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Unsafe Data Destruction Methods

unsafe data destruction method

Four Unsafe Data Destruction Methods to Avoid

Remember the fallout after the controversy surrounding the confidential police documents used as confetti during the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? As a rule, most businesses have at least somewhat of an understanding about the importance of keeping their data secure and safe from prying eyes, but mistakes such as this can happen when ineffective and unsafe data destruction methods are used. Whoever shredded those documents probably never imagined that they would end up scattered all over Central Park West.

This same risk applies to data stored on magnetic media. While IT managers and CTOs may know that sensitive data needs to be effectively destroyed whenever a piece of magnetic media reaches its end-of-life, how they go about doing it can sometimes leave their companies at high risk. Information thieves are smart, technologically savvy, and patient and they have the tools necessary for gleaming even the tiniest bits of information off of “ruined” hard drives. Therefore, it is important to understand which types of data destruction are ineffective and potentially unsafe.

#1 – File Deletion

Deleting a file or an email may make it no longer appear on your screen, but that doesn’t mean that it’s gone for good. In fact, it is remarkably easy to restore previously deleted files and it doesn’t take a professional hacker to do it. Hitting the delete button simply does not effectively destroy the data to the point that it will be irretrievable.

#2 – Formatting the Disk

Formatting the disk restores the disk to its virgin state, right? Well, that’s what most people think, but information thieves know better. Formatting sure makes it look as though the data is thoroughly destroyed but using a simple $79 program like GetDataBack for NTFS can allow you to recover anything and everything that used to be on the disk in a matter of minutes. It’s easy, inexpensive, and anybody can do it.

#3 – Drilling Through the Drive

Some IT managers use power drills to drill a number of holes through their hard drives as a means of making them unreadable before they dispose of them. While this seems as though it may work, the reality is that information thieves can still recover plenty of valuable information from the sections of the platter that weren’t drilled. Of course, recovering data from a drilled drive isn’t as easy as recovering data from a formatted drive, but most thieves won’t mind working a little harder in order to get what they want.

#4 – Hammering a Drive

Taking a sledgehammer to a hard drive is a great way to blow off some steam, but it’s not really that effective at destroying data to the point that it can’t be retrieved. Besides, it would take a tremendous number of blows to render a disk completely unreadable and by the time you’re finished demolishing one or two disks, your back will be aching and your arms will feel like jelly.

If you want to learn how to completely and effectively destroy your sensitive data, visit LiquidTechnology.net. We have a number of professional data destruction methods to choose from, including our DOD-certified data wiping process. Or, call us today at 800-896-6649 and speak with one of our data destruction experts to learn more.