What Is Data Remanence And How To Remove It

getting confidential data from left by data remanence

There are many things that we do on a computer each day. Sometimes, forgetting to delete or clear out our internet history can be one of the most dangerous mistakes we make.

What might seem like an innocent act may actually lead to you leaving data behind for someone else to find and take advantage of.

The idea of data remanence is a scary one. Data can be stored on a computer for years and even decades after it has been deleted.

But what exactly is data remanence?

Data remanence is the ability to recover this information from old hard drives, even if they have been formatted or partially overwritten with new data.

Should you be worried about data remanence? You should if your work involves sensitive information.

What Is Data Remanence?

Data remanence is the “leftover” or residual data that stays after you have performed simple deletion activities like moving them into the recycle bin and “deleting” them.

This move only removes the references to the files’; experienced hackers are still able to retrieve them and related information in your system.

Data remanence is typically caused by the accidental deletion of files, formatting of disks, or logical errors on the disk.

For example, some software does not overwrite all data when deleting files and instead only marks their location as available for new users.

This leaves some residual data behind that could contain sensitive information.

Some examples of this are old documents or pictures stored in an email account with limited space, which have been deleted but not overwritten yet to allow space for newer emails.

In addition, data remanence is also seen when people format a hard drive without using any form of software to securely erase all traces of past use before doing so.

Risk Of Data Remanence

It’s not just the data that is at risk when you delete a file. Data can be left behind in your hard drive for years or even decades after it has been deleted, making it vulnerable to recovery.

When you have instances of “Data Remanence” in your organization, a third party can easily obtain or recover your once thought “deleted” data by using easily available file recovery software.

These situations can lead to harmful and unwanted situations for your organization.

Data Breaches

Data Breaches are a huge problem in our society.

It’s estimated that the majority of data breaches come from remanence or residual data left on storage devices after deletion or formatting.

This leftover data can be accessed by anyone who has access to your device and knows what they’re doing, which is why it’s so important to wipe your device before selling it.

Personal Private Details Of Customers

Data remanence is a cause of concern for many people, and it’s not just because of the data that can be detected on the drive.

Data remanence provides evidence of private personal information, which can then be used to track down an individual and their family members.

This leaves individuals vulnerable to various blackmailing schemes such as extortion or harassment campaigns.

Damage To Reputation

A data remanence can have a devastating impact on an organization.

In many cases, the data is leaked and becomes publicly available for anyone to view, download, or use.

Some of this information includes sensitive company secrets that could be used as leverage against the business in question or even used against current and future customers.

This means that any customer who has ever been a part of the compromised database will now be at risk for identity theft, among other possible consequences.


Data remanence is the residual data left on a device after you delete it.

It happens because not all of the data gets erased when you delete something, and some parts stay hidden in various places like your hard drive or other devices connected to yours.

This means hackers can find ways to get back into your system and steal sensitive information from it even if you’ve deleted the files and emptied your trash!

How To Overcome Data Remanence

To prevent data remanence from happening, an organization can choose to safeguard its privacy with three different yet simple methods.


Degaussing uses high-powered magnets to destroy data stored in storage devices. This works by having the magnets disrupt the magnetic fields on the devices and destroying data on a media drive.

Degaussing reduces data retention by lowering the coercivity of the material so that it can be overwritten more easily with new data.

With the magnetic storage system being damaged, the drive is thus permanently compromised and cannot be reused.


Crushing is the most straightforward of the 3, involving the use of a steel punch which literally punches a hole in any media or data storage unit.

In doing so, the damage dealt with the device prevents further data recovery.


Similar to crushing, shredding physically cuts your media drive into tiny pieces.

Our shredder will physically shred the media drives into pieces of 40mm and thus, rendering any confidential or sensitive information impossible to retrieve.

Why Choose Tech Dynamic?

Data remanence is a huge problem for organizations of all sizes. It can leave data vulnerable to unauthorized access, and it’s costly trying to clean up the aftermath.

But what if there was an easy solution? A solution that would protect your data, cut costs, and make sure you never have to worry about compromising your sensitive information again?

That solution exists with Tech Dynamic!

Tech Dynamic offers a variety of data destruction services. We ensure that all of your media drives will be properly handled, and its data inside will be completely irretrievable.

Our experienced engineers and specialists will be able to guide and decide for you the best course of action for any project.

Our highly trained staff can be at your location if you require the media destruction to be done onsite. We have the proper equipment to conduct secured media destruction around Singapore.

We also can pick up your media drives to a secured facility for a proper disposal process. You will be provided with a certificate of destruction that states where and when your media drive was destroyed.

At Tech Dynamic, we are focused on providing professional electronic waste disposal and IT asset relocation services to suit your IT needs. Consult our experts today.

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