Securely wiping your hard drive is an important aspect when it comes to safeguarding your data privacy. Your hard drive contains personal and sensitive information such as your Social Security Number, tax and health records, personal photos and videos, etc. There are many scenarios where data can be leaked from your hard drive resulting in huge emotional and financial harm. In order to prevent such mishaps, ensure that your hard drives are wiped securely and permanently before you dispose, discard, exchange or resell them.
You might already know about the delete and format functionality in your PC/Mac. You can choose this functionality to either delete selected files in your hard drive or format the entire drive itself. The data appears to vanish and you believe that the job is done. However, deleting or formatting doesn’t lead to permanent erasure. The data you deleted is just hidden from immediate view. Any data recovery software can easily recover this data and expose you to dangers of data breach and identity theft.
Read this interesting blog post about the life-cycle of hard drives and how easy it is to recover data from a hard drive using a data recovery software.
Reasons for wiping out the data in hard drive
1) Discarding your old PC or Mac: We often exchange & replace, sell-off, donate or simply dump our old systems (PC or Mac) without erasing the data stored in the hard drives. Anybody who gains access to your data in the old PC or Mac can misuse it. Even if you choose to format your hard drive, the data can be easily recovered by a data recovery software. Therefore, it is important to permanently erase the data in your hard drive before discarding it.
2) Data privacy concerns: We are living in an age of cyber threat and storing our personal, financial and confidential data on our hard drives exposes us to unwanted risks. This is the reason you need to regularly delete data from your hard drives in order to protect yourself from any kind of data breach or online fraud. One example is your web browser, which stores your online activities and data such as your banking details, social media credentials, etc. This data is stored as cookies in your hard drives.
3) Infected hard drive: A virus or malware can attack your PC or Mac’s hard drive and infect it. This can result in file corruption and you won’t be able to use your hard drive unless you wipe it completely. Simply formatting it won’t solve the purpose; you must erase it permanently.
|Read this lab report that outlines a study of world’s largest sample of total 311 used & discarded hard drives, phones & SD cards, revealing 7 out of 10 devices to be at risk of data breach and leakage!|
How to permanently wipe data from your hard drive?
Formatting your hard drive or deleting data using ‘delete’ settings in PC or Mac doesn’t erase the data permanently. Your PC or Mac just hides those files from your view and allows the space where deletion occurred to store new data. The data you deleted is still there and any data recovery tool can recover this data. The risks associated with exposing this data to unauthorized use is huge and this is the reason, you should only opt for permanent erasure while wiping your hard drive.
A file erasure software is most secure and efficient way to wipe your hard drive permanently. A file erasure works by overwriting on top of the data in your hard drives. This overwriting (done once or multiple times) ensures that the original data cannot be recovered.
One of the most reliable and trusted file erasure software is BitRaser File Eraser, which can securely wipe your hard drive and ensure that no data from your hard drive can be recovered. BitRaser is a DIY tool from Stellar, designed to securely erase all files, folders, Internet histories, application and system traces from your hard drive. BitRaser File Eraser uses advanced erasing techniques to erase your data and renders them irrecoverable. It safeguards your privacy against unauthorized use of your personal data and assures permanent wiping of your hard drive.
How to permanently wipe your hard drive with BitRaser File Eraser
In the section below, you will read about the step-by-step process to permanently wipe your Mac or PC hard drive using BitRaser File Eraser software.
Method 1: Using BitRaser File Eraser to wipe the hard drive of your Mac
- Download and launchBitRaser File Eraserfor Mac.
- Select Files & Foldersoption from the main interface. Click Next.
The left pane of the window displays all the volumes on the computer and the right pane lists the files / folders of the selected volume.
3. Select the desired files to be deleted..
Image 1: BitRaser File Eraser for Mac, displaying the list of files and folders for erasure
- From Preferences, select the appropriate erasing option for secure deletion and click Erase button.
- The Confirm Erasuredialog box appears. Click Confirm Erasureto erase files/folders permanently from your Mac hard drive.
Image 2: BitRaser File Eraser for Mac, displaying an ongoing erasure process with live status
A message will display after the successful completion of erasure process.
Note: After the successful erasure, you must restart your system.
Method 2: Using BitRaser File Eraser to delete your files from Windows hard drive
- Download and launch BitRaser File Eraserfor Windows.
- Click Erase Nowtab from the left pane. All the connected or mapped drives consisting of available files and folders are displayed in a tree hierarchy as illustrated below:
Image 3: BitRaser File Eraser Home screen for Windows PC, displaying the list of storage drives in the Center pane and the items for erasure in the left pane
- Select the Volume, in case you want to erase the full volume. Else, click on the nodes [+] to expand and navigate further to select the required files or folders.
- Check/Uncheck the files or folders in the tree to select/deselect them for erasure.
5. Click Erase Now button to start the erasure process.
You should wipe your hard drive only with a file erasure software like BitRaser File Eraser. The tool safeguards you against any unauthorized use of your data and gives you complete assurance that your sensitive data has been permanently erased. Your data is an asset but also a liability and you should treat erasure as equally important as creating or storing of data. We are living in an age where the cases of identity theft, online breaches, data loss etc. are very common. Privacy is indeed a top priority and when it comes to erasure, you should only trust a permanent file erasure tool like BitRaser File Eraser. You can download the software from the links below and enjoy a 30 days free trial period.