Getting rid of some old hardware? How can you be sure that you have permanently erased any data that you stored?
- First, you will want to back up your data. You can back it up on another device, external storage or to the cloud.
- Delete your data from the device. The method varies depending on the device.
- Use disk cleaning software or utility that will securely wipe out the data and prevent it from being retrieved.
- Phones, tablets, cameras, gaming consoles. A hard reset will return the device to factory default. Remove memory cards. In smartphones be sure to remove the SIMM card.
- Copiers, printers, fax machines. Remove memory cards. Do a factory reset to restore to default settings.
- Another method would just entail destroying the device to prevent any data from being retrieved. There are services available to assist you with this or you may do it yourself. With hard drives you can drill holes in it or crush it. You may be able to take a sledge hammer to other devices or feed CDs and DVDs through a shredder.
More information-> NIST Special Publication 800-88 Guidelines for Media Sanitization.
When you decide to donate or recycle your device make sure that you have chosen a location that is reputable and certified. Check out these resources for more information: