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The Difference Between Document and Data Destruction

Keeping your documents and data secure can be exhausting. The fact that the risk of personal identity theft is relatively low should not keep you from making sure all of your personal information is safe.

Knowing the differences and similarities between document and data destruction is not only informative, but will also help keep you safe in the long run. Below you’ll find a few key points detailing a little bit of information about each.

Document destruction is a simple process

Compared to data destruction, document destruction is a fairly simple process. Once you know what you want to destroy, getting rid of your documents is as easy as compiling them, running them through the shredder, and tossing them in the trash. But shredding them isn’t the only way.

No shredder? No problem

Document destruction doesn’t necessarily require a paper shredder. If you have a pile of documents you need to get rid of, but no shredder to do it with, you’re not out of options. You could:

  • Toss your documents in the fireplace.
  • Soak them in water until they’re unreadable.
  • Throw them into a wood chipper.
  • Dissolve them in a bucket of acid.
  • Give them to someone else to do the job for you—like a professional document shredding service.

It’s easy to get adventurous when destroying physical documents. The important thing about all of these options is that they all do the same thing: destroy your physical papers so no one else can get eyes on your personal information.

Once your documents are gone, they’re (usually) gone for good

Another good thing about document destruction is that, for the most part, once your documents are destroyed, they’re gone for good. With a few exceptions, physically destroying your documents will keep them out of the wrong hands.

Data destruction, on the other hand, isn’t as simple. Here are a few reasons why:

Hitting “delete” just isn’t enough

Data has a feature that physical papers don’t have: data remanence. In basic terms, when you delete something off of your hard drive, it is removed from the hard drive’s list of files but not actually overwritten. Until the file is actually overwritten, it’s still technically accessible even though it’s been deleted—something to keep in mind when dealing with sensitive files.

Data destruction requires constant attention

Because simply deleting a file isn’t enough to ensure it actually goes away, data destruction requires constant attention. To keep files safe, you could:

  • Encrypt your hard drive so that it’s more secure.
  • Overwrite your data a minimum of three times so it can’t be restored.
  • Smash your hard drive.
  • Demagnetize your hard drive so it’s unreadable.

The downside of some of these methods is that many of them are only an option once you’re absolutely certain you don’t want to use your hard drive again. Your best option for daily security is encryption and overwriting.

Sometimes it’s as easy as shredding your drives

When you’re sure that you don’t need your hard drive data anymore, there really is a best way to do it: hard drive shredding. It’s obviously not possible to run a hard drive through most home office shredders, but companies like DataShield can safely and securely destroy your hard drives, ensuring that all of the data once contained on them becomes permanently inaccessible.

Regardless of whether you’re destroying documents or data, keeping your information is important. Personal information contained on paper or on a hard drive can mean trouble in the wrong hands, so it’s very important to always destroy sensitive data.

If you’d like more information on how DataShield can help destroy your documents and data, contact us today.

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