Data is valuable. Your pictures, legal documents, chat logs, and even saved video games are all things you wouldn’t want to be public.
Today, people generally go to great lengths to protect data, but devices age and don’t last forever. When we need to replace them, we often don’t think about what happens to the data that is still on the drive, and how people might be able to access it.
Most computers have a hard disk drive, or HDD, which are disks coated with a magnetic metal layer. They rotate similar to a CD or vinyl record and read by a sensor at the tip of an arm.
HDDs are very sensitive, and data can persist on them in various ways. When disposing of an HDD, it’s important to make sure no one can still access the data on it.
Fortunately, we have a variety of options to wipe HDDs, the most reliable of which is a combination of digital and physical tools. If your computer has an HDD, make sure to read this guide before getting rid of it, no matter if you sell or dispose of it.
- Encrypt your HDD as soon as you buy it
- Wipe your HDD before you sell it
- Disassemble and destroy your HDD!
Preventative measures to protect your drives
When buying a new disk drive, you should encrypt it straight away to protect it against abuse if you lose or sell it.
Though it makes sense to destroy HDDs when you finish with them, there’s no need to obliterate SDDs. Encrypting and wiping your SDD is the only way to get rid of its contents.
Other ways to encrypt your online presence is by having a solid or at least some sort of security for covering your digital footprints.