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Secure Disposal Prevents Breaches!
Author: Esther Silver
- Associated Services:IT Security Outreach and Training
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 three major data breaches in the first half of 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. Here is some helpful information to ensure you securely dispose of UCSF 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 can have severe consequences. These include:
- Security breaches
- Significant monetary fines 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 1H 2022 Healthcare Data Breach Report
UCSF Policy 650-16 Addendum F, UCSF Data Classification Standard
Team Lead: Patrick Phelan