ShredQuick Blog

Why deleting hard drive data for your Sarasota business doesn’t mean that it’s gone

A electronic hard drive. This image represents proper hard drive destruction practices.
When it’s time to retire a hard drive, it’s understandable that any Sarasota business might think reformatting or erasing its contents should do the trick and make all its old data inaccessible forever. If only life worked that way.

In actuality, “deleting” a hard drive’s contents doesn’t guarantee that all the old data it keeps is truly and totally vacated—if it falls into the wrong hands, that drive can still yield a trove of confidential information your company can’t afford to let get out.


Gone but not forgotten

When you delete the information on a hard drive—whether through your manual deletion method or reformatting the drive completely—your access to that information is removed from view. You can’t see it in your file directory, and you can’t access it via typical means.

However, that old data hasn’t vanished from your hard drive. When you delete a file, you’re only clearing the space where it used to be stored. Your operating system merely makes the sectors where that data used to exist available for new input.

But the data you think you’ve erased is still there, somewhere on the drive, and can still be accessed with a file recovery program. This is because, when you delete or format the hard drive, it’s only eliminating the file structures and systems you used when the drive was operational. The data itself still lurks somewhere on the drive. And that means it can still be susceptible to retrieval by experienced hackers.


How to really delete data from your hard drive

Since formatting a hard drive doesn’t remove every bit of confidential or sensitive information, there are a few ways to ensure that all the data you want to get rid of vanishes for good:

  • Degaussing. This practice uses a super-powerful magnetic field to eliminate all the magnetic surfaces of the hard drive. When properly performed, degaussing will remove all the personal data you want to get rid of. But the emphasis is on the word “properly”—degaussing isn’t always foolproof and could expose some data if it’s not done the right way. It’s also time-consuming and very expensive.
  • Hard drive destruction. Destroying or shredding your discarded hard drive guarantees that every part of it is utterly unusable. There’s no way for hackers to mine it for personal data, there’s no chance of small fragments still being exposed, and there’s no need for the pricey equipment and programs needed in degaussing. To fully destroy an old hard drive, you’ll usually spend a maximum of $15—frequently quite a bit less.


Ensuring your data’s gone for good

Guaranteed, 100% hard drive destruction is the surest way to keep your Sarasota business liability-free and ensure your customers’ confidentiality. ShredQuick has the solution for all your shredding and technological destruction needs. Contact us to find out how we can help.

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