Everybody has some documents that need to be kept confidential. They can be anything, from financial records to sensitive personal information to confidential trade or national data.
How to Really Delete Your Confidential Data
Destroying some data could also be a legal requirement in some industries. Sometimes, some data needs to be destroyed because there is simply no physical or digital space to maintain it, and it cannot just be thrown away in a random place. Here are some ways in which an individual or business can dispose of its confidential waste and have a more clutter-free working environment:
Confidential Paper Documents
The simplest way to destroy confidential paper documents is to put them through a shredder. All confidential files can be shredded with little or no effort. There are several types of shredders that can be used for this purpose, like strip-cut shredders, cross-cut shredders and micro-cut shredders. While strip-cut shredders cut the papers into thin strips, the other two shred documents into very small pieces, even smaller and thinner than strip-cut. Depending on how confidential your data is, you can choose the right kind of shredding process.
Shredding services will also shred your documents for you, at a fee. If you are an individual and cannot afford a shredder or shredding service, you can burn the paperwork in a safe place to destroy them completely.
Confidential Data on Your Computer
If you use a computer, chances are that you store important data and files on it which you might not prefer others to have a look at. What is the best method of getting rid of your confidential data so that no one can access it? Most of us think that the delete key (or the shift+delete combination) will help get rid of these from the system forever. But that is not exactly the truth. Any file that has been deleted from the hard disk can be retrieved by anyone, who knows how to recover deleted documents. There are several ways in which these documents can be erased, and the method chosen would depend on how sensitive the confidential waste is.
Erasing the Hard Drive
Wiping your hard drive clean of all data is one of the ways in which you can remove the confidential information. There are programmes that overwrite the files with random data so that the original files cannot be retrieved. According to the US Department of Defence, overwriting files seven times can make the data irretrievable. You can also use the Guttmann Method, in which the files are overwritten 35 times. CDs, Hard Drives and other disks must be destroyed to prevent information from being accessed. Scuffing the surface of a CD may work, but there is still a chance that the documents can be retrieved later. The best way to ensure that the files are safe is to destroy the CDs altogether.
Programmes that erase files and write over them can make your files nearly impossible to retrieve. However, in some cases, it is still possible that the data is recovered by an expert. To avoid this, the hard drive can be shredded entirely. CDs and drives can be destroyed by a combination of scuffing, breaking and drilling holes at strategic places. The greater the number of holes you drill in the drive, the less likely it is that the data can be retrieved, even by an expert.
All memory chips, hard drives and other similar devices can be shredded by a digital shredder, which breaks down the structure and the magnetic strips or chips are destroyed completely. This makes it impossible to recover any information from the drive. If your business constantly has drives that need to be destroyed, you could consider buying a shredder.
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