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What You Should Know About Degaussing of Hard Drives Many computer users believe that once data is deleted from a computer and the trash bin is emptied, the data disappears. However, this is not true. The truth is that you have not done away with the information. In fact, all one does when they delete such information from their computer is to erase the path that one can use to access the information. Nonetheless, one can still be able to erase info completely from their hard drive. There are actually three different ways to erase data from a computer hard drive. One can physically destroy the drive, use a hard drive eraser or use degaussing to clear the drive. Degaussing means doing away with data completely. With so much sensitive information being stored on hard drives out there, organizations require a way of being able to securely do away with sensitive data completely. This method of doing away with data is different from others. Unlike deleting and formatting, degaussing completely clears information by the use of a special technique. Discussed below are some important things to understand what degaussing is all about. Employs the Use of Magnetic Fields
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Degaussing is pretty much the elimination or decrease of a magnetic field. This means it requires magnetic fields in order to erase information from magnetic storage devices such as discs and tapes. These devices have a fine coating of iron oxide and sometimes chromium oxide on the tape. During the process of degaussing, a very intense magnetic field is generated. The immense power of this magnetic field is what aids in the permanent removal of the magnetic memory from the chromium oxide or the iron oxide coating. The change in the magnetic field is what does away with the data on the drive. Data that was recorded is usually randomized or completely removed making during this process. This makes it impossible to recover the data.
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Safety of the Process According the World Health Organization, there is no evidence that suggests any kind of harm can come from this type data destruction. This is particularly with regard to one’s exposure to the magnetic fields during the process. How Fast It is Many people think the process is slow and complicated. However, contrary to what the name sounds like the process of erasing data is quick and simple. Difference from Hard Drive Eraser As previously mentioned, degaussing requires the use of magnetic fields to help neutralize a hard drive’s magnetic charge. Hard drive erasers however, actually work on the principle of overwritten data, once the data is overwritten enough times it becomes impossible to forensically recover it or even decipher its meaning. Essentially, no erasing actually goes on in this process.