If you want to completely erase your hard drive, you should use a degausser. If you are like most people, you probably delete data on your hard disk using your PC. Deleting data this way does not actually completely delete it, but only moves it to an inaccessible part of the hard drive. This is why even after formatting a hard drive, it is still possible to recover data from it. However, if you want to completely wipe off the hard drive, you can use a degausser. Degaussing randomizes the data in the hard drive such that it cannot be recovered through any means.
Most consumers are not careful about their data. For example, you can find someone selling his/her hard drive without having erased the data in it. If you do not erase your hard drive clean, a malicious person can recover the data and use it to blackmail you. Thus, formatting the hard drive before selling it is not enough. It is crucial to ensure the data on the drive will not be recoverable. The best way of ensuring this is through degaussing.
Before you sell your computer, you should degausse your data. If you are a business looking to replace your aging computers, wiping the hard drive clean is important. If you do not wipe the drives, your company data can get into the wrong hands. Apart from businesses, government offices also have sensitive data. Government departments need to degausse their hard disks to ensure their data does not fall into the wrong hands. Generally, anyone who is concerned about their data landing in the wrong hands will benefit from degaussing.
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How Does Degaussing Work?
Magnetism is the primary way through which degaussing erases data from a hard disk. The data on a hard drive is stored on a magnetic strip. When the storage device is plugged into a powered computer, the data on the magnetic strip is digitized. On conversion, users see the data on the computer in form of audio, text or video files.
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To completely erase the data on the drives, degaussers rely on magnetism. When a degausser is powered, it produces a strong magnetic field. When a hard drive is introduced into the field, its magnetic strip is damaged and the data randomized. The data cannot be recovered from the hard drive that has been put into the magnetic field since it has been randomized. This way, you can be sure that no data can ever be retrieved from the hard drive.
There are different types of degaussers in the market. Among the most common types are electromagnetic degaussers.
The above guide is a summary of how degaussers work.