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155 votes

Have I properly destroyed my SSD?

This approach to data destruction is theatrical and has little grounding in reasonable threat models. The most effective policy to ensure safe and responsible disposal of SSDs is: Use full-disk ...
Polynomial's user avatar
  • 135k
24 votes

How can I determine (as a layman) if an E-mail was set to self destruct?

Emails, sent through SMTP, have no way of "self-destructing" internally built in to them. They're basically just text files that hang around for eternity until all copies are manually deleted. The ...
phyrfox's user avatar
  • 5,744
16 votes

Have I properly destroyed my SSD?

If you really want to be sure the data is unrecoverable, take the drive to a place that does document and hard drive shredding. They'll put the drive through a machine that will shred it into hundreds ...
mti2935's user avatar
  • 23.5k
12 votes

Have I properly destroyed my SSD?

It appears that heat is unreliable to erase data on memory chips (the flame of a butane lighter, like yours, burns at under 1430 °C). However, the nail in the chips will prevent them to be readable ...
A. Hersean's user avatar
  • 10.6k
10 votes

Have I properly destroyed my SSD?

I joined from SO just to suggest this (also was unable to just upvote Polynomial's fantastic post above, so I figured I'd just add another way to destroy it successfully). Scrub rust off of some iron ...
Jimmio92's user avatar
  • 209
8 votes

Have I properly destroyed my SSD?

@Polynomial is right that software full-disk encryption, enabled from the beginning of the drive's lifetime, is the best way to protect your data. (I don't trust ATA Secure Erase—it's too hard to ...
Kevin Riggle's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

How do I securely dispose of a removable USB storage device from within an office?

You can wipe it software wise first: dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda. Securely wiping it software wise will take time tho. Don't put it inside a microwave. Also water will not help 100%. Your company's ...
AdHominem's user avatar
  • 3,016
3 votes

Can I make my Micro SD card physically unreadable if I cut the card (including its pin section) apart with scissors?

Being unable to read data is very different to being unable to interface with data. You can take a CD or DVD to understand this better: Find a disc that has been written to. Cut the disc into 4 ...
dark_st3alth's user avatar
  • 3,032
3 votes
Accepted

Can I make my Micro SD card physically unreadable if I cut the card (including its pin section) apart with scissors?

According to the SANDISK Micro SD datasheet you can see the architecture of a secure digital card. So if you break it in half it should not work as SD cards are made with NAND technology where every ...
arif's user avatar
  • 1,156
3 votes

How do I securely dispose of a removable USB storage device from within an office?

Hire a professional company to destroy it. One advantage of this is that it transfers the responsibility: if data is leaked your company has done everything possible and it is now someone elses fault. ...
Sjoerd's user avatar
  • 30.7k
3 votes

How do I securely dispose of a removable USB storage device from within an office?

You should use a way adapted to the risk: if the USB device has never contained sensitive information simply remove all files from it and throw it away if it contains or may have contained low to ...
Serge Ballesta's user avatar
2 votes

What is a proper way of destroying data remotely?

It's simple: Encrypt all your systems If you have hard disks, you can securely delete them by writing random data to every location. There might be some spare area that is used to replace defective ...
Josef's user avatar
  • 5,973
2 votes

What is the current EU standard for data destruction?

I'm not 100% sure what the EU laws and guidelines would be however; I suspect it's left to the member states to decide what to issue in regards to deletion of personal information. with that said I ...
octo-carrot's user avatar
2 votes

How can I reliably erase all information on a hard drive?

When evaluating your erasure method, you need to consider: How quickly you need to erase the data (Is it an emergency response to terrorists banging on your door, or are you selling your old hardware ...
Pete Riches's user avatar
2 votes

How to you prevent accidental data/document leakage in a byod world?

Your question is a bit of a jumble but actually asks about a core problem. It's about authorisation. Who and what is authorised to download/read a document in a cloud world and how do you enforce it? ...
schroeder's user avatar
  • 129k
2 votes

How do I securely dispose of a removable USB storage device from within an office?

Water will not work, water only damages electrical equipment when powered on. The reason water damages electrical equipment is that it produces circuits where they should not be and provides a voltage ...
Topher Brink's user avatar
  • 1,649
2 votes

Brute forcing encryption password (self destruct after 4 attempts)

Have you tried any of the options that Lumension offers? Secure recovery of passwords, data and forensics Challenge/response over the phone with the help desk for recovery of forgotten ...
Nomad's user avatar
  • 2,379
2 votes

How to best prevent data recovery on a disk drive without physically destroying it?

Yes variants of this question constantly recur, nevertheless I'll try to do a quick and dirty answer before this gets closed. A single pass over write of the raw drive with anything, zeros, random, ...
user10216038's user avatar
  • 8,113
2 votes

I snapped my micro SD card into 8 pieces before throwing it away. Should I be worried that someone can get my data?

Should you be worried? No! Is it technically possible, probably. Here is an example SD card Xray, although not specifically a SanDisk. The memory chips are very small and unless you broke that ...
user10216038's user avatar
  • 8,113
2 votes

If I smash this phone into a million pieces is it secure?

If you smash the phone into tiny pieces and scatter them on different places, the data that only exists on the phone is lost forever. But not all data resides only on your phone. If any online copy ...
ThoriumBR's user avatar
  • 54.2k
2 votes
Accepted

As a private individual, cleanly destroy a large number of paper documents. Are there alternatives to the consumer shredder?

If you have a large firepit or somewhere you can build a bonfire (and there's no burn ban in effect), burning is very effective for destroying paper You'll want some other fuel besides paper, as paper ...
CBHacking's user avatar
  • 48.5k
2 votes

How file deletion works?

Disks are not divided into files, they are divided into blocks. A physical disk doesn't know what a file is at all. A filesystem adds structure to the disk, including metadata that groups blocks into ...
user10489's user avatar
  • 2,003
2 votes

How file deletion works?

Removing just the reference is faster. It just marks one field on the file metadata to mark it as unused instead of overwriting the entire file. Imagine how slow would it be to overwrite several GB ...
ThoriumBR's user avatar
  • 54.2k
2 votes

Have I properly destroyed my SSD?

In short, yes, utterly so. If you had your plans for global destruction or the recipe for coca-cola on it, or you're just feeling especially paranoid then perhaps obsessively mangle the remains with a ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote

If I smash this phone into a million pieces is it secure?

If you've smashed it properly, most likely secure For a modern phone, the two biggest factors for future-proof data destruction are: Whether the phone's storage utilized full encryption; Whether the ...
kouwei32's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote

How to disable data from an presumably dead USB thumb drive while leaving it physically intact?

If you wanted to keep the drive mostly intact to keep it displayed, you should carefully open the case and remove the contents, which you can then dispose of securely through incineration. Members of ...
Ghedipunk's user avatar
  • 6,050
1 vote

How to disable data from an presumably dead USB thumb drive while leaving it physically intact?

If the value of you data exceeds the price you paid for the USB drive, destroy the drive and lose the money. There's no guaranteed way to destroy the data on the drive without physically destroying ...
ThoriumBR's user avatar
  • 54.2k
1 vote

If an SSD uses TRIM, is there any reason to destroy it physically to protect one's data?

There are a couple reasons you might still want to physically destroy a drive instead of relying on TRIM: The OS may or may not have implemented TRIM correctly. Linux in particular can require a ...
bk2204's user avatar
  • 9,444
1 vote

What degree of physical destruction is sufficient to ensure an SSD is not readable?

No. It is not sufficient physical destruction to ensure that any data is unrecoverable by anyone. According to https://www.backblaze.com/blog/how-to-securely-recycle-or-dispose-of-your-ssd/, the ...
Monica Apologists Get Out's user avatar

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