Thinking of selling your old computer or donating it to charity? You may want to get rid of the files on your PC first. There are several ways to do this to keep embarrassing baby pictures, doctored tax account records, or sensitive business data away from prying eyes.
There’s a catch, however: Not all deletion methods are permanent. You may think that the file you’ve emptied from the Recycle Bin is gone forever, but it’s hiding in your computer somewhere, waiting to be discovered. Unless you do something about it, that particular file can be picked up by specialized recovery software and exploited by hackers.
To prevent that from happening, here are some data erasure methods that you should consider.
1. Wile E. Coyote –This popular Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies character who’s been chasing the Road Runner for years can probably help erase your files. He has a lot of complex contraptions at his disposal care of the Acme Corporation, so it’s most likely he can whip out a handy file deletion tool.
Pros: Won’t bore you to death with inappropriate sales talk or long speeches, willing to help, and has lots of gadgets to solve almost any problem. Your mother-in-law will probably love him, too!
Cons: He’s not real, so locating him can be a challenge. If you think you can find him, you don’t need a data erasure tool, but a psychiatrist!
2. Pure, unadulterated anger – Have you ever dreamed of becoming an action movie star? Now’s your chance to audition for the role and get rid of unwanted files. Remove your hard drive from your computer, imagine you’re Bruce Lee or Bruce Willis, and start punching it! Channel all your anger into that hard drive. Remember to put on safety goggles.
If you prefer not to injure your hands, you can also use a hammer, baseball bat, blowtorch, or dynamite to do the job. All are guaranteed to put an end to unwanted files...and your hard drive.
Pros: Physical destruction inflicts permanent damage. No one will ever recover your files again and everyone will feel sorry for that hard drive.
Cons: You may injure yourself in the process and end up in a hospital or in jail! Either way, your hard drive is gone and you have to fork out cash to get a new one.
3. Third-party software – Secure deletions can be achieved with the help of third-party programs that you can find online. You can get these for free or at a price. For Windows, choices include Recuva or Eraser. These overwrite the vacant space on your drive previously occupied by the deleted file with random data, preventing access to the file you no longer need.
Pros: Easy to use and permanently erases files. Can be yours for free.
Cons: Won’t work on laptops with solid state disk drives (SSDs). Encryption is required for SSD users, but this becomes useless if hackers know your username and password. This allows them to log into your PC and retrieve critical files with a file recovery program.
4. Help from a reliable managed services provider – Your best bet is to consult a company that specializes in IT support like Capstone IT. We are one of the most trusted providers in Rochester, Buffalo, and the West Palm Beaches that protects small businesses from malware, cyber attacks, and other online threats.
We will help secure your business with our right-fit technology, making your data safe from cyber criminals. Consult our team today for the right IT solutions and take advantage of our affordable packages. See you soon!