Degaussing indicates the process by which a magnetic field is either eliminated or decreased. This term is derived from the gauss, which is a unit of magnetism.

To understand degaussing you have to understand its purpose and the tool utilized to achieve degaussing. 

Why is Degaussing Important?

The only surefire way to erase a hard drive is by degaussing. That is the primary process to destroy every trace of data. If you use the right degausser then it ensures that sensitive and private information is untraceable. Simply put, degaussing completely erases a tape or hard drive. 

Physically destroying a storage device does not remove the date. Instead, it renders the device itself unusable, and the data is irretrievable on that particular data storage device. 

The NSA, (National Security Agency) has deemed degaussing as the preferred option to wipe any technology clean. The degausser uses the magnetic fields to demagnetize the device that you want to get erased.

How Does Degaussing Work?

The underlying principle that a degausser is dependent on is being able to polarize Weiss domains. The data gets stored on a magnetic media item such as a hard drive and a magnetic field attached to small areas of the device. These spaces are the magnetic domains, or more specifically, the Weiss domains. 

When you subject the magnetic item to degaussing, the arrangement of magnetization of the Weiss domain becomes disorganized. It was written in a certain order and generated as the data got copied to the device. After degaussing, the arrangement is pushed into one direction, thus erasing everything. 

To demagnetize an item, you have to use a degausser, which is a hardware tool. The difference between a degausser and a tool that overwrites software is that the degausser completes the task of erasing in a standard set of time no matter how much data gets erased or the type of media device. 

Another difference is that you cannot reuse a device after it gets degaussed; in contrast, you can use a device after the data gets overwritten. 

Understanding Degaussing

Each type of degausser won’t delete the information from a storage device permanently. Magnetic coercivity is a factor because a magnet will show resistance to getting demagnetized. Coercivity is the intensity of the reversed magnetic field that has to get applied to a device to cancel the magnetization. 

An effective degausser has to produce a magnetic field at least 1.5 times the magnetic coercivity of the data that you want to delete. The more power generated from the degausser, the more effective it will be. You can also plan to use it for future technology and more advanced magnetic media. 

It only takes seconds for a degausser to work its magic. Once a storage device is inserted into the degausser’s compartment, the demagnetizing process begins. It’s worth remembering, however, that you will not be able to use the device again after it has been degaussed.

Protecting Your Data with Degaussing

Degaussing is just one of many safe and effective data destruction techniques Newtech Recycling uses to make sure our client’s private information never falls into the wrong hands. 

Deleting and even reformatting aren’t enough to permanently destroy your data. If you’re planning to get rid of unwanted hard drives or other storage devices, make sure your security is protected with data destruction services from Newtech Recycling!

Related Terms: Electronic Recycling, TERRA, ITAD

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