Myths About Data Erasure

Table of Contents

Are you confused about the definitions of data erasure and its limitations? Please continue reading to learn more about data erasure and its different misconceptions. Different nations’ laws have established stringent guidelines for the protection of user data. These rules have set requirements for the safe and legal processing of user data, including consumer data held by enterprises.

These data protection regulations carry significant fines, legal repercussions, and even prison sentences for violations. Additionally, there is a default risk of lost customers and brand damage. Under these new data protection laws, tech behemoths like Facebook and Google have already paid hefty fines for data breaches.

Different data destruction procedures have arisen at an industrial level due to the requirement for the secure and compliant handling of user data throughout its lifecycle. Data destruction refers to permanently destroying information so that it is unreadable (irrecoverable). To safeguard the data subject’s privacy, data destruction is done to prevent leakage or disclosure of such data (user).

Data erasure is a method of destroying data that involves overwriting the information’s bits with binary patterns to make it irrecoverable. It is a shared media sanitization approach that is becoming more well-known among businesses and the ITAD sector. The top five data erasure myths are debunked in this blog in light of the expanding reach and impact of data protection regulations. The goal is to provide the necessary information to achieve failsafe regulatory compliance and data privacy.

5 Common Myths About Data Erasure

Based on their approach, these five data erasure myths expose data to illegal discovery, access, and harm. They might also make you fail a data protection audit, which might come with unpleasant surprises like fines or other repercussions.

  • Myth 1 – Formatting Completely Erases the Data
  • Myth 2 – Deleting Gets the rids of all the files
  • Myth 3 – Degaussing Works for All Data Storages
  • Myth 4 – Shredding Destroys the Data
  • Myth 5 – Data Protection is Guaranteed by Crypto Erase

Myth 1 – Formatting Completely Erases the Data

No, formatting does not permanently delete the data. Suppose you want to delete the data permanently, especially if you wish to give or throw away your old computer. Formatting your hard drive is not a safe solution in that situation. Your stored data will not be completely deleted or removed if you format the device; it will still be present in the storage drive and may be swiftly recovered using any DIY software.

The storage partition table is erased during formatting, and the data in the file system is delinked. The file system is re-indexed in preparation for drive reuse. Although it appears to the user that the data has vanished since it is no longer accessible, the information remains in the medium. The data can be recovered using a free DIY data recovery program. Formatting is therefore not secure and can result in data breaches and leaks.

You may also like: Free Versus Professional Data Erasure Software

Myth 2 – Deleting Gets the rids of all the files


No, deletion does not get rid of all the files, deletion puts your data at risk of leakage and breach. A file or any other type of data can be deleted from your computer, removing the file’s links to memory regions in the file system. Even if you empty the recycle bin, this truth remains valid. File deletion followed by recycle bin emptying is a classic example of “out of sight, out of mind.” The file disappears from view and is no longer tradable. As a result, you feel safe in your conviction that it has been completely obliterated. It is a myth because of this. The erased data is still on your drive, whether an external storage device or an HDD.

They may not be visible to you anymore, but they are still recoverable. The deleted files removed from the Recycle Bin can be recovered using a DIY-free data recovery program.

Therefore, deleting is a hazardous technique to get rid of files, especially if you plan to donate the old computer, laptop, or drive, sell it on the secondary market, or give it away. It is best to erase all of your data beforehand, even if you give it to a friend, so the past doesn’t come back to haunt you.

Myth 3 – Degaussing Works for All Data Storages

Degaussing has its uses. It is particularly effective for electronic devices that store data magnetically and are broken or past their useful lives. Degaussing’s primary weakness, however, is that it only functions with information that has been magnetically stored. Unlike spinning platters, modern solid-state drives store data on semiconductor chips, making them resistant to degaussing. Additionally, immune devices are optical storage units.

And even if hard drives and data storage cassettes store information magnetically, the magnetic fields of the devices that need to be cleaned must be overcome by the degaussing strength. It doesn’t always work, primarily when older degaussers are used with more modern drives.

Myth 4 – Shredding Destroys the Data

Shredding might not provide 100% protection from forensic investigation methods. Shredding is a form of physical destruction where the storage device is cut into smaller pieces, usually between 2 and 30 mm, rendering the data unrecoverable. The technique depends on erasing the storage medium, making it difficult to read or recover the underlying data.

Current industrial standard shredders, however, can let whole solid-state drive (SSD) data chips pass through because of their more significant shredder fragments.

Due to the high data density of SSDs and hybrid drives with SSD components, tiny shred sizes are necessary to ensure that no one can recover no data after shredding. Many organizations advise using SSD shred sizes no larger than 2 mm. The likelihood that anyone can retrieve data from complete chips increases with the magnitude of the shred. So, even while choosing shredding as your preferred technique of data erasure is a positive step, it doesn’t always ensure that the data is unrecoverable.

Myth 5 – Data Protection is Guaranteed by Crypto Erase

One of the techniques to erase data is cryptographic erasure, frequently referred to as “Crypto Erase.” If the proper procedures are followed, and verification and certification are attained, it has proven to be very effective at rendering data unrecoverable. Cryptographic erasure has advantages and disadvantages, much like any other data erasure technique.

For instance, Crypto Erase is the best option when transporting storage devices. The warning is that user error and broken keys may compromise the effectiveness of cryptographic erasure.

There should be no more questions regarding the significance of data sanitization and how to conduct it properly now that we have distinguished fact from fiction. We hope you understand data erasure better, make sure to delete all the private information before getting rid of your old computer.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What is meant by data erasure how is it useful?

Data erasure, also known as data clearing, data wiping, or data destruction, is a software-based technique for overwriting data that aims to completely erase all electronic data stored on a hard drive or other digital media by overwriting data onto all sectors of the device in a random order of zeros and ones.

How do you permanently erase data so that it Cannot be recovered?

To permanently erase the data so that it cannot be recovered, you need to use one of the many data erasure methods.

What is the difference between data deletion and data erasure?

Although deletion and erasure may have similar sounds, they should not be used interchangeably. This distinction between data deletion and data erasure is crucial for businesses to understand because having the two phrases mixed up can lead to serious problems.

Is delete the same as erase?

When you delete a file, you just reallocate it on the system, making it more difficult to find; the files are still there, but they are no longer accessible. A file is permanently deleted after being erased.

Dean Atrash


Dean Atrash

Hi, I am Dean Atrash, and I founded Eco IT Solutions to make the asset disposal process easy and smooth for all businesses. Most importantly, it was to create a process that is sustainable, secure, and cost-effective.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit

    The Services I Am Interested In Are

    Your Message