Make sure your private information is not exposed. Your disk still has all your information even if you delete the data. When you delete information from your disk, what happens is the index pointing to your data is deleted, your data is still on the disk. If you’re like me, you have photos, documents, and emails. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like people reading my private emails to friends, customers, and acquaintances.
Blancco and data recovery company Ontrack performed a study of 159 disk drives purchased on ebay. Ontrack recovered information from 42% of the drives. Now, personally I don’t sell my used equipment; however you might do that. There is an easy and safe way to sell your old devices and not worry about exposing your information to strangers.
I use the free version of CCleaner. (Note: I have not received any compensation for this, it’s just the tool that I use) CCleaner has the ability to securely delete information on the disk and also keep your disk from getting cluttered with junk that windows does not clean up. Personally I run this about once a week.
When you select wipe free space, You’ll get a popup window that will tell you the process will take a long time. So, this is not something you want to run on a regular basis. When I’ve run it in the past, it has taken three days to run on the 1T drive in my laptop.
Once you’ve installed CCleaner, select Options, then under settings select the Secure Delete and in the pulldown select how secure you want your deletion. I use Advanced Overwrite 3 pass, this is pretty secure. This option will overwrite your deleted files three times with random data and if you select wipe free space, it will overwrite your free space three times with random data.