Data Shredding is an irreversible process designed to erase data permanently so it cannot be recovered. Shredding gets it name from paper shredders. They both are irreversible and are intended to destroy sensitive information. Shredding is commonly referred to as erasing or wiping.
Shredding may seem like a daunting task as once it is done there is no going back. However, in today’s society the need for data security is of high importance. You may think “Why don’t we just encrypt the data”? Sure, encryption is a great security measure but it can always be broken. This has even happened to the CRA where hundreds of SIN numbers were leaked due to a hacker. If you are an organization who holds private information and want to get rid of it in the smartest way possible, data shredding is the right choice for you!
How Shredding Works
Shredding may seem like a simple task but doing it properly can be more complicated. Clicking the delete button and emptying the recycle bin on your computer doesn’t actually delete the data. The data is still technically on your computer, but the computer just forgets the location of the deleted file. This gives the illusion the file is gone. Law enforcement use this to their advantage as there are many programs that can recover so called “Deleted Files”. The only way to be sure you have deleted a file is by overwriting it. This overwriting is the hole basis of shredding. To shred a file, you run it through a program that will repeatedly overwrite that file with different types of data. An real life example of this would be writing over a paper document over and over. On the first overwrite, you can still see the original message. However, after several passes the original message cannot be seen.