- Bob Mikler
Securing SD/Micro SD Memory Cards
Many people are concerned about the private data on portable devices, but an even larger concern is the data stored on removable memory like SD Cards. Why? For one thing, removable memory is just that...removable. The purpose of removable memory is to expand the memory of a device and make it easily accessible to its user. Take out the card and slip it into a laptop, andvoila! - you have instant access to all its data, via any PC.
While convenient for the user, it's just as convenient for anyone else who wants access to the data, since most users do NOT secure their removable, micro SD memory. In fact, of the thousands of removable memory cards that we have processed, only a handful could not be accessed because the user protected the card.
So, how can you secure your micro SD card? The best way to secure the data on a micro SD card is to encrypt it, using your Android device. The process is simple and secure. For insructions on how to encrypt your sd card using your Android device, click here.
Before you encrypt your SD card, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, encryption requires a password that cannot be broken. If your forget it, your data is on that card is locked forever. Secondly, you will only be able to access the card with the device that was used to encrypt it. If the device fails or get lost, your data is inaccessible. However, the process is reversable (using the device that encrypted it), should you want to access the data using your PC.
If your lost device makes it to our facility, you can be assured that both the device, AND the associated memory cards, will be professionally cleared of all personal data. Many recycling companies simply format SD cards before reusing or reselling them. This is NOT a secure method, since free forensic software exists that can easily recover user data even AFTER it has been "formatted". The only way to clear removable memory, so it cannot be recovered, is to use a method that erases data to Department of Defense data security standards. This process is very time consuming (about 3 minutes/gig) vs formatting, which only takes a few seconds, so many recylers simply format this type of memory.
Our process employs both software and hardware methods that clear data to Department of Defense data security standards. One of the professional devices we use is an sd duplicator that performs erasure to DOD standards. It takes extra time, but our focus on data security requires that we are diligent.
Since data protection is such a concern among professional organizations, make sure that your electronics scrap processor conforms to secure data erasure methods. By asking a few simple questions, you will be able to discern whether the security of your data is their focus, or just making a few bucks on your recyclables.