Data Destruction vs. Data Deletion: The Difference Explained

Jul 22, 2023

When you run a business that collects sensitive data, your primary responsibility is clear. You must protect that data at all costs. If you don’t, it’s possible to face hefty regulatory compliance fines and penalties, along with jeopardizing your reputation and customer trust.

When your equipment reaches the end of its lifecycle, you can’t simply dispose of your data-containing assets in a trash can like a sticky note or a burger wrapper. Responsible disposal entails professional data destruction or data deletion. How do you know which service is right for you?

What Is Data Deletion?

Data deletion is precisely what it sounds like — digitally deleting files from your computer. Most employees attempt to delete data by dragging it from its current location into the computer’s trash or recycle bin. A person may even empty the bin for good measure just to ensure the files are gone.

Unfortunately, data deletion doesn’t work as most people think. When you delete a file, it doesn’t actually leave the hard drive. Instead, it simply becomes hidden.

This poses a problem for North Dakota business owners whose data protection strategy involves merely deleting files and then selling or throwing out their hardware. When you do this, you are making it too easy for bad actors to get their hands on your data.

How Does Data Deletion Differ from Data Destruction?

Data destruction, on the other hand, doesn’t just hide the data — it gets rid of it. An IT asset disposition expert usually has two primary methods of data destruction — shredding and wiping.

Data shredding involves physically destroying hard drives and other electronic devices with the help of an industrial shredder. A business may offer this on-site, where you’ll witness the destruction on your premises.

It may also provide the option to transport your assets to its secure facility, where it will provide chain-of-custody updates detailing what is happening to your hardware and who is in possession of it.

Data wiping is a bit different. Rather than shredding the device, the ITAD specialist will securely erase it the right way by writing over it with junk data. This dashes all hopes for recovery and ensures the data is lost forever. No thief can steal it because it no longer exists.

Which Solution Is Right for My Business?

Data deletion isn’t the right move for South Dakota businesses that wish to stay within the confines of regulatory compliance and avoid costly data breaches. Data destruction is always the best choice.

If your data-containing asset has reached the end of its life cycle and is no longer usable, data destruction is the way to go. However, if your hardware is in good condition and can be redeployed into your business, data wiping can save you a considerable amount of money since you won’t have to purchase new devices.

Quality Service Is What Matters Most

When it comes to getting rid of your sensitive data, it’s vital that you don’t try to do it alone. You need the help of an expert partner who can provide you with the security and documentation you need to ensure your data is gone forever.

If your business requires high-quality data destruction services, contact our team at Secure Enterprise Asset Management team. Allow us to eliminate your data in a way that keeps you in compliance and maintains your business’s integrity.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.