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Data Deletion vs Data ​​Erasure: What Are the Differences?

Data Deletion vs Data ​​Erasure: What Are the Differences?

The Illusion of Data Deletion

In today's data-driven economies, information is the new currency. As we generate, store, and transmit massive amounts of records, the question of managing them becomes increasingly important. One of the most critical aspects is understanding the difference between data deletion and data erasure. This guide aims to shed light on these two processes and help you choose the right one for your company's needs.

Many users believe that when they hit the "delete" button, the old data is gone forever — be it photos, music, or emails. This is far from the truth. If the files are not visible, they can still be accessed. It is just a quick way to free up space. Special programs can easily recover this "deleted" info, posing a huge risk to your business. Think of it as throwing paper into a trash can; someone can still pick it up. 

Sensitive data

The topic heats up for businesses dealing with used tech because they daily encounter PII (Personally Identifiable Information). Suppose this data gets into the wrong hands. In that case, it can result in serious data breach issues like identity theft, financial scams, threats to personal safety, company reputation harm, stolen business secrets, loss of customers, and even legal troubles. Confusing data wiping methods can cause data leaks, break laws, and lead to significant fines.

Data Destruction Methods

Data Destruction Methods

Data Deletion

In technical terms, it means removing a file from a storage medium. The occupied space is marked as "available," but the info remains intact until it is overwritten. 

Such a technique can be sufficient for non-sensitive materials or when you intend to continue using the disk. In the case of disposing of, selling, or recycling, it is not enough for protection.

Secure Data Erasure

Erasure, in turn, is the superhero of security management. It doesn't just hide items; it destroys them, making recovery impossible. Unlike deletion, these algorithms overwrite the record multiple times, ensuring it cannot be retrieved. The process complies with various industry standards and is the only way to guarantee you 100% confidence.

  Deletion Erasure
Technical Mechanism Labels storage area as "open" but doesn't change the existing data Full factory reset. Replaces files with random information, ensuring they can't be retrieved
The Outcome Frees up new space, the previous data remains Modifies and replaces data, keeping the device reusable
Recoverability Possible with specific tools Absolutely irretrievable
Security Low High
Tools Required Basic OS commands Special software like NSYS Data Erasure

Why Deleted Data Matters

In a world where data breaches are increasingly common, the importance can't be overstated. A single data leak can cost millions and severely damage a company's reputation. It is not just a recommended practice but a necessity.

A recent study by Ontrack showed that sensitive residual data was found on 42% of 159 second-hand devices purchased online. 15% of these drives contained PII. This highlights the dangers of not properly erasing data.

This means 3 out of every 20 drives had personal details like government clearances, family documents, company emails, shipping records, student papers, etc. Even though sellers claimed they cleaned the drives, the findings showed otherwise. This highlights a big issue: people think they're deleting data, but their methods aren't effective.

Legal Requirements

Adhering to regulatory standards is crucial for organizations aiming for secure data destruction. Such certifications validate data security, ensuring legal compliance and bolstering customer confidence.

Data Sanitization Certificates:

  • NIST SP 800-88: Confirms alignment with NIST standards, a government and major corporations benchmark.
  • DoD 5220.22-M: Awarded when data removal meets U.S. Department of Defense standards, used chiefly for defense sectors.
  • GDPR Compliance: Signifies compliance with the GDPR, vital for businesses interacting with EU data.
Data Sanitization Certificates:

Best Data Erasure Tools 

Software-based overwriting 

The software allows you to wipe electronic devices simultaneously and provides a certificate for each device, confirming compliance with international standards. All the data in the storage media is replaced with random characters. There's zero chance of any confidential data left over. 


Degaussing employs potent magnets to scramble the magnetic fields in storage, rendering them both unreadable and useless. This technique is commonly applied to magnetic tapes and specific hard drives.


Physical destruction, also known as shredding, is the most reliable way to ensure that data cannot be recovered. Can the device be used after this procedure? For sure, no, specialized industrial machines grind the disk into small, unrecognizable pieces. This method is not environmentally friendly, so it is unsuitable for companies striving for a circular economy.

Certified Data Erasure - The Fort Knox of Cyber Security 

Deleting data is like putting your valuables in a locked box with no code. Whereas erasing is like keeping those in a box and throwing it into a volcano. The choice is obvious: For complete cybersecurity, use trusted assistance!

The Best Data Erasure Software

NSYS Data Erasure is here to guarantee you a foolproof way to wipe both Android and iOS.

  • Massive time-saver. Got a bunch of old mobile devices? No problem. With NSYS, you can wipe multiple devices (up to 60) at the same time. A very cost-effective method.
  • Certification. A certificate isn't just a piece of paper; it's your assurance that the data erasure meets international standards. 
  • Reliability. No nasty surprises for the customers, no risk to your reputation.
  • Globally recognized standards. NSYS solutions are certified by ADISA and compliant with the NIST and GDPR regulations. You're in safe hands with total information security.

So, why take risks with your values? Send us your request and try NSYS Data Erasure today. Secure your peace of mind, protect your business, and make safety concerns a thing of the past.

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