Which Data Destruction Method Should You Use? What Are the Different Types of Data Destruction?

computer, hard drive data destruction

The majority of people’s faces show signs of worry when they hear the phrase “data destruction.” Most people would do anything to avoid having the data on their computer or mobile device deleted. But whether you run a large, medium, or small firm, there will come a time when you need to delete or replace outdated media, and you need to make sure that any data saved on that media is destroyed and incapable of being recovered.

No business wants their information to be discovered by the subsequent owner of outdated hardware. Both major enterprises and small firms can attest to this. Confidential data on hard drives or in the memory of digital devices must be physically deleted and destroyed. The last thing they want is for this information to fall into the wrong hands because doing so could have negative legal or competitive implications.

However, very few people are aware of the proper procedures for erasing data so that it cannot be recovered by another party.

Data Destruction:

Regardless of the type of electronic media on which the data was initially stored, the purpose of data destruction is to render it completely unreadable. Making sure that this data cannot be recovered and utilized for illegal purposes is another step in the data destruction process.

When data is destroyed, an operating system or program can no longer read it. Simply removing a file won’t do. In an electronic device, deleting a file may prevent you from seeing it again, but the data is still kept on the memory chip or hard drive of the device. Data destruction involves either physically destroying the electronic medium or overwriting the current data with random data until it can no longer be recovered.

The Importance of Data Destruction

Nowadays, all the data produced by this technology needs to be properly protected because businesses of all sizes rely on electronic media for their most crucial business processes. But it also needs to be safely eliminated at the end of its useful life. You may have sensitive information that you don’t want to disclose to anyone. Your business must comply with legal standards for data destruction, especially if you operate globally where different nations and areas may have varying legal obligations.

The significance of erasing all data would appear to be clear from this. However, some studies claim that up to 10% of all used hard drives sold online are still carrying personal data.

Although there are numerous laws governing data breaches, including the GDPR, HIPPA, Indian IT Act 2019, etc. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recommendations are among the most well-known standards; they offer reasonable principles for data destruction, but no one is obligated to follow them. The National Security Agency’s tightest criteria are followed by many of these regulations (NSA).

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Department of Defense (DOD), and any top secret material are likewise subject to NSA laws. These are the highest standards in the world, and many other organizations, including foreign governments, have accepted them.

Different ways of Data Destruction

Fortunately, there are various methods for erasing data. Unfortunately, none of these techniques are ideal, and no technique can guarantee total success. However, being aware of the options will aid you in selecting the strategy that is best for you or your company.

    1. Wipe
    2. Delete /Reformat
    3. Overwriting
    4. Erasure
    5. Physical Destruction
    6. Degaussing
    7. Shredding
      1. Electronic
      2. Solid State

Data wiping is the process of overwriting data on an electronic medium so that it cannot be read again. To physically connect any media to a bulk wiping device, data wiping is typically conducted. Internally, it can be done by booting a PC from a network or CD. As a procedure, it enables you to reuse any material that has been thus manner erased without reducing your storage space.

Data wiping might take hours or even a day to complete for just one device. While data wiping may be practical for an individual, it is impracticable for a business owner who needs to delete multiple devices.

Delete/ Reformat

Although deleting a file from an electronic device may cause it to disappear from a file folder, the data is not lost. The device’s hard disc or memory chip still contains the data.

The same remains true if you attempt to wipe data off a disc by reformatting it. This also does not erase the data. It merely replaces the current file system with a new one. Since there are so many tools available online that make it possible to recover data from a drive that has just been reformatted, it is fairly simple for virtually anyone to perform.


In a way, overwriting data is similar to wiping data. A series of ones and zeros are written over existing data when it is rewritten on an electrical device. Set patterns may also be employed; the pattern does not have to be random. Most of the time, one overwriting is sufficient to complete the operation. But numerous passes can be necessary if the medium has a high level of security. This makes sure that no bit shadows can be seen and that all data is entirely deleted.

Perhaps the most typical method of data destruction is overwriting. It can be time-consuming and is only effective if the medium being rewritten is undamaged and still capable of receiving data writes. Additionally, it provides no security protection while overwriting. Any hard drive with complex storage management components does not support overwriting. For each piece of media that is being overwritten, you might need a license if you are overwriting a device because of legal requirements. It is not impenetrable.

The (NIST) or other standards developed by experts in the subject are advised to be followed (IRS). By adhering to the guidelines, you decrease the possibility that someone will be able to retrieve overwritten data.


Overwriting is also referred to as erasure. All data on a hard drive should be destroyed during erasure, and a certificate of destruction should be provided as proof that the data on an electronic device has been correctly wiped. Erasure is an excellent concept for companies that have purchased off-lease equipment like PCs, enterprise data centers, and laptops, as well as if you want to reuse hard drives or redeploy them for storage of alternative things.

Physical Destruction

Many people want to recycle their outdated technology, but they are hesitant to do so because of the data the technology might store. These people frequently take a hammer and the hard drive, smashing it to pieces.

Surprisingly, organizations and companies of all sizes may effectively wipe data by physical destruction. The largest likelihood that data has been physically destroyed will be provided to an organization, which is one of the physical destruction’s top benefits.

However, it can be expensive, and because it requires destroying electronic material, the capital cost is also considerable. A company’s green and sustainable initiative for recycling used electronic media might also be dangerous.


Using a strong magnet to disturb the magnetic field of an electronic media, degaussing destroy computer data. The data is lost when the magnetic field is disrupted. Degaussing is an efficient and rapid way to remove sensitive or huge amounts of data from a device that is storing data.

However, it has two significant drawbacks.

A piece of electronic equipment’s hard disc becomes unusable when you degauss it. The hard drive’s connecting apparatus is destroyed by degaussing. If you want to reuse an electronic gadget like a laptop, computer, or mobile phone, this is not the technique to go with.

The inability to determine whether all of the data has been lost is the other issue. You cannot determine if all the data has been lost because you have rendered the hard drive inoperative. In this instance, using an electron microscope is the only way to confirm data destruction. However, doing so unless you are erasing highly confidential information is both expensive and unnecessary.

Hard drive density can also have an impact on degaussing. Degaussing may no longer be as effective a technique as it once was as hard drives get better and bigger.


Shredding is another kind of physical destruction, and it can be the safest and most economical approach to get rid of electronic data on any media with hard drives or solid-state drives that have reached the end of their useful lives. Additionally, it works wonders on motherboards, thumb drives, credit card swipe machines, smartphones, tablets, and optical drives, to mention a few.

If you have a sizable data enterprise center or a stockpile of outdated hard drives and media that you wish to eliminate, shredding is a terrific way to do it. It’s quick, quick, and efficient. Electronics are broken down into fragments no bigger than 2 millimeters through shredding. Shredding is the best option if you work in a high-security setting with high-security data since it ensures that all data is destroyed.

Why choose KnitLogix?

Certificates of Sanitization

For any media data that has been deleted, knitlogix offers certificates of sanitization. A COS is one of these certificates, which attests to the fact that the data was deleted by NIST regulations. It contains crucial details including the equipment’s serial number, the kind of media being destroyed, where the media came from, and how the equipment was cleaned. These certificates aid in preventing actual data breaches.


KnitLogix provides documentation that demonstrates a transparent audit trail and includes evidence of deleted data. This is crucial if your firm conducts any business in Europe, where failure to dispose of data in compliance with legal requirements can result in large fines.


KnitLogix destroys data by NIST and NSA guidelines. KnitLogix can assist your business in understanding the requirements of the standard and achieving compliance if your audit or compliance department wants NSA/NIST level destruction.

Insurance and Security

KnitLogix is insured and employees have received security training.

There is much to think about. We’re pleased to provide you Free consultation and quote.

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