The Importance of Data Erasure
In today’s day and age, with all of the technology that is available, we should be aware of risk and our information getting into the wrong hands. We should keep our technology up-to-date including having valid antivirus software when applicable, password protecting all items and when finished using technology to ensure data is erased from it properly. Today we will discuss data erasure in detail to help give you a better understanding of the importance and the different ways that it can be done.
Why You Should Erase All of Your Data
In the work place you don’t just have your own information to put at risk, but your customers information too. It is our responsibility to ensure that no outsiders get this information. Even the littlest amount of information can be considered a great starting point consequently leading to crooks trying to undermine and steal your info. We always need to keep this in mind when upgrading to new technology.
When you buy new technology, whether it is due to a unit failing or just wanting the new cutting-edge technology, always consider where the device is going. If a unit has failed you still need to ensure the data is removed.
How to Erase All of Your Data
When you have finally gotten to the point of erasing your data, there are multiple options and sub levels within those options to consider. There are multiple different trusted programs available to securely erase your data. These programs range from free to paid, depending on how fast and user friendly you want the program to be. We will share a few programs that we have found to be quality programs.
Different Programs to Erase Your Data
The two programs I will share are KillDisk by Active@ and WipeDrive by WhiteCanyon. Each is unique and has different benefits. One offers a free version and a paid, while the other just a paid version. Both offer different licenses based on needed use, ranging from wiping one disk to wiping unlimited amounts. Both KillDisk and WipeDrive are compatible with Windows and Linux based computers
The first Program: KillDisk
The first program is KillDisk by Active@. KillDisk offers a free version and a professional, paid version. The free version is limited by the user interface and method of wiping. It only allows the user to do a One-Pass Zeros wipe. The professional version offers 23 different wipe methods and has an easy to use interface. Each versions can be made into a bootable disk or USB drive. For more information on this program please visit their website.
The Second Program: WipeDrive
The second program is WipeDrive by WhiteCanyon. WipeDrive only offers a paid version. Similarly to the aforementioned program this program offers multiple different wipe methods and has a user-friendly interface. This program can be made into a bootable disk or a direct installation file. For more information about WipeDrive please visit their website.
Different Methods and Algorithms To Erase Data
Digital data is stored on a disk using 1’s and 0’s or in other words binary data. When looking at how to safely erase that data that is stored on a disk these numbers are important. In the data erasure industry the programs are taking those 1’s and 0’s and rewriting them to all 0’s, all 1’s, random, or a mix like 01. The different methods and algorithms that have been created will pass over the data rewriting it to a specific set every time however will differ in the time it takes to rewrite depending on the number of passes. Below you can find the specifics to some of the popular methods and standards.
One-Pass Zeros is self-explanatory, as the program will rewrite the data one time, making it read as all 0’s.
DoD 5220-22M (3 Pass)
This method will write 0’s on the first pass, 1’s on the second pass and random on the third pass. This is the standard that the Department of Defense uses.
DoD 5220-22M ECE (7 Pass)
This method will write 0’s on the first pass, 0xFF or twenty-four 0’s followed by eight 1’s on the second pass, random on the third pass, 0x96 or 10010110 for the fourth pass, 0’s on the fifth pass, 0xFF and random on the seventh and final pass.
US Air force 5020 (3 Pass)
This method will write random on the first pass, 0’s on the second pass and the third is 0xFF.
US Army AR 380-19 (3 Pass)
This method will write 0xFF on the first pass, 0’s on the second pass, and random on the third pass.
Peter Gutman (35 Pass)
This method is very specialized and considered to be the most secure way to erase data. Peter Gutman’s algorithm can be found in the CSRC Publication.
The Last Resort to Removing Data – Pull Drives
If you are unable to find a way or are on a strict budget and need to know your information is secure the last resort would be to pull out the hard drive and physically destroy it. By removing the hard drive you reduce the value of your computer this is why we consider it a last resort.
How to Find Value in System With No Hard Drive
Most people believe that a computer without a hard drive has no value. We have found this to be untrue. As a company that specializes in finding value in second hand IT equipment, Omni Capital believes that the majority of the time your computer still has value, even without a hard drive. The value would be higher with a hard drive but the computer still has value. There are many outlets like Omni Capital to find value. We work with businesses helping to find value in their secondary and surplus equipment when they believe it can only be recycled.
What Should You Do Next…
Reach Out to Us to Aid in Erasing Data and Find Value in Surplus Equipment
Do you have computers that are decommissioned and need your information removed from the hard drives?
Download our Sample Spreadsheet and send it back with your equipment filled in and we can give you a value offer including the wiping of your hard drives. When receive your equipment in we will test and wipe the hard drives using the Department of Defense standard, 3 Pass rewrite. Once it is all completed we will send you a Certificate of Recycling & Destruction.
Purchase A Data Erasure Program and Erase on your own
We have found that most businesses prefer to wipe the hard drives on their equipment in house hence giving them full control. If this is how you prefer to operate, find a program like the ones mentioned above that fit your needs and wipe all of the data in house before discarding.
Protect Your Data By Erasing It
As a business owner it is important to protect the data on your computers. Once the computers are no longer in commission it is important to ensure the data is properly erased. Whether you sell the equipment to a company like Omni Capital that includes the data erasure process or do in house data erasure you are removing all of the risk of data getting into the wrong hands. This is a process that should never be skipped.