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Godzilla or Fraudzilla?

Nearly everyone who heard about the Tri-State Crematory in Noble, Georgia wants to forget about it. The oven was malfunctioning, but Reverend Marsh continued to make a living burying "product" in back and stacking it in outbuildings—hundreds of...units. Marsh was stopped by the EPA on Valentine's Day, 2002. Ironically, many destruction businesses told us that other destruction businesses don't really destroy materials—yet none could name such a business or put their finger on a famous case for us to look up and cite. Still, the possibility is real, and the risk not worth taking. That's why you should check out a company before putting your hard drives in their beaks and claws—and avail yourself of services that provide proof of destruction.

First, find a destruction business that has a method of annihilation that's secure enough for the most paranoid of your superiors at a price your department can afford. Then look for complaints with the Better Business Bureau at the company's local branch location, as well as their national headquarters, as you would for any other type of business. Next, see if the destroyer is a member of the National Association for Information Destruction, Inc. (NAID). NAID members have a code of ethics, are part of a community of peers, and have access to standard forms, as well as access to certifications for mobile and plant-based operations. You'll also want to make sure that employees of the company you choose are bonded, drug tested, background checked, well-trained, adequately paid, and presentable.

Now look for the elements that put the secure in secure destruction, such as the following:

  • Secure locking bins and trucks

  • Constant accompaniment of the data

  • Forms transferring custody of data

  • Guarded facility with video cameras

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