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How to Securely Destroy Data

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August 8, 2015
televisions and computers inside of a cage

With the fast rate that technology is increasing, more and more people are getting rid of old pieces of electronics at a quicker pace. In general, it is essential not merely to throw away electronic waste, also known as e-waste. This is especially important when it comes to old computers. All of the information that was stored on your hard drive can still easily be accessed, even if you have deleted the files from the computer. This can include personal information that you wouldn’t want others to get a hold of. Here are some foolproof ways to securely destroy data on your old computer.

If you are considering giving away your old computer to charity, for example, you will want to get a secure data wipe for your computer. This means that all the information stored on the hard-drive will be wholly erased from the memory, but it will still allow the computer to be reused. You can be confident that with a secure data wipe, the information will be 100% removed. Another way to securely destroy data is through a process called degaussing. Degaussing entails using a powerful magnet to erase the data that is stored on the system. In some cases, after a magnetic system is degaussed, it cannot be reused. If you are not interested in reusing your old computer and want to wipe the information on the drive before throwing it away, than degaussing may be the right choice for you.

Other forms of secure data destruction mainly consist of smashing the hard drive into such small pieces so that information cannot be extracted from it. For example, shredding is done by using a high torque shredder. At the end of the shredding process, your old computer may be used for scrap recycling but nothing else. These are just a few options to consider when giving away your old computer. Remember that even if you delete your files, the information can still be accessed unless you securely destroy the data.

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