Data protection is one of the most important thing for individuals and businesses. Over the years, data is collected on hard drives and simply tossing it in the trash does not destroy anything. Throwing the drive away just eliminates the data from your presence. To ensure the data is completely gone, the drives must go through a destruction process.
Without proper disposal, hard drive data can still be recovered in there future. This opens opportunities for hackers and data thieves to take advantage of the exposed drives. To completely protect your data, the information must be permanently removed.
There are multiple ways to dispose of hard drives, including destruction, degaussing, and formatting. While their end results are the same, their disposal methods are quite different.
Additionally, they vary in cost, time, and security. However, their biggest differences are in their security levels. It’s critical to understand the differences because your data requires the most secure option.
What is Hard Drive Destruction, Degaussing, and Formatting
When it comes to hard drive disposal, you have three main options–destruction, formatting, and degaussing. These methods all aim to eliminate data from a hard drive. However, their process is different.
Their main variants are in time, cost, and security. Whatever method you choose, all of them maintain a complete level of compliance with laws and regulations. This includes HIPAA and FACTA standards.
Additionally, it’s important to know the differences between them, so you can choose the best option for your disposal project.
Hard Drive Destruction
With hard drive destruction, it’s the process of shredding the drives. This process completely obliterates the drives, so there’s nothing remaining. Shredding ensures the complete destruction of data because there is no way to salvage the broken pieces.
Unlike formatting or degaussing, hard drive destruction leaves zero chance for data recovery. This is because the device becomes a pile of tiny fragments. Additionally, the tiny pieces are recycled afterwards in compliance with EPA standards.
In addition, the cost of hard drive destruction service is only $4-$12 per drive and decreases as the number of drives goes up. This makes destruction the least expensive option compared to others.
Hard Drive Formatting
This involves the process of formatting a hard drives, so it wipes the information completely. Additionally, this is more of an internal data disposal method.
While formatting may be a quick method, this method does not offer the same security benefits as others. Because it is an internal disposal, there is still the potential for future recovery. The chances are quite low, but they are not impossible. With the right software, the information can be quickly recovered.
Hard Drive Degaussing
Degaussing is the process of using a magnet to destroy the information on the magnetic media. The drive stores information by setting up a remnant field on a small piece of the drive to represent a one or a zero. However, this doesn’t destroy the information but merely makes it unreadable.
Additionally, the another issue with the degassing process is the machinery is fairly expensive.
Comparing Destruction Versus Degaussing and Formatting
These three methods are different in their processes. Additionally, the main variant is through cost, time, and security. It’s important to know which method ensures what, so you don’t pick the wrong one.
Hard Drive Destruction Versus Formatting
One of the main differences between destruction and formatting is the security aspect. The formatting process keeps the data on the drive but rearranges the format, so it isn’t there. Because of this, the data can be recovered in the future. So, disposing a drive after formatting can still expose you to security risks. On the other hand, destruction completely shreds the drives, and the data is permanently deleted.
Hard Drive Destruction Versus Degaussing
There are a few security differences between destruction and degaussing. Similarly to formatting, the degaussing process does not completely wipe the data from the drive. It still remains behind, but it makes it unreadable. Given this, degaussing does not eliminate the possibility of recovery with the right equipment. However, destruction shreds the drives to oblivion which destroys the data permanently. This means there is no possibility to recover the data. Comparing the two, destruction is a more secure way to dispose of drives.
Through comparing the methods, it is clear hard drive destruction remains the most secure option. In addition to security, destruction is also the least expensive and time consuming.
Do You Need Hard Drive Disposal Services? Get a Quote Today
Hard drive disposal services help to ensure the privacy of your data. Hard drive destruction services are a secure way to safeguard critical, digital documents at a reasonable cost.
At Shred Nations, we partner with a nationwide network of hard drive and other electronics disposal providers to ensure that no matter your location or destruction needs we can have you covered.
Fill out the form, give us a call at (800) 747-3365, or contact us directly with the live chat to start your hard drive destruction and recycling project. We have a network of professional providers that can assist you in your area today.