Privacy Matters
Private Personal Information: Protect It!
Working With It? Secure It!
Done With It? Delete It!
Already Read It? Shred It!
Done with It? Destroy It!


Done With It? Destroy It!

Best Practices for Destroying PPI on Hardware

As a member of the University community, you may have access to private, personal information (PPI) for employees, students, patients, etc. When the hardware used to store or access PPI is no longer useful, the PPI must be expunged before the hardware can be repurposed, sold or disposed of.

University of Michigan Property Disposition recommends that the most efficient and economical means of sanitizing computers and media storage devices such as PDAs or thumb drives is to overwrite the entire device with zeroes.

Other sanitizing methods include:

In some circumstances it is best to physically destroy hard drives, CD-ROMs or tapes. When physical destruction is implemented, departments are still responsible for sending the remains to Property Disposition for proper disposal.

For more information, visit:

Property Disposition: Computer Preparation