February 21, 2024

A degausser is a device that removes data from devices such as your hard drives by disrupting and eliminating magnetic fields that are recorded on tapes and disk media. Data becomes illegible and unrecoverable due to the degaussing process’ alteration of the magnetic domain where it is stored.

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Degaussers are compatible with VHS, DLT, LTO, and cassette tapes, as well as the majority of modern devices’ hard drives and other storage media. On compact disks and other optical storage components, however, they are inoperable.

One of the finest precautions to take before burning or shredding hard drives is degaussing, since it adds an additional layer of security to prevent unauthorized access to your data.

Degaussers at Work

A degausser eliminates information by creating a regulated magnetic field. Every piece of equipment you have has an Oe rating, which tells us how powerful a degausser is required to erase the data from that storage media.

A round, flat sheet of metal coated in iron oxide or chromium dioxide is used by a standard hard disk to generate and store data. A coil in the hard drive’s head is subjected to electrical pulses that magnetize a portion of the metal and position the coating to store binary data.

Degaussers produce magnetic fields that cause the coating to break and the magnetic memory within it to disappear. As a result, the existing data pattern is entirely randomized, meaning that no two pieces of information are similar.

Following a Degaussing

After being run through a degausser, several of the gadgets remain functional. The most probable magnetic storage devices to remain functional after degaussing are generic ones, such as VHS video cassettes and reel-to-reel tapes. The drawback is that because they are so old, attempting to reuse them usually won’t save you any money because of the maintenance required for outdated technology and their little storage capacity.

The degaussing procedure renders many backup tapes and the hard drives in your servers, PCs, laptops, and tablets useless. If the goal is to permanently erase information, this change in the magnetic domain is ideal since it causes irreversible harm.

Know These Degausser Terms

When examining any degaussing service, there are a few things you should know and comprehend. Here are a few of the more significant ones.

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The measurement of a magnetic field in a vacuum is called Oersted (Oe). While hard drives can easily exceed 5,000 Oe, modern cassettes have Oe ratings of roughly 1800 or more. These energy level values indicate the strength of degausser required to wipe off the data on the device.

Coercivity

In many cases, the terms coercivity and Oersted will be used interchangeably since coercivity is the amount of magnetic field required to decrease a magnetic induction to zero, which destroys data on hard drives. This is essentially a scale that indicates how simple or complex it will be to demagnetize your magnetic material.

Just keep in mind that the stronger the degausser you’ll need to ensure that your information is gone, the higher the term when utilized together.

Are You in Need of It?

It’s time to consider the important question: while discarding your outdated equipment, should you utilize degaussing from a company like Securis? When data contains credit card numbers, personal information, or any other information that might be used to harm your company, clients, or reputation, we always want to respond “Yes!”

There are also some situations in which degaussing is necessary. When utilizing any information that needs a certain degree of clearance, including those designated as “Top Secret” or “Classified,” you have to adhere to degaussing disposal regulations and procedures.

Additionally, degaussing is always advised for human resources departments, financial institutions, businesses that hold confidential data, and everyone else who keeps track of health or private client information. It is the most effective method of protecting your data, and just to be sure, you should destroy your entire hard drive afterwards.