Secure Data Destruction


Secure Data Destruction

Secure data destruction is any method that brings about complete data destruction in a media. After destruction, the data should not be retrievable by any means. The good side is that there are a number of effective methods of secure data destruction:

Paper media

This includes books and any paper written material. If you have any paper that contains sensitive information, it should be shredded. To help you with the shredding, you should have a shredder in your home or office.

For proper shredding you can either strip cut or cross-cut the papers. While cross-cutting the paper media aids in destruction of the data, it usually makes re-assembly much more difficult.

Electronic media

The best way of destroying data in electronic media depends on whether the media is magnetic or optical. If the media is magnetic, you can destroy the data by degaussing, over-writing, or mangling.

Degaussing: removable disks such as floppies, ZIP disks and others can be degaussed using a degausser. You should note that the size of the media is the one that dictates the degausser that you should use. If you have a high coercivity magnetic media, you will be required to have a powerful degausser to do the work.

While this method is effective in destroying data, you should avoid it if you want to reuse or resell the media. This is because degaussing tends to destroy the media.

Overwriting: this method is ideal for fixed internal magnetic storage media such as computer hard drives. The method is also ideal for mini and micro hard drive storage devices.

Different software programs are used in over-writing and all you need to do is to find the software that you like the most.

Mangling: this method involves using a hammer or a high-speed drill to destroy the hard drive. The good side with the method is that it renders the media inoperable within a very short period of time.

Optical media

If your media is optic, you can only destroy the data using physical destruction. The best physical method is using special shredders that are designed for CD/DVD destruction.

If you don’t have a shredder, you can use a scissors. When cutting the CDs you should ensure that you cut them into very small pieces and dispose them in different trash containers.


These are some of the best methods of safely destroying data. If you can’t destroy the data by yourself you should consider hiring a professional to do it for you.


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