Myth: All degaussers are created equally.
Fact: There are many degausser models available on the market, each rated for different media based upon the degausser field strength. A degausser's magnetic field strength is measured in Gauss or Oersteds. Likewise, magnetic media has a property called Coercivity, which is measured in Oersteds, that tells you how hard or how easy each tape or hard drive is to erase. For complete erasure, a degausser’s magnetic field strength must be two to three times the Coercivity of the media. At Data Security, Inc., we can help you identify the correct degausser based upon your media sanitization needs.
Myth: All degaussers erase disk drives.
Fact: Most commercial degausser specifications claim a magnetic field strength of 4,000 Oersted (Gauss) or less, while most disk drives have coercivity ratings of 5000 Oersteds. To ensure complete erasure, a degausser’s magnetic field strength must be two to three times the Coercivity of the media. Therefore, a 4,000 Oersted (Gauss) degausser has barely enough strength to erase 2000 Oersted media, making a 4000 Oersted commercial degausser insufficient for proper erasure of today’s 5,000 Oersted hard disk drives. Let Data Security, Inc. identify the correct degausser for you based on your media needs.
Myth: Formatting, deleting, overwriting and/or physical destruction of media is an adequate substitution for degaussing.
Fact: The only way to ensure all information is removed from a tape or disk is to use an appropriate, NSA approved degausser. Formatting, deleting, overwriting, Secure Erase and DoD Wipe does not erase files. These methods simply remove pointers and compresses disk space - the files remain and can be recovered leaving your data at risk. In addition, these types of overwrite are only effective on the portions of a hard disk drive (HDD) that are able to be overwritten. Bad sectors, tracking errors and G-list defects result in portions of every drive being left untouched. Not to mention, it is impossible to write over a crashed drive.
Likewise, physical destruction (i.e. shattering, drilling, folding, shredding and disintegrating) does NOT ensure your data is unrecoverable either. Both commercial and government laboratories have methods to successfully recover information from tiny pieces of disks and tape. The only way to ensure all information is removed from a tape or disk is to use an appropriate, NSA approved degausser. That being said, the NSA does recommend hard disk drives be physically damaged after degaussing and prior to disposal. Regulations.
Myth: All electromagnetic degaussers create a dangerous magnetic field that escapes the degausser.
Fact: At Data Security, Inc., we believe that a stray field is wasted energy and therefore design our degaussers to shield the magnetic field inside the machine. The magnetic field outside of a Data Security, Inc. degausser is equal to or less than the earth's magnetic field. Health & Safety.
Myth: All electromagnetic degaussers heat media.
Fact: All electromagnetic degaussers do not heat media. When magnetic media that is encased in aluminum is exposed to an AC magnetic field for an extended period of time, the temperature of the media will rise. This phenomenon is common with many commercial table top style degaussers. A capacitive discharge degausser from Data Security, Inc. eliminates the constant exposure to an AC field and does not heat the media.