Have you ever wondered what happens to your disk drives when you get rid of them or delete data? You might have deleted your data but is it really deleted? Your device could seem empty but it might not be. Your organizations data or even personal data could be included in the hard-drive and if you don’t believe this search it up on the internet. Extremely valuable data is found on hard-drives that are either bought as second-hand devices or searched from the garage. Imagine how embarrassing it would be if someone bought a second-hand hard-drive to find all your personal pictures and music in it.
Such incidents can also turn your organization into something that’s prone to external threats. Many competitors are found searching the trash and garbage of their substitutes and considering your hard-drives are still filled with important information it’s quite an intelligent strategy.
When you delete something off from your Window’s Operating System it goes into the recycle bin and you then empty the recycle bin thinking that all the data is gone, but that’s not the real case. Your data still remains on the hard-drive and will stay that way until or unless you don’t store new data over it, meaning over-write that data. There are many software’s available on the internet which get retrieve deleted data back from hard-drivers; Recuva is one such example.
So how do you delete data turning it into a permanent deletion?
There are three easy ways; clear, purge and destroy.
If you want to clear data from your disk-drive then try to over-write the contents with either the 0-1 binary language or enter random data which will then over-write over your previous data making it impossible to retrieve. For a more secure approach try to over-write your disk drive a couple of times so that your previous data is completely out of the loop.
Darik’s Boot and Nuke
You can also use an application known as Darik’s Boot and Nuke to clear your data. You need to download the DBAN that’s easily available on the internet and then store it into a CD. After this choose which-ever drive you need cleared and boot the CD from that folder. Once you’ve done this you will be asked to write a command and then enter “autonuke” once that’s done your drive will over-write, permanently deleting your data.
If you don’t want to clear your data but want to purge it then use a program known as Parted Magic. It’s available on the internet and downloads it just like the DBAN file. Burn it into a CD or USB and again boot your computer from that drive. Once your PC starts a request-pop up will open and you should select the option “Internal: Secure Erase command writes zeroes to entire data area” option. Once you do this your drive will purge and all your data would be permanently removed.
Finally if you want to physically destroy your data then that would make any information on the drive completely unreadable. You can destroy the drive by destruction; metal destructors and if you need to destroy data on a CD then use a paper-shredder, they’re known to shred CD’s just like paper. If you’re not the damaging type then just squeeze the CD or Floppy Disk and altering its physical stance will make your data unreadable.