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Dispose of Data Properly!
Author: Esther Silver
The link to the IT Security Awareness Quiz is at the end of the article. Complete the quiz for an entry in a drawing for 1 of 6 $50 Amazon gift cards.
Secure disposal is the process of rendering data, whether it's paper or electronic, unreadable by any means. According to the HIPAA Journal, improper unsecure data disposal accounted for four major data breaches in 2022. It also accounts for many of the data breaches in higher education.
Even for those of us working from home, it is our responsibility to properly dispose of any type of storage media, from paper to computers, at the end of its useful life.
Also, proper data disposal is increasingly necessary to stay compliant with changing local and global data privacy regulations, including the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), which has adopted data minimization requirements and went into effect on January 1, 2023.
Here is some helpful information to ensure you securely dispose of both UCSF data and your own personal data.
Secure disposal of paper media
- 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.
- If you do not have access to a secure disposal bin, use a cross-cut shredder. They are available at most office supply stores. If you are working from home, you may need to ask your supervisor about purchasing one for home use.
Secure disposal of electronic media
- Request help from the IT Service Desk or call 415-514-4100. IT will collect and arrange for the destruction of any electronic media (hard drives, CDs, tapes, etc.) that contain sensitive or restricted data, including PII (personally identifiable information) and PHI (patient health information). This service is free.
Improper disposal of paper and electronic media
It can have severe consequences. These include:
- Security breaches
- Significant fines and penalties for UCSF
- Harm to UCSF's reputation
- Personal liability for a security breach
Here are some additional tips to ensure you securely dispose of media:
- Never try to destroy your own electronic media or devices.
- Never dispose of paper with sensitive or restricted data (e.g., patient information, personal information, HR data, financial data) into regular trash or recycle bins.
- Always use secure disposal bins for paper media that includes sensitive or restricted information.
- Use the UCSF IT secure disposal service for electronic data and devices.
Take the quiz on this article. Everyone who passes is entered to win one of six $50 Amazon Gift Cards.
For additional information please visit:
- UCSF Drive, Tape & Data Destruction
- HIPPA 2022 Healthcare Data Breach Report
- California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA)
- UCSF Policy 650-16 Addendum F, UCSF Data Classification Standard