Secure Disposal

Esther Silver's picture

Secure disposal is the process of rendering data unreadable by any means whether it's paper or electronic. At the end of the useful life of any type of storage media from paper to computers, it is all of our responsibility to dispose of it properly. Here is some helpful information to ensure you securely dispose of any type of media.


Secure disposal of paper media:

  1. Use secure disposal bins. If you do not have a bin, your department manager can order one from the vendor, Shred-it, by contacting their customer service at 1-800-MYSHRED (1-800-697-4733) or [email protected] and creating a requisition in BearBuy.
  2. If you do not have access to a secure disposal bin, use a cross-cut shredder. They are available at most office supply stores.

Secure disposal of electronic media:

  1. Contact the IT Service Desk at or call 415-514-4100. IT will collect and arrange for the destruction of any electronic media (hard drives, tapes, etc.) that contains restricted data, including PII (personally identifiable information) and PHI (patient health information) free of charge. Yes, this service is free!

Improper disposal of paper and electronic media can have severe consequences. These include:

  1. Security breaches.
  2. Significant monetary fines.
  3. Harm to UCSF's reputation.
  4. Personal liability for a security breach.

Here are some additional tips to ensure you securely dispose of media:

  1. Never try to destroy your own electronic devices.
  2. Never throw away paper with confidential patient information into regular trash or recycle bins.
  3. Always use secure disposal bins for paper media that includes sensitive or restricted information.
  4. Use the UCSF IT secure disposal service for electronic data and devices.

Take the quiz on this Article. Everyone who passes wins a prize!! This month's prize is cool coin tissues to remind everyone to dispose of data properly!


Coin tissues

One person will also be selected for the grand prize: a PacSafe.Com secure backpack.

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