We are producing enormous volumes of data in today’s digitally connected society. A Seagate white paper claims that the world’s data sphere is constantly expanding. IDC predicts that, at a CAGR of 61%, the total amount of data in the world would increase from 33 ZB in 2018 to 175 ZB (zettabytes) in 2025. It is not surprising that cybercriminals, bad state actors, hackers, and terrorists routinely target corporate information and misuse it to demand money or sell the data to the highest bidder because data is predicted to soon exceed oil as the most valuable commodity. Additionally, identity thieves usually target a person’s personal information in order to perpetrate financial fraud, identity theft, file false tax returns, claim government benefits, etc. Data erasure is crucial in today’s digital world to battle these threats and lessen the effects of data breaches in order to protect your privacy.
Data erasure is a method of destroying data that involves overwriting the information’s bits with binary patterns to make it illegible. It is a common media sanitization approach that is becoming more well-known among businesses and the ITAD sector. The top 4 data erasure myths are debunked in this essay in light of the expanding reach and impact of data protection regulations. The goal is to provide you with the information you need to reach failsafe regulatory compliance and data privacy.
Myth 1: Deleting data from a storage device is a secure way to do so.
A file or any other type of data can be deleted from your computer, but doing so just gets rid of the file’s links to memory regions in the file system. Even if you empty the recycle bin, this truth remains valid. File deletion followed by Recycle Bin emptying is a typical example of “out of sight, out of mind.” The file disappears from view and is no longer tracable.
As a result, you feel safe in your conviction that it has been completely obliterated. It is a myth because of this. The erased files are still present on your disc, whether it is an external storage device or an HDD. They may not be visible to you anymore, but they are still recoverable. The deleted files that were removed from the Recycle Bin can be recovered using a DIY free data recovery tool.
Consequently, deleting is a very risky approach to get rid of files, particularly if you’re giving away your old computer, laptop, or drive, selling it on the secondary market, or donating it to a good cause. It is best to erase all of your data beforehand, even if you give it to a friend, so that the past doesn’t come back to haunt you.
Why take a chance? In fact, utilising BitRaser to delete all of your data while in control makes far more sense.
Myth 2: Formatting Totally Removes Data
Formatting your hard drive is not a secure solution if you want to completely lose access to the data, especially if you want to give or throw away your old computer. The data still lives on the storage drive after formatting the device, and it is simple to recover the data from a formatted hard disc or SSD using a DIY software like Stellar Data Recovery.
Throughout the formatting process, the storage division table is removed, and the information in the file system gets delinked. Re-indexing the file system is done in order to reuse the drive. Although it appears to the user that the data has vanished since it is no longer accessible, the information actually remains in the medium. The data can be recovered using a free DIY data recovery programme.
Formatting is therefore not secure and can result in data breaches and leaks.
Myth 3: Data is wiped out by shredding
Shredding is a form of physical destruction where the storage device is cut into smaller pieces, usually between 2 and 30 mm, rendering the data unrecoverable. The technique depends on erasing the storage medium in a way that makes it difficult to read or recover the underlying data.
However, there is a chance that shredding may still leave behind some of the storage media, like the platter, in a dimension suitable for forensic data extraction. The prospect of data retrieval utilising cutting-edge methods exists when a relatively small data storage component, such as the NAND chip in an SSD, escapes the grinder or is only partially damaged.
Myth 4: SSDs are degaussable
Degaussing is a method for erasing data from electromechanical storage devices like hard disc drives that involves neutralising the magnetic field of the device. The loss of data during such a transfer is irreversible.
That only occurs on conventional hard discs, though. Solid-state drives (SSDs) cannot be degaussed. Data storage on SSDs is fundamentally different from data storage on conventional electromechanical hard discs. On SSDs, data is not magnetically stored. SSDs store data using flash memory chips. For these chips, a magnetic coating is not required.
On conventional hard discs, which store data magnetically, degaussing is practically the only acceptable method for erasing it. But SSDs don’t.
Finishing on a Positive Note
Now that you are more knowledgeable about data erasure, be careful to remove all the sensitive data from your old computer before discarding it. Read more about secure data wiping software if you’re interested.