center (Help Desk)
211 Lucas Hall
(314) 516-6034

South Campus Classroom Building
116 South Campus Classroom Building

ITS Data Center
404 Computer Center Building
(314) 516-6017