No Matter How Strong Your Computer is, Magnets Are Not Their Friend

You sometimes see in movies or television shows situations where someone wants to erase the contents of a computing device through the use of magnets, but how much truth is there really to this kind of thing? Today, we dive into just how much a magnet can damage a device and whether or not you need to worry about them.

What Does Science Say?

The concept of magnets damaging electronics like your computer and smartphone is scientifically correct, but it’s more about the duration of the exposure and the strength of the magnet rather than just the exposure itself.

For example, your average fridge magnet or the latches on a tablet case are not nearly strong enough to cause actual, measurable damage to your devices. In fact, most of the magnets that are in your environment are designed to do a very specific task and are no stronger than they need to be.

It’s the big, heavy-duty magnets that you need to watch out for—the electromagnets and other industrial-sized magnets that are so strong that they can cause true damage to your electronics, potentially even erasing or destroying data in the process.

How Much Danger is There, Really?

Simply put, unless you work in an environment where you are dealing with heavy-duty magnets like the ones mentioned above, you are at very little risk of actually damaging your electronic devices. Even then, the magnets are so strong that they are not operational all the time, so they have to be turned on in order to cause any kind of damage to your device.

In fact, most modern hard drives use magnetic disks themselves to store and write data. The strength of your average fridge magnet is nonexistent compared to the ones used in the drive. There is virtually no chance that such a weak force could damage your hard drive. Furthermore, solid-state drives don’t even have a magnetic field or magnetized data.

Smartphones, on the other hand, might experience some technical issues as a result of exposure to a magnetic field. While some smartphones actually use magnetic materials, as is the case with the iPhone, issues related to magnet exposure are generally mitigated when the exposure disappears. Smartphones do not store data on magnetic disks like with a hard drive, but there are tiny magnets used for various purposes within them, so certain functionality might be temporarily disabled as a result of exposure, but it’s not permanent by any means.

The Verdict

At the end of the day, your plan of action is the same: don’t bring your phone around insanely powerful magnets and you should be fine. While the chance of permanent damage is slim-to-none with most magnets, we still urge you to not test this out for yourself. Better safe than sorry, right?

What are some other interesting topics you would like to see us cover in future blogs? Be sure to let us know, and don’t forget that we are available to help with any technology concerns or questions you might have. Just reach out to us at (831) 758-3636 to learn more.

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