Difference between revisions of "Disk Wipe Utilities"

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Revision as of 17:10, 29 August 2015

This page describes how to reliably delete data from a disk you are disposing of for reuse or for scrap.

Summary

All pages should start with a summary, to enable the reader to see at a glance what the page is about and whether it is likely to give the information required.

Safety

Warning03.png
Consider whether your page should include a specific section on safety.
  • if for example it deals with mains-powered equipment or high voltages
  • or if special care is required in handling hot or sharp tools
  • or hazardous substances.
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Should we use a second icon for a second unrelated warning (taking care it doesn't collide with the first)? Also, check it doesn't steal left margin from the next section header.

Don't undervalue your data

People often say "I've got no data anyone would want on my disk". You probably have.

Your browser may have stored login credentials to your bank, Paypal and eBay accounts, and shopping sites like Amazon. These are like gold dust to criminals, especially any sites which have your credit card on file. If, additionally, you use aoken or text message to access you bank or Paypal accounts this will considerably reduce the risk, but not completely eliminate it.

Email and social networking login details, too, are highly prized by criminals. By impersonating you to trusting friends they can work many kinds of scam, such as getting your friends to install malware which may encrypt their files and demand a ransom for the key, or abuse their Internet connection by sending spam emails or attacking websites, and at the least, slow their computer to a crawl.

Your emails and files may reveal personal details of yourself and your friends which can be used to facilitate identity theft.

It's a jungle out there - be prepared!

Don't over-value your data

But you don't need to be paranoid. Files which are simply deleted are often easily recovered, even if you empty the recycle bin. However, provided the criminals have no reason to think you might be sitting on a fortune they will move on to the next victim if defeated by sensible precautions.

On the other hand, if you are a dissident living under a repressive regime or if you hold politically or commercially sensitive data that would be of interest to a state level intelligence service, then you will need to know that your deleted data really is gone for good. Even this is not difficult to achieve.

External links

  • External links (if any) as bullet points.
  • If non, delete this section.