Data Erasure: 4 Myths in Today’s Digital World

Dec 28, 2023

Taking data security seriously is an important part of protecting your business, and one of the most critical aspects of data security is handling the end-of-life of your devices properly.

You don’t want sensitive data falling into the wrong hands once you’re done with computers, mobile devices, and other assets, but many misconceptions abound regarding what constitutes proper data erasure.

Myth 1: You Can’t Recover Data After Formatting

Formatting is a process meant to prepare a hard drive for use in another device or for another user. It removes files to make more storage room available, but it isn’t quite as permanent as many people might think.

There are relatively easy-to-use tools available to recover data from a formatted hard drive. Though not everything will be salvageable, a fair chunk of it will be, and that could include sensitive employee or customer data that you can’t risk falling into the wrong hands.

Myth 2: Data Erasure Apps Are as Effective as Professional Destruction

Some people who understand that formatting isn’t a viable end-of-life solution for data erasure will instead turn to dedicated data erasure tools, which can provide better results, but they still aren’t comparable to professional destruction services.

That is because these tools often don’t do much more than formatting. They can attempt to fill the hard drive with nonsense data in the hope of overwriting any details, but data may still be recoverable, especially if you’re trying to use free tools found online.

Myth 3: You Can Destroy Your Own Hard Drives

Formatting and other software tools aren’t enough to safely prevent data breaches from disposed hard drives. Physical destruction is required, but that doesn’t mean breaking the drive apart. If you attempt to handle destruction on your own, you could still leave the hard drive in a partially recoverable state.

Professional destruction involves shredding and sanitization that thoroughly destroys data. If you simply break open the hard drive case, you’ll leave fragments behind that could be reassembled. The proper techniques and tools are necessary to ensure that your hard drives can never be reassembled to read any remaining data.

Myth 4: Professional Data Erasure Isn’t Worth It

After hearing about what goes into proper data erasure, some business owners might think that it isn’t worth it. They may simply throw away their hard drives despite knowing that doing so isn’t a sufficient solution, thus exposing their businesses to significant risks if they don’t approach data erasure the right way.

For one, your hard drives could include sensitive data such as login information for email accounts, internal systems, and bank accounts. Your hard drives also likely contain sensitive employee and customer data, including the identities and healthcare information of employees. You can face fines and lawsuits in the case of any breach that leaks such information.

Hard Drive Shredding in Sioux Falls

Take the right approach to data erasure to protect your business in South Dakota or North Dakota by turning to the team at SEAM. We can help you accomplish your data erasure goals with our NAID AAA-certified hard drive and solid-state shredding.

Make the responsible choice for your end-of-life IT assets by reaching out to SEAM today.

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.