Best Ways to Destroy Tape Media and Secure Your Data

Faced with the need to destroy tape media?

In most organizations, backup tapes contain confidential information that can cause security risk when not properly destroyed.

If not, at some point just like in all other enterprises, you will need to destroy the data contained in storage media. And with the associated legal liabilities and environmental concerns, the process can have us at a loss on how to best destroy tape media.

There are lots of ways to destroy backup tapes, from the physical on-site tape backup shredding to the eradication of the data they contain.

Here are the safest ways to destroy backup tapes securely.

Data Destruction

To effectively destroy the data in a backup tape, you will need to do more than just delete a file. One sure-fire way to achieve that is through media degaussing. The method scrambles data making it unrecoverable and this helps ensure both data safety and compliance with federal government standards.

Physical Destruction

The destruction process for tape media is generally conducted in two different ways:

Media Shredding

Shredding tapes reduces the risk of data leaks as the tapes are ground into pieces too small for total reconstruction. The process results in solid waste that must be disposed of in a landfill.

However, as much as landfilling presents the cheapest option, it is terrible for the environment. With time, even in the best landfills, a certain amount of chemical and metal leaching will occur.


Although not as cheap as landfilling, incineration represents the best way to destroy backup tapes. All the material is completely incinerated and there is no solid waste to dispose of. The only major drawback of the method is the release of toxic material into the atmosphere.

Destroy Tape Media and Secure Your Future

Whether you’re in the public or private sector, improper disposal of backup media could result in fines or other penalties that your organization could definitely do without. Always go for a reputable tape destruction service provider. This should be someone who can guarantee you secure handling while keeping an eye on costs and environmental impacts.

Got sensitive tapes that need to be destroyed? Get a free data destruction quote, now!

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