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What Happens to Data? “Deleted” Does Not Mean “Gone”

Know Your Options for Safe Disposal of Electronic Data

As a business that creates, manages or transacts in digital information, you may be continually exploring newer tools or resources for secure disposal of your electronic data or devices. The reasons for that could be two-fold.

  • Depending on the nature of your business, you may have to comply with the applicable privacy protection laws. This means following the guidelines regarding preservation and destruction of confidential or sensitive information related to your business, employees, or customers.
  • Depending on your records storage space and infrastructure, you may want to free up precious real estate at regular intervals. This would entail getting rid of old drives, as well as other obsolete or unusable electronic devices at the end of their minimum preservation period.

No matter why you are trying to get rid of electronic data or devices, keep in mind that simply deleting the data does not translate to safe or permanent disposal. The data destruction specialists at TITAN Mobile Shredding offer some useful insights in this context.

Methods of Secure Disposal of Digital Drives and Electronic Data

Whether you use hard drives, thumb drives, DVDs, CDs, or some other digital media, there are usually three different destruction methods to choose from.

  1. Hard Drive Formatting: Formatting a hard drive will delete the data and clear up space to add or save more files. However, the formatted data is still quite easily retrievable. There is an entire industry of individuals who make a living out of recovering deleted files from hard drives. In fact, even a person with average technical know-how may be able to find free software programs over the internet to successfully recover deleted data. While the cost and effort of formatting drives is minimal, the risk of data retrieval makes this process unsuitable for secure and permanent destruction of data or drives.
  1. Hard Drive Destruction: This process requires the assistance of a professional shredding company that offers mobile-truck based or plant-based hard drive destruction services. Your drives are broken to pieces in a specialized industrial shredder for approximately $4 to $12 per drive. For greater quantities, you may be able to negotiate lower rates per drive. Your shredding service will also provide a Certificate of Destruction that specifies the serial number of each destroyed drive and serves as a valid proof of disposal for future legal queries or audits. 
  1. Hard Drive Degaussing: While operating in a read or write mode, hard drives generate tiny pulses of electricity that magnetize their platter surfaces through the spinning motion. Degaussing involves the use of powerful magnetic fields to neutralize or erase the device’s magnetic properties, which in turn destroys all the data stored on the drive. Although you can do this in-house, acquiring the degaussing equipment can be quite expensive. Moreover, the degaussing process is quite tedious and time consuming, especially if you have to safely destroy large quantities of digital media.

Both, hard drive destruction and hard drive degaussing are effective methods for irreversible destruction of data and drives. However, when it comes to bulk disposals, hard drive destruction is a quicker, easier, and more cost-efficient option.

At TITAN Mobile Shredding, we offer on-site as well as off-site hard drive shredding for all types of drives. As a NAID AAA Certified company, our services are simple, effective, and compliant with all applicable regulations, including several industry specific norms. During on-site shredding, you can witness the entire process, where we destroy the drives in our specialized mobile shredding trucks, separate them into component parts, and ready them for recycling as per EPA regulations. For off-site shredding, we arrange for secure pick up and transportation of the digital media to our plant in Pipersville, PA. No matter which service you select, we systematically scan the serial numbers of all the drives and provide you with a detailed report, along with a Certificate of Destruction. 

For safe, irreversible destruction of hard drives and other digital media, rely on the professionals at TITAN Mobile Shredding. Call us at (866) 848-2699 or contact us online to request a free quote.

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