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Data wiping

Data wiping

(also data erasure)

Data wiping definition

Data wiping is the process of deleting data and files from a read/write medium. It allows organizations or individual users to remove the data on specific devices completely. So, after conducting data wiping, no one can access the data that was stored on the device ever again.

The read/write device that needs data wiping so the data on it is completely destroyed is typically a hard disk or other similar digital media.

To conduct data wiping correctly and successfully, users need to connect the hard disk to a hardware bulk-wiping device. Also, data wiping can be done by booting a PC from a CD or network.

Data wiping allows organizations and individuals to get rid of old and unnecessary data safely. It makes sure that no one can access it again and find out sensitive content or information that might have been stored on certain hard disks or other digital media devices.

Data wiping is not the same as simple file deletion or formatting, which can leave traces of the data intact and potentially recoverable. Data wiping utilizes advanced techniques to overwrite the entire storage medium and is an irreversible process. Once it’s done and the data is removed, the data can never be recovered.

See also: hard reset, storage capacity

Data wiping benefits

  • Data wiping is cost-effective because it allows hard disks to be reused.
  • Organizations won’t have to buy a new hard disk or other storage devices every time their existing ones are filled to capacity.
  • Data wiping provides a safe way to delete old files and data.
  • Once a device is completely wiped, no one can get back the data that was stored on it, reducing the possibility of security breaches and information theft.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security