In today’s increasingly digital world, it seems as though our whole lives are recorded. No longer are office buildings filled with paperwork, folders, and filing cabinets, but rather with hard drives and invisible files in the ‘cloud’.
Some of the largest organizations in the world rely on digital files to contain some of their most valuable and confidential information. Employee records, patents, financial records, and more are now stored on hard drives.
It doesn’t just stop at work, though. In fact, our personal and social lives are recorded digitally too.
Think about it.
Where do you store your music and movies? On your phone, tablet, and laptop. Where do you read your favorite books? Maybe you still read paper books, but e-readers have gained popularity in recent years. Even your memories are saved in a digital format, whether that’s in a digital photo frame, in a digital file, or on a social media account.
Because everything we know, love, and work for exists digitally, we have to be very careful when we choose to dispose of our digital storage. Let’s look at some of the best and worst ways you can destroy your hard drive.
The Worst Ways to Destroy a Hard Drive
When you’re hoping to delete your data forever by destroying a hard drive, there are a few less effective ways that accomplish that task. It’s important to note that while some of these efforts may result in a wiped hard drive, they are not fool-proof and may leave traces of data behind.
- Water: When you accidentally drop your phone in the sink, or a cup of coffee on your laptop, it might seem like the end of the world, right? Sometimes, it is the end of that device, but more often than not, you can get an experienced technician to retrieve your data for you. If you’re hoping to secure highly confidential data, we recommend not tossing your hard drive in the bathtub.
- Magnets: When Walter White damages a hard drive with a giant electromagnet in Breaking Bad, it seems pretty realistic, no? Well, that may be more of a fictional tale than most of us had previously assumed. Unless you’re using the strongest magnets, your hard drive likely has nothing to worry about. Sorry, Walter!
- Data-wiping: To be fair, data-wiping may be the best of the worst options. By wiping the disk multiple times, you can eliminate the majority of the data. However, there may still be “ghosts” of the overwritten data left behind. If you’re a stickler for security, this may be too risky for your confidential files.
The Best Ways to Destroy a Hard Drive
Now that we’ve gotten the worst options out the way, we can examine some of the better strategies for destroying your hard drive and protecting yourself from cyber security crime. When you’re looking to permanently eliminate sensitive data, like financial information, trade secrets, and other top-secret information, you’ll likely want to take a more aggressive, trustworthy approach to destroying the data on your hard drive.
- Drilling holes: You read that properly. Grab your drill and get to work! When you drill holes in the hard drive platter, you may be potentially distorting the platter itself. Even though a small hole may appear as a minute change, it can invalidate the data entirely. Consider drilling a few holes in the platter for good measure.
- Brute force: If you’d like to trade in your drill for a hammer, here’s another similar physical tactic. Once you’ve removed the hard drive from the computer and from its casing, go ahead and do your worst! Use both the claw and peen of the hammer to damage the disk as much as possible. It would take an excruciatingly long process to try and piece back together the data contained on this drive, so your confidential information is as good as gone.
- Hard drive shredding: While most of the other options aren’t fool-proof, there’s one solution that can truly ensure your data’s safety—hard drive shredding. By working with a professional team, you can ensure that your data has been properly disposed of in a secure manner. By literally shredding the hard drive, there is no opportunity to retrieve highly sensitive and confidential information.
When sensitive information falls into the wrong hands, the result can be disastrous. A motivated hacker can find deleted files and use them for liability, fraud, identity theft, and even corporate espionage. Don’t let your business or your personal life fall victim to the crimes of technical thieves. Destroy your hard drives and eliminate your data in a secure and infallible way with hard drive shredding.
At South Bay Document Destruction, we are committed to the security of your business. We consistently implement the latest in secure technology and require our professionals to be qualified above and beyond industry standards so that you can enjoy peace of mind with our product and document destruction services. Give us a call at 310-217-9985 or get in touch with us online to discuss your business’s or your own household’s document destruction service needs. We’d be happy to help you ensure a safe and secure disposal of data.