Security Permanently destroying files on storage media is recommended when donating or selling a computer. Federal laws have imposed strict requirements and penalties for data security, particularly regarding health and insurance records and credit transactions. While procedures exist to restore deleted files or erased media, often companies and individuals truly desire that the data never can be recovered. Sensitive medical and financial information, in particular, should be erased so that savvy criminals and digital forensics examiners cannot recover deleted files. The U.S. Department of Defense and the National Security Agency set standards for sanitizing magnetic media and specify that degaussing, or demagnetizing, is the preferred method in lieu of permanently destroying the storage medium. Research This: What types of degaussers are available? How do they wipe a drive’s contents? How are Gauss and Oersted ratings applied? What length of time is required to degauss a drive? Some companies offer degaussing services. What procedures do they use to ensure secure practices?