When And How To Delete A Hard Drive

Most of the time, of course, computer users are focused on protecting the information held on their hard drives, and keeping it from coming to harm. There are times, however, when the focus shifts to deleting the hard drive, to keep the data from falling into the wrong hands, when the computer is being sold or given away, or even for legal reasons.

One of the most frequent reasons for deleting the data on a hard drive is when the computer is to be transferred to a new owner. With computer technology changing so rapidly and even the newest computers becoming obsolete so quickly, there is a thriving market for used computers, and it is important for the current owner of the computer to take the steps necessary to protect the personal information on the computer from being used for nefarious purposes.

These days so many of us do our taxes online, and while this electronic option provides many conveniences, it also introduces a number of risks, including the risk of identity theft. Financial information can lurk virtually anywhere on such a computer, from spreadsheets and tax preparation programs to saved emails and other types of documents. If the computer has been used for any sensitive purposes, such as online investment or tax preparation, it is important to delete the hard drive properly before giving or selling it to its new owner. Even if you are certain the new owner would never use the computer for bad purposes, you can never be sure where your old computer will eventually end up.

When we talk about deleting a hard drive, we are not talking simply about deleting the file and emptying the recycle bin. While this may seem sufficient, in reality a skillful computer user can instantly recover these files, and there are many software programs on the market to do just that. When you delete a hard drive, it is important to use some sort of disk wiping software to make sure that the information is truly gone. If you do not take this extra step, the information on your old computer could eventually come back to haunt you.

These days computers contain so much vital information that it is more important than ever before to protect that information from harm, both when the computer is in your possession and when it is time for it to move on to a new owner. When using your computer it is important to use virus protection, anti-spyware programs and other techniques to keep prying eyes off of your computer. When it is time to sell or give away the old computer, it is important to properly delete the hard drive to make sure the information it contains does not fall into the wrong hands.