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Permanently delete your personal data before you list a hard
A run down on why its best practice to remove your data from a device before selling it.By Trust and Safety 5 February 2021
Stay protected by deleting your device's data before selling it
I was following the world on Twitter recently and I spied a gentleman lamenting that he had brought a second hand hard drive and that it still contained the seller’s personal data.
He described they had "left their lives on it."
This was not cool move by the seller!
There’s plenty of hard drives being offered up for sale on the site, so this is a timely reminder to ensure that you wipe hard drives clean before listing them.
Gosh knows, you don’t want to see your tax return or worse plastered all over the net do you?
This does not mean simply you ‘select all files and press delete’ as files and folders can still be restored and accessed even if you think they have been successfully deleted.
You need to scrub the memory banks clean so that any tech savvy buyers cannot recover your data. You’ll need to use some good software. Some examples include:
- CyberScrub's cyberCide (~$36)
- DBAN: Darik's Boot and Nuke (free)
- Eraser (free)
- WhiteCanyon's WipeDrive (~$40)
- ... and there is also a list of free erasure software on Snapfiles
Note - we’re not endorsing these products, just pointing out they exist.
This advice applies to all hard drives and the various forms they come in, be they those found in PCs and laptops, smart phones, external drives, SD cards or basically anything you can store electronic data on.
Finally, you should remember that when you are wiping your hard drive clean you will be permanently deleting all files, so make sure anything you want to keep has been backed up somewhere else!