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Data Destruction Methods: Shredding, Wiping, and More Explained

The importance of data destruction has touched new heights due to the presence of abundant data, storage devices, outdated computers, data protection compliance, and data breaches. Interestingly, data destruction is not something, it has been a concern for many industries for decades now. The current blog explains data destruction and different methods ensuring the safe disposal of data, rendering it unrecoverable.

What is Data Destruction?

A procedure employed by businesses to destroy their data securely and mitigate unnecessary digital vulnerabilities is data destruction. The primary purpose of this process is to ensure the complete erasure of personal information, intellectual property, and other confidential data from storage devices, such as hard disks. Getting deeper into the understanding of secure data disposal and computer data shredding services is essential for upholding digital security. By hiring a professional company, such as Computer Data Shred Ltd, businesses can safeguard their digital assets and guarantee adherence to compliance standards. 

Methods of Data Destruction

There are a number of methods by which data is destroyed securely. While hiring a company, ask about their approach and data destruction method because it is dependable on the type of media, sensitivity of data and the life of that device. Following are the methods followed by professional companies.

  • Data Shredding

Shredding is a widely used physical destruction method that involves using a specialised machine like a shredder to dismantle the storage device. The process consists of the breakdown of storage media into tiny pieces as little as 2 mm in size. Data shredding is highly popular due to its guaranteed data destruction service. The storage devices, when they become useless or malfunction, such as hard disks, optical devices, smartphones, tablets, credit cards or thumb drives, are shredded to ensure data has been rendered unrecoverable. If your business makes use of sensitive data, shredding is the perfect method for you.

  • Wiping

Data wiping entails the process of overwriting data on an electronic medium, making it unreadable to others. This is achieved by physically connecting a medium and a wiping device. The good thing about this process is that it does destroy the data but the device; there is no damage caused to the storage capacity of a medium. The disadvantage of the wiping method is that it involves a time-consuming process, and you may need a whole day to wipe data from a single storage device. The method is helpful on a personal level because an individual might have only one or two devices to destroy, but this method is not recommended for businesses.

  • Degaussing

A process that involves the eradication of data from the medium by erasing the magnetism on it using a powerful magnet is called degaussing.  The process offers an efficient data destruction method, which is highly recommended and reliable. Firstly, the device is turned malfunctioning and unable to operate by destroying its components and their links to one another. The advantage of this method is that it can be used by businesses to destroy volumes of data on different devices in less time than wiping. It is to keep in mind as the hard drives become more and more advanced, degaussing has to do more to ensure complete data destruction. Also, the cost of a degaussing operation is high compared to other methods.

  • Over-writing

Overwriting is a type of method that involves random writing on a device’s data already stored. Some mediums require one-time overwriting to render data unreadable. In contrast, other mediums may need overwriting multiple times to destroy data comprehensively. The dark side of this method is that there are leftovers of original data as it was never eliminated in the first place. This concern makes overwriting not an attractive approach for high-security information. However, it remains the most common type of data destruction despite being time-consuming. Like degaussing, overwriting is ineffective for data destruction of advanced hard drives.

  • Simple Deletion/formatting

Deleting or reformatting storage drives is a common practice. The process turns the drives into their original forms, making them reusable. The advantages include the fixation of errors on drives and making a new start with the drive. It is not easy to access data back from a formatted drive by an ordinary man, but experts with an understanding of software and techniques can surely recover the previous data. While it is recommended to people who are renewing their drives that never contain confidential information, businesses should go for better and advanced shredding methods.

Last Word!

Implementing a robust equipment and data disposal policy that employs best practices for secure data disposal and shredding is crucial to running businesses safely. It will foster a culture of compliance with data regulations that benefits everyone. Contact Computer Data Shred Ltd to position your business as a trustable partner for customers.