Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hard Drive Destruction: 100% Secure Method Of Removing Hard Disk Data

Confidential information stored in a hard drives are always a target of identity thieves because most people or organization knows nothing about data security. When organizations upgrade their computer, they often forget to do the security measures in making the files unrecoverable.

Normally formatting is a way to get rid of all the data in the HDD but this method doesn't make the files unrecoverable. It just makes room for free space, so your old files will be overwritten. This is where most business, companies, and organization fails. What they do is format the disk then they either send it to recycling centers or sell them to people.

Another mistake, which can compromise their data security is how people deals with broken disks. Did you know that malfunctioning disks still have files in them that can be recovered using straightforward techniques like using a file recovery CD or a more advance file recovery method like transferring a disk platter to another hard disk of the same make and model.

It is possible to wipe data in a disk. Wiping is a process wherein the erased file is overwritten several times, so the files will no longer be recovered. The wiping process is easy, but the result is unpredictable. Sometimes, no matter how many times a disk wiping is performed, a file recovery software will still be able to recover it.

A hard disk that contains personal information of customers can be recovered by thieves in which they can use to

That is why it is recommended to perform HDD destruction before throwing away hard disk drives. Before it is done, there are pointers to remember first:

List of files in HDD which will be prone to identity theft and data breach: social security number

    Financial records
    Personal information (complete name, birthday, address) credit card numbers
    Customer's database with a name, birthday, social security number, address, etc. medical records
    Tax records
    Trade secrets
    Strategic business plans

Verify if the hard disk is fully functional or not working. A fully functional hard disk can benefit from disk wiping method the best solution to make wiping unrecoverable is to do several passes. 7 pass is not enough, and 35 passes are a sure way to remove data. Make sure to perform a disk verification procedure to verify if all files are unrecoverable.

How To Securely Delete Files

Deleting a file through typical means, does not necessarily mean that you removed the file from your hard disk. With some tools or software, the file you just deleted can be easily recovered.

When you send a file to a recycle bin, the operating system only deletes a record of the files that you want to delete. Your actual files remain in memory of your hard disk.

What is at risk

These are some of the sensitive information:

    Personal information(name, address, birthday, etc).
    Social security number, tax records
    Bank account information, credit card information
    Customer's database
    Trade secrets
    Confidential documents

People interested in this sensitive information is either one of your family member that wants to steal credit card from you, your employees, or identity thieves. Financial loss could start from $4,000 up to $100 million depending on the kind of sensitive information stolen.

Repairs could take from $200 per individual and could last for more than a month depending on the kind of action done to repair the problem.

The concept of overwriting

The concept in making a file unrecoverable is to flip each magnetic domain as much as possible without writing the same pattern twice in a row. If the data is encoded directly, you can effortlessly choose the desired overwriting pattern of ones and zeros and then write it repeatedly. However, most disk use Run Length Limited (RLL) encoding so that the adjacent ones won't be overwritten.

To delete a hard disk permanently, you need to overwrite the disk many times in alternating patterns in order to expose it into a magnetic field that is oscillating fast enough so, it can do the flipping of the magnetic domain over a reasonable amount of time.

Discover the Importance of Data Recovery Software

Many long time computer users have lost personal files one way or another. The data could have been unimportant and easily replaced or it could have been quite valuable that caused some anxiety. The data loss might have been caused by file corruption due to software error or hardware malfunction.

To prevent such data loss, it is always advisable to save your files often while doing your work. If you are using an uninterruptible power supply, quickly save your work once a blackout occurs. If the software you are using has an option to always make backup copies, it is better to enable the feature before you start working. It is also highly recommended to periodically make backup copies of all your important files so that any lost data can be recovered even partially instead of repeating all your work from the very beginning.

But what do you do if your file becomes corrupted and that file contains valuable information? Is there a way to recover the file and its data? There is software to do just that and they are called data recovery software. When a file becomes corrupt, many times its header or table of content is the one section that is damaged. The data might still be there and it can be recovered. Data recovery software scans the file and attempts to recover the header and if successful, the file can be accessible again. If on the other hand, part of the data has been destroyed and the header is still intact, the data in the file can still be saved, albeit partially only. Even if not all of the data was restored, the resulting file is good enough to continue working with it instead of starting from scratch.

One of the dreaded scenarios is where our hard drive gets corrupted and becomes inaccessible. The drive might still be functional, but for some reason Windows cannot access the data. This symptom points to a corrupted file system table. All data may still be intact, but the table used to access the files become corrupted. In order to recover the data, another drive of the same size or bigger must be connected to the computer. The data recover software is run and all recoverable data is copied to the new hard drive. This kind of recovery takes a long time especially if the hard drive size is large.