Have you got a faulty hard drive? It’s probably kinda useless now. The problem is, you can’t just go throwing it into the trash and buying a new one. Even if you delete the data from the drive, you never just know if it’ll be retrieved. It’s an illusion that your data has disappeared, and tech fanatics can find a way around it if they wish. That’s why you need effective methods to destroy your data.
What Doesn’t Work?
You might be surprised by the following list, but none of these strategies are effective. They’ll all help to make your data harder to retrieve, but they aren’t 100% perfect.
- Expensive data wiping programs can make it almost impossible for someone to retrieve your data. But, the top minds out there can still find ways to get access to it if they need to. Free software is even more risky, carrying just basic levels of wiping mechanics.
- Encryption is often seen as an effective way of protecting data on a hard drive. However, it can also be bypassed by the most knowledgeable of hackers. It’s worth implementing encryption, but it won’t save your data.
- Some will tell you that in order to destroy your data, you just need to overwrite it multiple times. While this certainly adds to the protection, it’s theoretically possible for someone to get around this method.
Those tips might not work to provide 100% effectiveness, but the following tactics will.
No, I’m not telling you to put your hard drive in your paper shredder! There are some companies out there that sell a hard drive shredder for the purpose of this task. It totally obliterates your hard drive, as well as the data stored within it. You better make sure you backup what you need before you do this, as it’ll never be recoverable again. Businesses often look to hard drive shredders when they’re working with confidential data.
Smash It Up
This is sometimes the method of choice for personal users in their homes. Ultimately, the only way to truly get rid of a hard drive’s data is to destroy the physical drive. So, it’s actually up to you how you smash it up. We’ve heard of all sorts of crazy techniques in the past, from sledgehammers to acid. Whatever you do, be sure to stay safe as you do it, as hard drives are durable things!
This is the technical term for when you demagnetize a hard drive. The power and quality of the degaussing device you use will have a big effect on how effective this technique is. Ultimately, the idea is to remove the magnetic glue that keeps the hard drive in place. It’s a fast process to get through, but it’s arguably not quite as fun as shredding or smashing it!
Now that you’re lined with the facts, be sure to dispose of hard drives in the proper way. This will prevent important data loss or identity theft as a direct result of the drive.