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How is Data Destroyed? All You Need to Know

Data migration is nothing new, especially in the corporate world. Once in a while, the data security leader of major corporations will relocate vast chunks of data from computers and hard drives to newer computers, hard drives — or even to the cloud.

An even bigger question arises: What to do with an old hard drive?

Well, you could destroy them. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. Even when a hard drive appears destroyed and discarded, expert hackers can still salvage and use the personally identifying information for financial fraud, identity theft, blackmail, exposing trade secrets, and compromising business operations. Thus, it is vital to take decisive action to protect sensitive business information.

There are two ways of data destruction to ensure your old hard drives are completely wiped clean. These methods include:

  • Data Shredding
  • Data Degaussing

This article takes a deeper look at the ways data security leaders can successfully destroy old hard drives, and how to get in contact with a hard drive shredding service.

Hard drive shredding is one of the most efficient ways to completely eliminate your old hard drive. It is a process that physically destroys a hard drive using a machine known as a shredder. The machine cuts and destroys enormous chunks of the drive into tiny, unrecognizable bits, obliterating the information stored inside.

The shredding process destroys the hard drive and compresses it into compact bits for swift disposal.

Data security officers opt for this method of data destruction because of the evident finality of it. The reason isn’t far-fetched. An erased or formatted hard drive can still be restored by an expert hacker who will use the information to infiltrate your security architecture.

Scratching or drilling the drive may not completely wipe out its information. However, data destruction through shredding brings the life of that drive to an end.

There are different types of hard drive shredding machines available. They include:  

  • Manual hard drive shredders. These simple, hand-controlled machines can physically destroy hard drives by cracking, breaking, and crushing them. 
  • Automated hard drive shredders. These are noticeably larger machines that can crush hard drives automatically. They can be found at secure data centers and massive facilities.  
  • Industrial shredders. These are machines designed to shred multiple devices into bits for disposal.  

Degaussing a hard drive is another way of destroying it. It’s a process of exposing hard drives, tapes, diskettes, or any storage device to a strong magnetic pulse that will completely scramble and render them useless.  

Data destruction by degaussing involves passing the storage device through a machine known as a degausser which generates a sufficient pulse to alter the magnetic direction and date inside it. No one will be able to read or use the hard drive after it has been degaussed or demagnetized.  

Degaussing hard drives are usually carried out by governmental departments, financial agencies, healthcare facilities, and corporate organizations, who constantly deal with confidential information that needs to be thoroughly erased.  

When do you consider data degaussing as a method for destroying your business hard drives? Here are some common scenarios:  

  • End of life for the storage device. When the storage device is approaching the end of its life cycle, degaussing is necessary to remove and erase the data saved before disposal.  
  • Erasing sensitive information. When you no longer need essential information saved in the hard drive, you can wipe it entirely with data degaussing. 
  • When you upgrade your storage infrastructure. If you’re upgrading your company’s storage or moving sensitive information to the cloud, you can implement data degaussing for your old hard drives.  

Degaussing hard drives is recommended if there’s a risk that your old hard drives may be wrongly discarded and fall into the wrong hands.  

If you’re looking for an efficient way to destroy and decommission your old and obsolete hard drives, you should contact a professional hard drive recycling service. We take pride in recycling and disposing of hard drives in an eco-friendly manner.  

Some of the benefits you receive when you contact us include the following:  

  • Complete data destruction. We will ensure that the business data in your hard drives are permanently erased. We use specialized tools such as data degaussing and shredding to wipe out your hard drive.  
  • Cost-effective solutions. We provide cheaper data destruction solutions than destroying and disposing of your hard drive in-house. We can save your organization time and money by taking care of your data disposal needs.  
  • Compliance with known regulations. We are conversant with national regulations on data privacy and e-waste disposal, leaving you with zero worries when you contact us.  
  • Environmental responsibility. We take our environmental responsibility seriously, ensuring all hard drives are disposed of in compliance with sustainable regulations.  

Everyone can help create a full circle. Let’s recycle your hard drives together. Contact us to speak with an expert. 

Editorial Team

The Tide Rock editorial team is a group of seasoned professionals with extensive expertise in electronics recycling. The team has worked closely with subject matter experts in personal identifying information mitigation, IT asset disposition, auditing and reporting, ensuring that all information is accurate and at the forefront of the industry. They specialize in catering to the unique electronic recycling needs of B2B businesses across various sectors, including financial services, healthcare, data centers, and legal. With a commitment to staying informed, the team consistently delivers top-notch insights and solutions for businesses seeking responsible and efficient electronics recycling practices.

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Tracey Haslam -  CEO
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