Be cautious before selling your old HDD or mobile
November 14, 2010 4:21am CST
Anyone who plans to resell a used computer memory device like a hard drive, memory card or a USB stick should be sure to use a special program to wipe the storage device first. Not doing so risks having your personal data reconstructed by prying eyes, warns German computer magazine Computer Bild. In a test organized by the magazine, experts purchased used storage devices and managed to reconstruct private data like bills, emails, contact data, addresses, tax declarations and photos. That’s because, on Windows, when items are thrown into the wastebasket, they don’t really disappear from the device. Even formatting the hard drive does not get rid of the directory: the data can always be recovered with special program mes. Thus, people need to buy special program mes to completely erase their mobile storage devices before they sell them on. In the magazine’s test of eight cleanup program mes, the free HD Shredder 3.8 was the champion. Nonetheless, wiping a drive takes time. All program mes needed one to two hours to write over a 140-gigabyte hard drive three times.