NYTimes: Q&A: Safely Dumping Old Data Discs

I would like to warn people this article, does provide a good standard way of destroying CD’s, it is still possible to read the data from even a small portion of a CD, DVD, or Blue-Ray.  The important question when determining how to “destroy” a data disc is based on the information it contains.

  1. How would you feel if a portion of the data was made available publicly?
  2. What legal obligations are you under to destroy the data?
  3. What is your risk?

How likely is it that someone is going to spend the time and money to retrieve data that you throw out?  Grandma throwing out a disc with her grandson’s music mix, isn’t very likely, however CEO of the newest social website throwing out a disc is far more valuables, and worth the effort, even if the disc is pictures from the family vacation.  There could be that one photo of Mr. CEO with his work laptop open reading an email on the latest acquisition. That would be something worth spending the time and money to find.

Complete and total destruction is the only way to ensure that your data disc is safely destroyed.  That means no parts of it remain.  Unless you have a tool that can turn a disc into a powder, we are talking about an incinerator. 

Good news is if your data is on ly Hard Drive.  This kind of disc is easy to deal with.  You need a hard drive wiping software. These programs after various levels of wiping.  They write over your existing data multiple times with new data.  The highest levels of wiping, are the military standards.  If you want to take it one step further you can have a hard drive shredded. This on its own isn’t enough.  As long a some parts of it exists then it can be read.  The wiping at military standards levels, makes it nearly impossible to recover any data.

  • Ghostprogrammer
  • I am known for being able to quickly decipher difficult problems to assist development teams in producing a solution. I have been called upon to be the Team Lead for multiple large-scale projects. I have a keen interest in learning new technologies, always ready for a new challenge.

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