Browse Definitions :
Definition

degauss

Contributor(s): Gene Chuah, Oli Ismet Ozkan, and S. Sidun

To degauss is to demagnetize. The term is named after Carl Friedrich Gauss, a German mathematician who applied mathematics to the study of geo-magnetism. A gauss is a unit of magnetic flux density equal to 1 maxwell per square centimeter.

Degaussing is a popular technique for destroying data on magnetic storage tapes. By changing the magnetic field on the tape with a box-like device known as a degausser, the data on the tape can effectively be destroyed. This allows reuse of tapes that don't have prewritten tracks. Degaussing can also be used to erase the contents of a hard drive, USB thumb drive, smart phone or floppy disk.

Degaussing is commonly used to improve the picture resolution on electronic displays. Many display manufacturers include an internal coil that will degauss the display when it is turned on. Display monitors and televisions with cathode ray tube (CRT) technology are particularly subject to the buildup of magnetic fields.

This was last updated in October 2009

Continue Reading About degauss

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

A correction should be made to this article. Degaussing is ineffective on USB thumb drives. This is because thumb drives do not utilize a magnetic recording medium, thumb drives are solid state. Thumb drives should be shredded or otherwise damaged beyond use to meet sterilization guidelines.
Cancel

SearchCompliance

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

  • cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR)

    Cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR) is a combination of strategies and services intended to back up data, applications and other ...

SearchStorage

Close