Hard Drive Degaussers – Understanding All There Is To Know About Them

If it were a decade ago, terms like identity theft and data security would have meant nothing other than science fiction concepts. It would have been something you had heard of in a movie about corporate espionage and high end internet hacking. But today, these issues are very much a concern for the everyday man. More and more people are now becoming prone to the dangers of cyber crimes and it is of paramount importance that you do whatever you can to protect yourself against any impending attacks or data thefts.

Individuals and businesses alike should be acutely aware of the importance of protecting personal data, as well as extremely diligent in the process of destroying old or unneeded data. Cyber criminals can just as easily find valuable pieces of information hidden in the old data that you consider garbage. This is where concepts like hard drive degaussing can actually go a long way and protect you against identity thefts and similar online attacks.

The system is considered to be one of the safest and most reliable methods to remove all of your data from a particular hard drive or magnetic computer tape media. Simply put, hard drive degaussing is a magnetic field using an alternating field of sufficient intensity to saturate the media. The magnetic field is then slowly withdrawn or reduced and the magnetic media is left in a magnetic neutral state, or erased. In another aspect of the process, you can also erase a program known as servo from the hard drive which is actually installed by the manufacturer. By doing so, you are rendering a hard drive useless and incapable of yielding any old data that might have once been stored on it.

One of the most common misconceptions about hard drive degaussers and the related processes is that it has to be Department of Defence (DOD) or National Security Agency (NSA) or Sarbanes-Oxley, FACTA, or HIPAA compliant. These regulations do dictate the requirements and compliances that have to be taken to erase sensitive data from hard drives but they are silent about a specific way or equipment that should be used to do so. It is mandatory that you completely remove all proprietary data from a computer data storage media but you are free to choose the mode of doing so in all respects.

Another misconception that is widely circulated in this field is that the hard drive degausser you are using should be approved by the DOD. The DOD does not approve of anything, but merely recommends. If a manufacturer presents a degausser to DOD and the specifications claim it will erase a 300 GB hard drive, then DOD would probably add it to their list of recommended products. There are in fact very few approved products in this list and even they were blessed several years ago. Newer products in this industry are far more effective and capable of handling current day data removal requirements. You can just as easily give them a try.