3 Ways to Protect Your Offline Digital Data During E-Waste Disposal

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In our modern-day lives, it is almost impossible to be living without any electronic communication devices like mobile phones, tablets, or laptops. And with the electronic industry churning out the latest shiny product to make our lives more efficient or simply entertain us more, it is inevitable that we will be disposing our old devices for the new ones. Be it you use these devices for your private lives or for work, they often store information about you or your organization. So it is crucial that these data are properly dealt with during the disposal process. Here are 3 methods that you can utilize to destroy the stored digital data securely.

Software Erasure

Wiping Data Securely via Software Erasure

In case you don’t already know, when you click delete files and empty recycle bin, you don’t actually erase the data but merely removing the reference to the operating system that cannot find it. All the data is still somewhere in the hard drive unless it is overwritten, and it can be retrieved using file recovery software.

Data erasure or destruction software does just that. They utilize various methods to permanently overwrite the information on the drive, thus destroying your original information within. It is also worth noting that this is the only method that the hard drive will remain useable after the erasure process.

With a quick google search, you can probably find some of these data destruction software that you can use for free, but there is no guarantee that your free DIY erasure will be able to stand up to some of the most advanced file recovery software available. Do this only if you are okay with some slight chance of your data being leaked.

Alternatively, you can choose to purchase commercial-grade data erasure software and do it yourself although it might not be cost-effective if you only have a handful of hard drives to erase. It is probably wise for you to engage service providers like KGS to do the job for you and they can help to dispose and recycle your devices. It is truly a secured and one-stop service solution.

Degaussing

Degaussing of HDD

The second method is to use strong magnetic waves to destroy the data-carrying medium within the hard drives. A major downside to this method is that it is only effective for the magnetic types of storage mediums such as magnetic tapes and optical hard drives. It will not have any effect on the more advanced solid-state drives (SSD). If effective, the resultant hard drives will be rendered unusable after degaussing so if you are looking to donate or reuse the hard drive, this method might not be suitable.

If all your hard drives are the traditional optical magnetic types, again it will be economical to engage a trusted service provider like KGS to help you with it as a good degausser machine can be quite costly.

Shredding

Securely Destroying HDD via Shredding

The most straight forward to securely destroy the data in the hard drive is to simply destroy the hard drive itself physically. Shredding them into small pieces makes it impossible to retrieve any data and it is effective for all types of storage mediums. Unless you carve information on stone tablets.

However, the downside to this method is that it affects the recycling process where the materials are harder to extract due to mixing.

P.S KGS provides this service too.

In summary, there are various ways to securely destroy the data in your old devices before you dispose and recycle them. Each has its pros and cons and if you are unsure which method is suitable for you or your organization, you can contact KGS and their friendly staff will advise you accordingly

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