It’s time to back up your data again. It’s also time I thought of something really original and new to say in this reminder notice, but all I have for you this week is a tidbit on how to destroy your data…which, of course, you might want to know, given what’s happened to our right to privacy.
The Ur-Guru was watching “Unscrewed” on his laptop last week and I caught a segment about ways to make sure your data is totally destroyed. A few were rather fanciful, such as the liquid nitrogen combined with a sledgehammer.
However, almost everyone has a microwave, and it turns out that if you microwave CDs on the “popcorn” setting, they arc into artistic craquel patterns and become completely unusable. (The microwave appears to survive just fine.)
In general, fire is a more effective way to destroy a hard drive than water.
Data recovery centers have been able to retrieve data from computers that were buried under water or mud, but fire is much harder on a disk. (Some firefighting chemicals also damage electronic equipment.) This is one reason you should make sure your computer is properly ventilated and doesn’t get too hot. Laptop users need to be especially careful: get a laptop with feet and put it onto a hard surface where air can circulate under it. (Your lap is the right height for using a laptop, but it has the wrong topography.)
I’ll be back on Friday with more random backup remarks and another reminder. Until then, may your data be safe!