In the end, the best way to ensure that data is gone is to physically destroy the drive. However, traditional rotational drives do a have a couple options that are considered “safe” for data destruction. Many people mistakenly believe that these types of solid state data destruction are also safe for solid state drives.
The simplest method of data destruction is to invoke a drive’s secure erase feature, either through third party software or by accessing the drive’s firmware. On traditional HDD, this overwrites every single bit of data on the drive, sometimes multiple times rendering the data unreadable to anyone without an electron microscope and several years to spend reconstructing the odd bit of data. SSD drives have sectors that are dynamically filled. Tests have found that traditional secure erase features applied to SSD drives leaves as much as10% of the data intact.
Degaussers are another popular method of data destruction. They work by using powerful magnets to disrupt the data on the hard drive platters, which are stored using magnetic fields. Solid state drives do not use magnetic storage, rendering these devices worthless. There is no SSD equivalent of this device.
This leaves no option for secure data destruction than to physically shred the drive. It is important to ensure that the shredder used is able to destroy the individual chips on the PCB. If not, some data may be gleaned by using a chip reader. Phiston tech makes shredders capable of this level of destruction. Contact Us for a quote.