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Common Secure Data Destruction Standards

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Kevin Marshall
Kevin Marshall
September 17, 2017

It may or may not be a surprise, but data destruction is one of the most secure ways to make sure your data does not get into the wrong hands. Often, companies will store information for several years - information that includes sensitive and identifying information. This information can belong to both customers and employees alike. For many companies, there are secure data destruction standards that must be kept in place. Read on to learn more about data destruction standards.

One common problem that companies have is what to do with old files and records. These files can store sensitive information and sometimes if the employee or customer that the data is about is no longer with the company, you might think that you can get rid of it. However, this is not the case. Best practices state that data should be retained for a certain amount of years. After the time frame has expired, the data should then be destroyed. There are also standards when it comes to best practices for data destruction as well. One of the most popular options when it comes to keeping old data from getting into the hands of the wrong people is through overwriting. During this process, the software is put in place that applies many overwrites until the original data is unreadable. Since the software is relatively low cost, this can be a good option if you only have a few devices that need to be overwritten.

Another option is called degaussing. During this process, the magnetic field of a storage disk or drive is removed or reduced until it is no longer able to function. The process will permanently purge an entire storage device. The upside of this process is that old information will be nearly unrecoverable. The downside is that degaussing machinery can often be expensive. A final method is the physical destruction of data. The most common way is through shredding the hard drive until the machine is mostly pulverized leaving the data 100% unrecoverable. This option is great since the data is destroyed and also works best for companies who need to get rid of a large number of devices.

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