There are generally two methods for destroying hard disk data. Formatting the hard disk by the process of a software program which will format and write the data over and then format it again so that the data cannot be recovered. However, the disadvantage is that it takes a long time to format a disk using this method and doesn’t fully erase the data. There is also no standardized guarantee from any international organization that sensitive data has been destroyed.
The second method that is recommended is called degaussing. This process uses magnetic fields to destroy data on hard disks. This way, data cannot be recovered as it has been destroyed by the magnetic field. The advantage is that it takes only on average 5 seconds to destroy data per hard disk using a hard drive degausser. The destruction of hard disk data in this way is one of the preferred methods currently in use by organizations such as the NSA or the CIA.
The best way to destroy hard drives
For those working in the data security fields, including the United States National Security Agency (NSA), using software to erase information on hard drives isn’t the best strategy for eradicating the data on the drive. It is the reason that the NSA, and others prefer hard drives be degaussed or destroyed to safeguard sensitive information.
Melting down or burning the physical disk itself is largely inaccessible to most government organizations and privately owned businesses because of genuine environmental concerns, and the costs associated with doing so. Degaussing is the most widely recognized method for information destruction that is both safe and affordable. To degauss a hard drive, the drive is prepared through a degausser that focuses a magnetic field, eradicating the information and hidden servo tracks on the hard drives themselves.
The information on hard drive plates comprises pieces of information—eight pieces of information equivalent to one byte. Information on hard drives is paired in bits and read as a grouping of ones and zeros. The size of the information bits in this context is the primary concern while considering securely destroying a hard drive effectively.
Since the information bits on the hard drive are a large portion of the size of the disk – multiple times more modest in width than a human hair – destroying hard drives into one-inch (25mm) measurement pieces most likely will not obliterate information of the circles, therefore this is combined with degaussing to ensure erasure is total.
Example Uses Of Degaussers
A decent correlation is spreading the Ebola virus all around a piece of paper and putting it in a paper shredder afterward. Broken bits of paper with the Ebola virus are still pretty much as hazardous as the entire piece of paper because the cycle never really wipes out the infection.
Then again, degaussing eliminates and eradicates the tiny particles that make up the information. The pieces are disintegrated wholly and suddenly. On account of obsolete or non-buckling down drives and tape media, degaussing is the ideal choice to clean information and render it unrecoverable using any means.
Degaussing systems are easy to use and can altogether remove data from your hard drive in just a few seconds. For companies with sensitive digital data that have to go beyond destroying physical drives, degaussing and auditing destruction are the ideal choices for securely erasing information and ensuring it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.