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What is degaussing all about in the world of data destruction?

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degausser with copper

Our customers are pretty familiar with shredding and e-recycling activities. But what about other ways of destroying data—like degaussing?

About the process

Data destruction is an important process for any company that stores sensitive information. A degausser machine put a strong magnetic field to work. It rearranges the orientation or polarity of magnetized domains so they can no longer store data securely without being utilized first!

Degaussing: How it works

The amount of coercivity in a magnetic material determines how much it resists changes to its magnetization. The more powerful degaussing equipment you have, the easier this process will be for your company’s data storage disks; however some media with higher levels can still prove challenging if not done correctly. Using appropriate techniques like stronger magnets or reducing their power output (wattage) is the best way to do it.

Types of degaussers

• The coil degausser consists of a steel core surrounded by copper wire. Alternating current sets up an electromagnetic field which is best used for demagnetizing hard drives and other magnetic storage media. 

• The capacitive discharge degausser is a device that stores electrical charge in a capacitor. The energy is discharged in a high-frequency electromagnetic pulse, which demagnetizes storage media and destroys the data.

• The permanent magnet degausser is a rare-earth magnet used for degaussing magnetic media like tapes and hard drives without the need for an electrical charge.

Degaussing drawbacks

As a media sanitation choice, degaussing is an older technique. Success depends on matching the type of degausser to the need. This equipment can only sanitize magnetic storage media, and there is limited scalability. It is primarily suited to managing end-of-life media, but its environmental impact is high. There can also be high operational costs associated with its use.

Planet awareness

If you want to get rid of electronics you no longer use, think about the benefits of recycling e-waste. For example, our government joins others in the effort to keep harmful e-waste out of landfills. This kind of recycling also reduces the need to mine materials from the earth. At our company, we encourage e-recycling because it’s good for the planet in general and ultimately,  makes the electronic gadgets we all need more affordable.

Shredding hard drives and other data devices is best to get the ultimate protection when disposing of electronics. Urban E Recycling shreds hard drives at no charge and recycles electronics responsibly.


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