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Make Sure You Properly Wipe Your Drives Before You Get Rid of Them

Make Sure You Properly Wipe Your Drives Before You Get Rid of Them

There comes a time when every good piece of technology needs to be replaced, whether it’s due to hardware failure or it’s simply obsolete. When this happens, it is critical that you take measures to safeguard data located on your old devices by properly deleting it. But before we get into that, let’s discuss some of the steps you want to take prior to deleting your data, as well as what the process entails.

Make Sure You Have a Backup Handy

We cannot stress this enough. Before you go ahead with procuring any new hardware, you should have a backup in place just in case the deployment goes awry for any reason. As for backup best practices, we recommend having three: one on-site and ready to go, one in a secure remote location, like an off-site data center, and another in the cloud for easy access. If you need help with this process, we’d be happy to lend a hand.

It also helps if you have the device that you are going to deploy the data to, as this minimizes the chances that your new device will not work as intended. Imagine getting a new smartphone only to find that it simply doesn’t work, or that you don’t like it? In cases like this, we recommend keeping the old device around just in case you still need it for something.

Okay, let’s jump to the main event. What actually happens when you delete your files?

Doesn’t Deletion Just Delete the Files?

Contrary to popular belief, deleting files on your device does not necessarily delete your files in their entirety, at least not right away. In order to grasp this concept, consider the nature of storage devices. Because of the way they are constantly writing and rewriting data, the nature of said data needs to be fluid and easily replaceable. Thus, when you are deleting files, what you are really doing is making it easier for your device to “rewrite” or “reuse” the space previously taken up by the files for future use. For example, Windows will essentially “hide” this data until a time when it can be rewritten with new data.

When thought of in this context, it is easy to see why Microsoft used the term Recycle Bin for the location where all deleted files go instead of the “Eradication Bin,” an infinitely cooler sounding name. All jokes aside, it’s important that, in the event you purchase or procure a new drive or storage device that you take the time to overwrite your old device before junking it. Doing so prevents any would-be hackers from accessing the scattered files on your device, which could potentially open the door for other issues down the line.

The Correct Solution

We recommend that you work with an established managed service provider like Walsh IT Group whenever you need to recycle an old device. Doing so allows you to move forward with peace of mind, knowing that your device does not have any sensitive data on it that could be harvested by hackers. To learn more about how we can help your business in this matter, reach out to us at (832) 295-1445.

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Monday, September 27 2021

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