Is Factory Resetting Enough for Data Eradication?

Is Factory Resetting Enough for Data Eradication?

A factory reset isn’t enough to fully eradicate the data on your device.

If you have an old device you’re looking to resell or recycle, you may be concerned about data security. Whether you’re legally required to keep customer data safe or you’re simply interested in maximizing the security of your organization, data eradication is crucial for your business.

The trouble is, there are different types of data eradication, and not all of them will keep your data protected from would-be cybercriminals.

Factory Resets and Data Eradication

As a first line of defense, you might delete every file on your machine. But “deleting” files doesn’t truly delete them. Data is stored in the form of 1’s and 0’s on your device’s hard drive. The files you see on your desktop function like shortcuts, making it convenient for you to find where those 1’s and 0’s are located. Removing the file gets rid of the shortcut, but the leftover data will remain physically intact on your hard drive. Similarly, a factory reset will completely erase your hard drive and reset all settings to the default condition they were in when the device was originally manufactured. This is a good step, but it still isn’t enough to completely render your device’s data inaccessible.

Full Data Eradication

If you want to completely eradicate the data on your device, you’ll need to take additional measures. Fully rewriting the hard drive will randomize the 1’s and 0’s on the device, eliminating any trace of the data previously held by it. Multiple rewrites will increase the security of this process even further. If you’re interested in even further protection, you can physically destroy the hard drive.

Note that there are several viable strategies for data eradication, and you may be required to follow a certain set of methods, or methods that adhere to certain technical standards.

Managing data security on your old devices can be challenging, but it’s much easier with the right data eradication partner. If you’re in need of data eradication services, or if you need help determining your needs, contact e-Waste today!

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