Which Type of Data Destruction Is the Right Fit For Your Business?

Oftentimes, technology can be the biggest enemy to personal privacy. However, when used correctly, it can also go a long way in protecting privacy—and that's exactly what data destruction does. Data destruction is the act of completely wiping every piece of information originally stored on a device and making it unreadable, ensuring the wiped data cannot be recovered or used again. To ensure you select the right type of data destruction for your business's records, you need to know the differences between each type. Take a look at these 7 types of data destruction to figure out which will work best for you.

1. Deleting or Reformatting Data

The simplest but least effective of all, deleting data from a device simply removes files from your sight. They may no longer be visible, but they're not completely destroyed. This means the data remains on the hard drive or memory chip, making it very easy for most people to recover the deleted or reformatted data.

2. Overwriting Data

Overwriting is one of the most common ways of destroying data. During this process, a binary pattern of 1s and 0s are written over the data on a device. This hides most traces of the previously existing data, which can only be recovered or read using specialist methods. While this method is effective for most people, it can be time consuming to complete and only works when the existing data has not been damaged at all.

3. Wiping Data

When data is wiped, it's overwritten to make it unreadable. This process usually takes a long time to complete, requiring up to 24 hours or longer for a single device. Thus, it's more suitable for individuals than businesses who need to routinely destroy data on multiple devices.

4. Data Erasure

In short, data erasure is very similar to overwriting. However, once this process is complete and all the data has been destroyed, the data destruction service will produce a certificate which verifies that the data on the devices has been successfully destroyed. The certificate makes data erasure one of the best choices for businesses who purchased equipment off lease and want to reuse or redeploy their hard drives for other storage purposes.

5. Degaussing

This method involves the use of a high-powered magnet which disrupts the magnetic field of a hard drive, destroying the data stored. While degaussing is fairly quick and effective, this method causes irreparable damage, making it impossible for the storage drive to be reused in any laptop, phone or gadget. This also means the drive cannot be mounted to check if the destruction has been successful.

6. Physical Destruction

Physical destruction is another effective way of destroying data. As the name suggests, this method can be as simple as smashing a hard drive with a hammer. It holds the highest probability of making the data completely impossible to recover, but physically destroying electronic media will cost you a lot of money over time.