In this age of technology, most individuals and businesses keep all of their pertinent information on computer systems and as a result, hard drives need to be destructed to prevent
identity theft, fraud, information theft, and financial losses. While often deemed an easy, straight-forward task, destroying data from a hard drive can be difficult. It requires caution to ensure the data is completely destroyed to a point where it is irretrievable. The following 5 tips to follow when destructing your hard drive will help you protect your data and prevent it from getting into the wrong hands.
1. Shred the hard drive
When needed, you should consider hiring professional shredders and hard drive destruction specialists to completely destruct your hard drive. These specialists use dedicated tools and machinery to rip drives to shreds. When the shreds of your hard disk mix with other shreds, it becomes impossible to reassemble to retrieve any data in the drive.
There are companies available that will come to your location. This service is recommended since you will not have to worry about keeping track of what happens en route, reducing the chances of the hard drive being lost or stolen. The company will destroy the drive while you watch. You can then rest assured your hard drive is destroyed before someone retrieves any information from it.
2. Disintegrate the hard drive
This is the process of cutting the hard drive into very small pieces using a heavy-duty disintegrator. The pieces left are very small and difficult to recognize and reconstruct. The difference between disintegration and shredding is that the particles left after disintegration are more damaged and smaller.
Disintegration of a hard drive is another process that can be handled by a professional, but if you need to be doing it on a regular basis, there are many disintegrators available on the market for purchase. They come in different models designed to handle different volumes and sizes of hard drives. Before buying a disintegrator it is essential to understand that they are more difficult to maintain than shredders.
3. Magnetize your hard drive
Another method to destruct your hard drive is to magnetize it. You can do this by passing your drive over powerful magnetic fields or an electromechanical pulse. This helps in destroying the drive by generating a powerful magnetic field that overcomes the magnetic field of it. Once the hard drive has lost its magnetic field, it is no longer able to hold data. This way your hard drive will be securely destroyed.
The process of magnetizing a hard drive is done by a tool called a degausser. There are many degaussers models available in the market and each model is based on the type of hard drive and the magnetic strength of the media you want to erase.
4. Overwrite the hard drive
Deleting data from your hard drive does not make the data irretrievable. It only serves to remove it from your view. It is therefore important to overwrite the disk to offer more protection and make the deleted data impossible to retrieve.
To overwrite the hard drive, there are many software applications available. This involves replacing each area of the disk with multiple meaningless types of data. The software you use should be compatible with your hard disk and the process should be done carefully to achieve desired results. Overwriting the hard drive obviously offers less protection against data theft as there are people skilled in retrieving data even after overwrite processes are completed.
Crushing involves the manual destruction of hard drives using a device such as a steel punch.
In doing so, the drive is deformed to a point that makes it inoperable. The data in the drive is intact but impossible to retrieve.
Crushing your hard drive, similar to shredding and disintegration, will give you the peace of mind that your hard drive is destroyed to a point where no one is able to access any information from it, keeping you safe from identity and information thefts.