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University of Maryland Eastern Shore

UMES POLICY ON ELECTRONIC MEDIA DISPOSAL

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Any employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to, termination under the appropriate University disciplinary policy.


VI.       DEFINITIONS

Electronic Media

Any electronic storage device that is used to record information, including, but not limited to hard disks, external hard drives, magnetic tapes, compact disks (CD), digital video disks (DVD) videotapes, audiotapes, and removable storage devices such as floppy disks, zip disks, magnetic stripes on cards and thumb drives.

Electronic Media (Other Than Hard Drives)

Electronic Media, other than hard drives, refers to any electronic storage device that is used to record information, including, but not limited to magnetic tapes, compact disks (CD), digital video disks (DVD) videotapes, audiotapes, and removable storage devices such as floppy disks, zip disks, magnetic stripes on cards, and thumb drives.

Sensitive Data

Sensitive and/or proprietary information, including personally identifying information, student records, personnel records, financial data, research data, intellectual property including unpublished research, protected health information and software.

Software licensed to UMES that may not be transferable outside UMES.

Clearing

Clearing information is a level of media sanitization that would protect confidentiality of information against a simple attack. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, a simple single pass format of the hard drive or deletion of data from removable media such as thumb drives. This level of sanitization does not prevent data from being retrieved using data recovery tools but it will prevent simple access to data. 

Purging

Purging information is a media sanitization process that protects the confidentiality of information against a laboratory attack (e.g. advanced data recovery software/tools) and will render the data unreadable.

Example: For hard drives this may include the use of a hard drive wiping

utility that repeatedly “writes” random data to the hard drive making data

recovery impossible. Purging can also be accomplished through the use of degaussing of magnetic storage materials (e.g. hard drives and magnetic tapes).

Degaussing exposes magnetic media to a strong magnetic field in order to disrupt the recorded magnetic domains. Generally, degaussing permanently renders the magnetic media unusable.

These processes should be performed in accordance with the NIST recommended standards.

Destroying

Destruction of media is the ultimate form of sanitization. After the media are destroyed, they cannot be reused as originally intended. Approved methods of destructions include Shredding, Disintegration, Incineration, Pulverization and Melting. The University encourages use of certified commercial disposal systems.


VII. DOCUMENTATION: NONE


VIII. RESTRICTIONS AND EXCLUSIONS: NONE

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