Secured Data Destructions – Methods and Techniques

The phrase "data annihilation" tends to induce a look of terror on the faces of most listeners. Most individuals would be devastated if something happened to the information stored on their computer or mobile device. However, whether you run a large, medium, or small company, there will come a time when you need to remove or replace outdated media.

No business wants the data on its obsolete equipment to be discovered by the following user. This is true for both massive organizations and tiny startups alike. One must delete confidential data stored on a computer's hard drive or in a mobile device's memory and destroy the device. Having this information fall into the wrong hands might have disastrous legal and competitive repercussions. Thus, preventing it at all costs must be a top priority.

However, only some individuals know how to properly delete information without leaving any trace that may be used to reconstruct the original file.

How Does Information Destruction Work?

The purpose of data destruction is to render previously stored information unreadable across all electronic media types. To destroy data entirely, it must be rendered unrecoverable and unusable.

When data is deleted, it can no longer be accessed by any program or operating system. It is more than just deleting a file is required. Even if you remove a file from your computer or mobile device, it may still be saved in the device's memory or on its hard drive, even if you can't access it. Physical damage to the electronic media and repeated overwriting it with random data lead to data destruction.

The Importance of Deleting Old Data

Today, businesses of all kinds rely heavily on electronic media. Therefore, one must safeguard all the data produced by different devices. However, one must eliminate it safely once its useful life has ended. You could be sitting on crucial data that you'd rather keep to yourself. If your business operates worldwide, you must comply with the data destruction regulations of each country and area where you have a presence.

Therefore, wiping the hard drive clean is a necessary precaution. Yet research suggests that as many as 10% of all used hard drives sold online still include some personally identifiable information. It's not only individuals who can't be relied upon to delete all of their files.

Before deciding on a method for erasing outdated files, businesses should a few things.

Is this a systematic process, or does the corporation have a supply of obsolete servers when it needs to process a lot of data at once? The approaches we'll be looking at below all have distinct timescales. Decisions may be influenced by how quickly or slowly you need to erase data.

How Can One Destroy Information in several Distinct Ways?

Data may be deleted in several ways, which is good news. Regrettably, none of these approaches is full proof, and no one system can guarantee results. Understanding several options can help you pick the best one if you are a business owner or manager.

The benefits and drawbacks of each of these data-removal strategies are discussed below.


When trying to delete data from a CD permanently, you will encounter the same problem. Not only does this not delete the information, but it also cannot be reversed. A new file system is installed in place of the old one. It's like removing the index from a cookbook when you want to get rid of the whole thing. If a drive has just been reformatted, practically anyone may use one of the many online data recovery programs to get the information back.


One must overwrite the data several times to permanently delete information from a computer or other electronic device. To erase data from a storage medium, one must often connect it directly to a mass-erasing machine. Internally, it is possible to do so by booting a computer from a network or CD. With this method, the data on erased media is wholly preserved. Thus, it may be used again without any performance hit.

The Replacement of Data

You may think of data overwriting as a type of data erasing. When data is overwritten on a computer or other electronic device, it is replaced with a sequence of ones and zeros. You can use a specified pattern instead of a random one. When overwriting, it is usually sufficient to do it only once. However, this may need to be done more once if the medium is exceptionally secure. This guarantees no traces of the erased data, often known as "bit shadows."


The act of writing over something and removing it is synonymous with eraser. Delivering a certificate of destruction proving that all data on an electronic device has been deleted is essential. To reuse hard drives or redeploy them for storage of different content, or if a company has acquired off-lease equipment like PCs, enterprise data centres, or laptops, eraser is a good option.

The Degaussing of a Magnet

Using a solid magnet, known as a degausser, to disturb the magnetic field of an electronic medium is a sure-fire way to wipe out any data stored there. Information is lost when the magnetic field is concerned. Degaussing is a fast and efficient way to wipe off any data stored on a device, even if it has a lot of sensitive data.

There are, however, two fundamental drawbacks to this.

Degaussing destroys the data storage of an electronic device. The degaussing process annihilates the hard drive's connection hardware. If you wish to reuse a digital electrical item like a laptop, computer, or mobile phone, you should go with something other than this strategy.

Destructive Forces

Many people are interested in recycling their old electronics but are hesitant to do so out of concern for the privacy of any data that one could store. It is not uncommon for these folks to take a hammer and a hard drive and break them to pieces.

Interestingly, physical destruction is also a practical approach for firms of all sizes to dispose of sensitive information. The highest level of confidence that data has been physically destroyed is provided via physical destruction, which is one of its many advantages.


Shredding is another method of physical destruction that might be the safest and most cost-effective approach to get rid of electronic data stored on obsolete media with hard drives or solid-state drives. It's also useful for other devices, including credit card readers, optical drives, cell phones, tablets, motherboards, thumb drives, and more.

Updated on: 16-Dec-2022


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