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What Type of Electronic Data Destruction Do You Need?

not sure of how to destroy data

When your equipment reaches end of life or end of lease or retirement, what’s the next step in electronic data destruction? Which asset disposition method words best for you? How do you protect your customer data or your own data so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands?  These are the most common questions Guardian gets from VARs and end-users.

There are four basic types of electronic data destruction for business digital media (computers, laptops, Chromebooks, hard drives, optical drives, smart phones, credit card swipe devices, tablets, tapes, solid state drives, motherboards, CD ROMs, thumb drives, etc.):


Securely erase electronic data to DOD standards, but retain the physical hard drive for reuse. Erasure should include hard drive serial number capturing, multi-pass DOD standard overwrite and verification passes (depending on security requirements) and a certificate of destruction.

Is erasure for you? Erasure is perfect for businesses that have off-lease equipment (including enterprise data centers, desktops, laptops) or hard drives for reuse, redeployment or high remarking value.


“Degaussing” exposes equipment to a powerful magnetic field to ensure removal of data from the media. Hard drives that are degaussed cannot be re-used. It’s a cost-effective solution to use when destroying smaller quantities of hard drives or media tapes. Degaussing services should always include a certificate of destruction and serial # scans.

Is degaussing for you?  Degaussing is appropriate for small and medium sized business that are looking for a budget-friendly electronic data destruction method for old hard drives and media tapes.


Shredding is the most secure, versatile and cost-effective electronic data destruction for all types of end-of-life hard drives and media including hard drives, optical drives, smart phones, credit card swipe devices, tablets, tapes, solid state drives, motherboards, CD ROMs, thumb drives and more. Hard drives are scanned and shredded and a comprehensive certificate of destruction is issued confirm that all data is appropriately destroyed.

Is shredding for you? Hard drive shredding is great for businesses with large enterprise data centers, or a stockpile of old hard drives and media tapes because it is highly secure, fast and efficient. It’s also perfect for businesses with a wide variety of data-laden form factors.


Standard shredding reduces electronic equipment to 35 mm pieces. 2 MM solid state shredding disintegrates solid state hard drives and devices such as hard drives, circuit boards, tablets and cell phones to a very fine, dust-like consistency and is NSA compliant.

Is solid state shredding for you?  If you are using solid state devices and are concerned about risk and liability, 2 MM shredding guarantees data obliteration.

If you’re not sure which type of data destruction you need, or you fall in between categories, we recommend that you consult with your IT equipment VAR or contact Guardian directly. We’ll review the volume and type of equipment, frequency of disposition and external factors such as industry regulations, customer requirements, asset location and your company life cycle management, security and privacy policies.

With Guardian Data Destruction, you'll never have to worry or second-guess.

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