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Destroying A CD

The Wrong Way Could Cause Injury And Pose Health Risks

safe ways to destroy a CD

How To Destroy A CD Safely
When we talk of destroying a CD in a safe way, we need to consider health safety and also the need to keep information on the CD out of the reach of others. The cheap price of CD disks and the fact that they can hold a large volume of data has, made them very popular for keeping backup information or archive data. Most of us would have many such disks with information that has become outdated or useless, it is also possible that the same information would be duplicated on many CD disks. There would therefore be numerous instances when it becomes necessary to discard unwanted CD disks. Throwing a CD in the trash can would not cause injury, but it leaves the information on the CD accessible to anyone who gets their hands on the disk. Destroying a CD using more permanent and drastic methods could cause injury and pose other health hazards.

Why would anyone try to destroy a CD?

It would appear that the easiest way to discard a CD would be to throw it into the thrash can or toss it over for the kids to play with. However if you thought for a moment, you will realize that the CD you want to discard would be one that has data or information on it. It is quite possible that the information on the CD is something for which you have no need now, it could contain personal images, office work files, spreadsheets, account statements, a collection of email addresses or anything else. You surely do not want someone else to get hold of the information on the CD, so destroying the CD before you discard it is important. What you will infact do is, to destroy the information on the CD and make sure that the CD is not readable by others.

In this article we will consider a few suggestions for destroying a CD that you should never try. An I.T guru might push these ways to destroy a CD as safe, but safe in I.T terminology would mean that the information on the CD could not be retrieved if destroyed in one of these ways. However, we look at the health dangers that could occur and the injuries that could be caused, by trying to destroy a CD by using some of these methods. We also suggest safe ways that can be used to destroy CD disks and these methods strike the right balance between information security and health safety.

Dangerous Ways To Try Destroying A CD
These are some methods to destroy a CD that many IT experts would recommend. The idea is to make the information inaccessible to others and does not take health safety into consideration. We would suggest that you read this complete report, but do not try these methods to destroy a CD as they could be dangerous .

(1) Putting the CD in a microwave oven: This is a sure way to destroy the information on a CD but, the process could release some gases and fumes in the oven. It would not be advisable to use the microwave oven to cook food after having used it to destroy a CD. Destroying a CD in a microwave oven would please an I.T expert but the negative effects will not make it worth trying.

(2) Bending and breaking the CD: This would break the CD into two pieces and you would have have succeeded in destroying the data that is on the CD. You could injure your hand in the process as, the edges would be quite sharp. Another problem is that some types of materials used in the making of a CD will cause the CD to shatter into many small pieces when bent. These small pieces could jump or fly around and injure the eyes of children, pets or anyone who is around.

(3) Allowing the kids to play with the CD: This method will still allow the information on the CD to be accessed and possibly utilized by others. The dangers to the child's health are quite apparent and would depend on the age of the child. A small toddler could put the attractive CD in the mouth and this could result in a painful cut on the lips. Grown up children would most likely love to throw the CD around and watch it glide back to the ground. Injuries could occur if the CD goes hurling and hits someone around the place. This method of destroying a CD does not destroy the information on the disk and can infact cause severe injury.

Suggestions For Safely Destroying A CD
Let us get a bit technical here and consider a few ways which can safely be used for destroying a CD. Computers have today become an integral part of our personal and professional lives. The truth is that most of us will one day or the other, find that we have many disks that are useless and need to be discarded. The advantage of a CD is that it can store many times more (data) as compared to a conventional floppy disk, but this also means that you risk massive amounts of data each time you lose or throw away a CD.

(a) Destroying a CD the easy way: Unless the information on your CD is of great interest to top security agencies like the Interpol or FBI, there is a simple method that you could use to destroy a CD. Throw the CD on the sidewalk or road, put the sole of your shoe heavily near the center of the CD, now rotate your sole clockwise (as far as you can comfortably go) and then anti-clockwise. Do this about half a dozen times and then pick the CD and flip it over, now repeat the same process. This should make the information on the CD inaccessible in most cases and you can then safely toss it in the trash can.

(b) Using a machine to destroy the CD: This is the safest way to destroy a CD and machines are available in different capacities so you can pick the one that suits you the best. The simpler machines are suitable for home or small office use and destroy the CD by punching holes in the disk. The punched out portion gets physically separated from the CD and thereby makes the CD unreadable. You can collect the pieces of the destroyed CD and discard them in the garbage can. Larger CD destroying machines are also available and such machines can handle large volumes of disks. The process used in such machines is to actually 'shred' the disk into small strips. Destroying a CD through the use of such machines physically alters the disk and are therefore more reliable and permanent in terms of keeping information away from others.

Before we end this article, we would like to say that advanced technics in data retrieval are adopted by security agencies like the FBI. In such cases, breaking a CD into two pieces or rubbing it on the sidewalk would not be 100% secure. However, the information that most of us put on our CD would not interest the FBI and we can therefore stick to the above suggested methods for destroying a CD. The best way would be to ensure that you are not saddled with too many unwanted CD disks. If you use the CD to mainly back up the information on your laptop or desktop computer, consider using a CD that can be overwritten multiple times. These are referred to as re-writeable CD disks and can be reused many times before discarding. This could help reduce the number of useless CD disks that you generate.

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