Deleting Your Data: Why Destroying a Hard Drive Is the Best Solution

So you’re planning on getting a new computer? We can’t blame you. Technology is getting better each year, and that old fossil just can’t keep up. But what about all of those sensitive files you have saved to your computer? Sure, they may be outdated, but they’re still files with important information on them about you or your clients. It’s your job to dispose of them properly.

If your response was “hit the computer with the hammer”, you are very wrong. Computers can be some pretty complex things. They may seem fragile, but in reality, they’re very good at protecting what matters most: the hardware. If you do a sloppy job disposing of your computer, your files will be easy for any computer thief to access – and that puts you and your clients at risk.

Read on to find out the proper way of destroying a hard drive so that you and your clients will stay safe.

Destroying a Hard Drive with Brute Strength is not Enough

Like we mentioned earlier, beating your computer doesn’t remove all of your files. Other than the fact that computers are good at physically protecting their hardware, your actual files could betray you as well just because of their size.

The average file can fit itself within less than .0015 of an inch of space on a memory disk. This means if you leave at least that much space on the disk intact, a file could be stored there – and is at risk of being stolen.

Even placing the files in the recycle bin and deleting them isn’t enough. The trace memory of the file is still embedded in the computer and anyone with any amount of tech experience could retrieve it.

In short, any sort of conventional means we could think of just wouldn’t be enough to solve the problem. You would have to look towards more professional means to permanently destroy the data.

Try Destroying it by Overwriting Data

One popular way of deleting your files is to use computer wiping programs.The funny thing about wiping programs is that they aren’t actually wiping your disc clean; in fact, it’s kind of the opposite.

Disk wiping programs destroy a hard drive by packing it with what’s basically a bunch of trash data. The programs write and rewrite the file until the sensitive data is completely covered and unreadable.

If you choose this route, be prepared to have patience. The whole process can take hours to complete per disk, but at least you know that those files will be long gone.

Or Destroy it With a Magnet

Some people would have too much fun with this.

You know how people say not to keep your phone next to your wallet because the magnets inside could damage or wipe your credit cards? This is the same idea, except on a bigger scale.

To wipe your computer files, you’ll need a little something called a degausser, a high-intensity magnet with the ability to scramble the data on a disk.The process is relatively simple to carry out, however, the degaussers will run you over $1,000 for a good one so you’d better have deep pockets. And, if the hard drive is improperly degaussed, data recovery may still be possible.

Alternatively, you could just have the pros do the job, saving you a ton of money and getting the job done right.

The Only Secure Way to Go

Instead of taking the chance that the data on your hard drive is still accessible, trust your hard drive destruction to a AAA certified destruction facility. Our process ensures that yours and your customer’s data is destroyed and not recoverable. Contact us today to learn about our hard drive destruction, records shredding, and more.

Feel free to reach out to us to find out how we can help you with your security needs. We look forward to hearing from you.

5 Things You Need to Know About Hard Drive Destruction

Hard Drive Destruction Fort Wayne

Go paperless. It’s not just an environmentally conscience trend anymore. We’re now neck-deep in the digital age. By now, your company is very good at handling your client’s personal, financial, medical, or other sensitive information. You are HIPPA compliant. You follow rules for confidentiality by using a certified document destruction company.

But how are you dealing with hard drive destruction?

Perhaps your company is moving locations or closing up shop. Maybe it’s time to upgrade those computers. It is the responsibility of your company to protect the information on the hard drives. You must get rid of it in an effective, safe manner.

If sensitive information is not completely wiped out your company is liable. This can lead to lawsuits, hefty fines, and a marred reputation.

Before you hand the job off to your CPA’s son’s friend, make sure you know the facts about digital data destruction.

The Myth About Magnets

Have you seen the IT nerd on a cyber-crime television show cringe at the sight of magnets near a computer? He mumbles under his breath about the sophistication of bad guys. Well, don’t run to your local magnet store yet.

First, you’ll have to remove the metal coating from the platter. The platter is the circular piece inside a hard drive that resembles a CD.

After removing platinum plating you’ll need a super powerful magnet. So, unless you have a degausser sitting around (a high-intensity magnet used to scramble 1s and 0s), this method is not time efficient. (It’s not even realistic.)

The Formatting Fairytale

You may have heard that simply formatting your hard drive does the trick. Unfortunately, that is not true. Formatting does not completely erase the information from a hard drive.

According to Lifewire, a tech-made-easy website, formatting a hard drive does not remove data completely. Formatting makes files and information invisible, but not altogether gone. It will not be difficult for a beginning hacker to retrieve that information.

The Software-Wipe Whopper

No matter how thorough a data-wiping program is you cannot be 100% sure it wiped everything clean. Good hackers and forensic labs will find “ghosts” of the overwritten data.

A study released by National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) in 2017 was disturbing. It found that 40% of devices resold contained personally identifiable information (PII). The PII included user name and passwords, tax details, and credit card information.

The reason for concern: the devices had received some type of data erasure.

The DIY Dilemma

Many companies attempt to delete or destroy data themselves. By using the techniques above they believe they can save money. In the long run, this may actually be more expensive.

IBM sponsored a data breach study conducted by the Ponemon Institute in 2017. The study estimated the monetary average per stolen record. It reported that the average cost to a company for each lost or stolen record is $141.

Can your company afford that?

Don’t leave things to chance. There is one certain method to make sure a hard drive’s data is unrecoverable. It is through complete hard drive destruction.

A Happy Ending for Hard Drive Destruction

Does your company currently need to get rid of your computer hard drives?

The best way to protect your customer’s personal information is to make sure the data is gone forever. The method used must be compliant with privacy regulations. This is important for protecting your company from data theft.

Fort Wayne’s Federal Records Management and Shredding has a guaranteed hard drive destruction process that can destroy every type and size of hard drive rendering it useless.

Our experienced and certified staff will destroy your hard drives at our local AAA-certified information destruction facility.

Contact us today to learn more about our services. Protect your business. Protect your customers. Protect your peace of mind.