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County holds free event to dispose of hard drives, tapes

The Maui News

Maui County will be holding a free, drive-through hard drive and backup tape destruction and disposal service Saturday in the lower parking lot behind the county building.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon, with access to the parking area from Kaohu Street, just below the intersection with High Street. It’s being held in observance of Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Hard drives can be removed from any old computers, laptops, printers or other electronic devices and brought to the event, where members of the county’s Information Technology Services Division will destroy the drives and make sure they are disposed of properly. Backup tapes will be thoroughly wiped of any information. An information table with cybersecurity materials also will be available.

“This service is especially important because anyone can access your hard drive if you just throw it away,” said Jacob Verkerke, the county’s chief technology officer. “Even if you delete important information like bank statements, account numbers and social security information, someone who knows what they are doing can always find a way to retrieve it if they have your hard drive — even on a cellphone.”

The county advised computer users to also:

• Set strong passwords and avoid sharing them with anyone.

• Keep your operating system, browser and other critical software optimized by installing updates.

• Maintain an open dialogue with family, friends and community about internet safety.

• Limit the amount of personal information posted online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.

• Be cautious about what you receive or read online; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.