Syllabus Detail

  • Methods for secure disposal of data; overwriting, physical destruction of media. 12 ATAR 


  • Sometimes it's essential to securely dispose of data that could be potentially harmful or discriminating in the wrong hands
  • Simply moving a file to the computer's trash is ineffective, as this only removes the indexes to the data, hence the information is still available on the disk
  • Methods to successfully securely remove this information include software capable of overwriting or "wiping" the media, as well as physical destruction of the media


Software Methods

  • Special software can be used to remove data securely
  • Although the data indexes are removed, the information can be left physically sitting on the disk, hence a recovery program may still be able to read this information
  • Data erase software can be used to remove this data securely from a machine
    • This works by overwriting the storage locations (where the data is) with either complementary variations of 1s and 0s (meaning the opposite of what is currently stored), or by replacing them with random 1s and 0s
    • This generally allows for secure data disposal as the information is over-written with random bits
    • Many types of secure disposal software, allow for an option to over-write the data multiple time, with more times ensuring a higher chance that the data is un-recoverable


Physical Destruction Method

  • Physical destruction is a good way to ensure that data cannot be attained from a storage device
  • By mangling the hardware components of a storage device, the disk becomes unusable in a normal computing environment
  • Using a hard drive tool such as a degausser will de-magnetize the physical medium
  • A degausser will wipe all the data on the hard drive, as well as over-writing and removing the factory pre-recorded data, making the disk unusable


Step 5 - Further Research

  1. Check out hard drive degaussers here
  2. Tips and tools for securely disposing of data here


 Step 6 - Worksheet and Practice (yet to be added)


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