Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Data Destruction

The last piece of advice I have is to wipe your hard drive (no matter what) after you get rid of the computer irregardless of who gets it, but do you really know who will end up with it? You might throw it in the dump yourself and watched it get broken up, but did the hard drive really get crushed too? What if you took your old PC back to the store for recycling, where do they send it? Where does it really end up? You see when you delete a file on your computer it only removes the reference to the file from your directories. The file still exists. There are “file shredding” programs available that do the job for single files, but there is so much information on modern computers that is strung all over the operating system that it is impossible to get it all with these. If everyone would use a simple tool called DBAN, people, governments and organizations would be so much safer. DBAN shreds the ENTIRE drive – all of it, there is nothing left on the drive but random characters. Yes, if you have formatted your drive, I can still recover information on it. The only way to prevent this is to physically destroy the platters, but why do that when you can just shred the information on it and still have a usable hard drive that you can reinstall an operating system on and donate to someone.