If your files have gone missing or been corrupted then the privacy of your files may be one of the last things on your mind. You just want them back. If you are handing over your hard drive to a data recovery company you should always be wary of where your data is going and how it is going to be treated. It is important to not only research how efficiently they are going to get your data back, but also the lengths they go to in order to ensure that the data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Choosing the best data recovery company can be tricky, but taking that extra step to ensure privacy may be worth it in the end. Remember that your hard drive can contain your passwords, bank details and important business documents. Before selecting a company, contact them and ask them questions about their ethical policies. For example, find out what protection they have to ensure that your data will not be seen by any third parties and what legal protection they have in place. Also, if your hard drive is too damaged to function again, what is done with it? Where are the extra copies of the data stored? How do they ensure that data is not lost in transit or recovered to a different client? A company with good practices is going to be more than willing to answer these queries for you, so either ring or email them and don’t be afraid to ask. Privacy is a standard concern and you are well within your right to ask these questions.
In fact, a good data recovery company will be upfront about their privacy policies from the very beginning. You will probably be able to find them on their website. For example, some companies will state their recovery platforms are not linked to the internet or that their premises and backup rooms are only accessible by authorised personnel. Security measures will vary from business to business. If possible, you may also consider visiting the backup site yourself to see where your data is going.
Depending on the process, it may be necessary for a company to view some of your files to make sure that the recovery has been successful. However, if they are reputable then they will not actually read the contents of the files, just check that they open correctly. If any illegal material is found on your drive during the process then they are within their legal rights to take the case to the police.
Ultimately, whatever the case, you are relying on the honesty of the data recovery company, because you are not going to know if they have read or made copies of any of your data. If you are an individual or business who has very sensitive data on their hard drive then you will want to make sure that the company you are sending your hard drive to be as ethical and security conscious as possible.
Data Recovery Ethics and Privacy
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