How To Safely Delete Your Data?

how to delete your data safely

Before sharing a disk with someone else, you should safely delete the data. Why? The answer is obvious: Do you want your data to fall into the hands of others? Certainly not. With a conventional HDD, it is sufficient to overwrite the hard disk several times. This is already complicated with the modern SSD. In this blog article, we’ll show you the differences between these types of hard drives and how to safely delete your data.

Why You Should Delete Data Safely?

There are many reasons why you decide to delete or format your hard drive. Be it for the reason that a completely new laptop or desktop PC is purchased or just a larger hard drive to replace the old one.

It may be a backup on another disk (Ex: External hard drive) created and then the old hard drive should be completely deleted in order to sell them if necessary. Of course no one wants the new owner of this hard drive to get any previous data. In certain areas, hard drives may need to be overwritten multiple times because of professional secrets before the user can be sure that all data is actually deleted. The BSI recommends a seven-fold override in these cases. But if you have delete your important data accidentally than you don’t need to worry at all because Mazteck IT Support for Small Businesses is available to help you.

Difference SSD/HDD

There are basically two types of hard drives. The classic HDD (Hard Disk Drive) and the SSD (Solid State Drive). An HDD uses ferromagnetic metal disks as a storage medium for storing data, which rotate at up to 10,000 revolutions per minute. A moving head writes and reads the data on the metal discs.

An SSD uses several flash chips as a storage medium. For this reason, data accesses are much faster: No read head has to move across the track on which the data is located. As a result, an SSD makes no noise. In addition, an SSD is shockproof but at the same time more expensive to buy. The biggest difference, however, arises if the user wants to securely delete data.

Selection of the deletion procedure

With an HDD, this process is relatively simple: the data only has to be overwritten several times. There are several ways to delete an SSD. One possibility is the cryptographic deletion method. This uses encryption on the SSD. So to get to the data a password is needed. The security key can be deleted and no one can decrypt the data. This makes the data unusable for all users. But they are still available on the hard disk.

Another method is the so-called Secure Erase. This is best done with a tool from the manufacturer of the SSD. If the manufacturer does not offer its own tool, there is still the possibility to perform a Secure Erase with the live Linux distribution Parted Magic. Parted Magic can be booted from a bootable USB stick or from a CD and has its own graphical user interface. Another method would be to overwrite the SSD with zeros, where a zero is stored on each individual block. This is also possible with Parted Magic.

Is the data really gone?

Now the question arises whether the data on the hard drive are really finally deleted and nobody can restore it. Data snippets always remain on a hard disk. However, it is very expensive and costly to get to this snippet. Here, effort is greater than the value of the actual data.

If this is also to be excluded, then the complete physical destruction of the hard disk is recommended. This is also necessary if the hard disk is no longer directly addressable with software: You can then safely delete the data no longer. This is where professional shredders help. The shred and roll the disks. There is absolutely nothing left over here.


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