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Shred, degauss, drill or delete: What is the best method for destroying your hard drive data?

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About your hard drive

Computer hard drive on blue background (HDD, Winchester). Tilt-shift lens used to accent the center of the hdd and to emphasize the attention its central schemes

The hard drive in your computer stores your digital content, everything from applications and operating systems to documents, music, videos, and pictures. Storage is contained on a platter with an electronic head that reads and writes data as the platter rotates. Other electronic components control the overall operation of the hard drive. The data stored on your hard drive is undoubtedly important to you and your business. When you’re through with your hard drive, destroying your hard drives keeps the information it contains out of the clutches of cybercriminals. There are various ways to do this. Here are four showing their pros and cons:

Deleting

Deleting files Written on Red Key of Metallic Keyboard. Finger pressing key.

Most people don’t realize how proficient computer hackers are becoming. You may think you can get rid of the files on your computer simply by deleting them. However, cybercriminals can still access your data after it has been deleted. Some programs enable you to scrub the data off your hard drive, which is relatively effective. The problem is that your hard drive will remain intact, The scrub method likely doesn’t erase all the information.

Drilling

Concept of deleting big data by drilling a hole into the harddisk.

Here’s an idea: You can destroy the platter by drilling holes into it. You can do this using a hand drill, a nail gun, or a hammer. Drilling is a method you should carefully consider because some platters are glass. You could send bits of glass (or metal) flying everywhere. Drilling is not a very safe solution to hard drive destruction.

Degaussing

The degaussing process uses a magnetic force to scramble the information on the hard drive platter. Degaussing is efficient and effective, but there are two drawbacks: 1) you need expertise or supervision to use a degausser, and 2) a degausser is an expensive piece of equipment.

A green wire wrapped around a piece of dirt that showcases how it works.

Shredding

A metal machine with an open door.

Now you’re on the right track. Shredding is a very effective method of destroying a hard drive. This process runs the hard drive through a shredding machine that cuts it into tiny bits. Now both the hard drive and the data on it are useless. To do this yourself, you would have to go to the expense of purchasing a shredder. Instead, you can let our team at Urban E-Recycling take on the shredding process for you and protect the environment from contaminants while we’re at it. Plus, we’ll do it for free. 

How easy is that?

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Mother Nature doesn’t want your old computers but we do.

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