Information On Data Destruction

Removing data from the hard drive of your laptop or desktop is not about just selecting the data and deleting them -- it is much more complicated than that. In fact, the commonly-practised data deletion method (selecting files and clicking the Delete option) does not permanently delete the data. All that the command does is to temporarily hide your data somewhere else. So, your data is still vulnerable to unauthorised access.

However, a vastly improved technology makes hard disk destruction or encrypting data possible. So, you have no reasons to worry about your data falling into unauthorised hands. Both hard drive destruction and data encryption have their advantages and disadvantages and you can choose the method which suits you the most.

Data encryption

The main advantage of data encryption is that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for unauthorised people to access your data. When you encrypt your data, you are basically converting your human-readable data into a code which is not easily understood by unauthorised people. Only you or your authorised persons have the key to decrypt the data. A lot of free and effective tools are available in the market and you just need to download and use them. However, encryption can be a time-consuming task, depending on the amount of data. You also need to remember the encryption key every time you access your data later.

Hard drive destruction

The only objective of destroying your disk is to make your data forever unavailable to everyone including you. This is probably the safest method. You can wipe your computer or laptop disk out in any of the ways given below.

The most common way to erase your computer's drive is to use the free data destruction program. Put simply, it is a software algorithm designed to repeatedly wipe off your computer's hard disk till all traces of data are permanently removed. Usually, after you have used the software for three times, the data is completely and permanently erased.

The Eraser is another free tool which lets you selectively erase data from your computer. The main advantage of this tool is unlike the data destruction algorithm, it can selectively erase data. You can choose the erasure method or the number of passes to remove your data. You can choose a maximum of three passes. You can also schedule data removal so that the tool removes specified data at specified intervals.

More information on data destruction

Important notes

It is advisable to first backup your data, especially if you are not sure about whether you will need the data (partially or fully) later.

Before wiping the drive clean, move your PC's operating system program to a flash drive or make a bootable disk from an .iso file.

To ensure that after data removal your PC runs smoothly, before data removal, go to the BIOS settings of your PC and set the drives to IDE mode.

Given that there are so many open-source apps and programs available to remove your data, data removal really is a cinch now for everyone.