9 creative ways to destroy sensitive data

Feeling aggressive about getting rid of sensitive records? We've got the answer! Here are a few ways to ensure data security, including some that include a drill and a hammer; goggles optional.

destroyed hard drive

Let's get more imaginative than this. Here are 9 ways to destroy data in HGTV style

There are lots of lovely technologies out there that will wipe and shred everything till it’s of no functional use, but it wasn’t until I found something more imaginative that I got into the habit of destroying my data. I was sure I was not alone in this, so I looked into the data destruction habits of other security-minded people to see what worked for them. Here is what we came up.

boiling water

Hot stuff

After factory resetting all the devices, I put them in the kitchen sink and filled it with boiling water.

drill press

Drill press

Because I didn’t know where to find the thermite.


Burn baby, burn

At our new house I had access to a fireplace, so I upgraded to burning sensitive junk mail nightly. While this was thoroughly destructive, during the hot summer months I would end up with a backup of papers again.

lawn mower

Need a bit of a trim

A stack of floppies on the patio table met the blades of a lawnmower after a stiff gust of wind blew them to the ground.

log splitter

Log jam?

Put a hard drive in a log splitter. Squish!

litter box

Ahh yuck

My first tactic was to purge sensitive papers by putting them in bags of well-soiled kitty litter or soupy kitchen waste to deter would-be information thieves. While this was thoroughly gross in a satisfying sort of way, it was not thoroughly destructive enough to put my mind at ease. Plus, I had to wait until I had enough filth in which to bury my papers.


Nuke it

At my husband’s suggestion, several old CDs got the microwave treatment which delivered several more minutes of malevolent giggling.

worm bin compost

Eat up fellas

Now I have a vermicomposting bin, so I simply rip up the papers as I finish reading them and feed them to my bucket full of worms. These wonderful creatures break the papers down further, with remarkable speed. This is satisfyingly gross, thorough, timely, and not subject to seasonal fluctuation. Plus, my strawberry plants love the results!

high powered rifle

Be very quiet, I am hunting hard drives

Old hard drives were removed from their housings and taken to the shooting range where they were dispatched with high-powered rifles.