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Cor­rectly erasing your data to dis­pose or pass on your device

Simply deleting the con­tent on a device is not enough. Attackers can gain access to user accounts via dis­posed or resold devices on which data has 'only' been deleted.

Elec­tronic data remains on the storage medium even after dele­tion or emp­tying the recycle bin. Only the infor­ma­tion on the storage loca­tion in the internal table of con­tents of the hard disk is deleted. For the final destruc­tion of the data, the storage loca­tion of the infor­ma­tion must be over­written sev­eral times and ran­domly. Ded­i­cated pro­grams are avail­able for this process. When used cor­rectly, the hard disk is reli­ably erased so that data cannot be recov­ered even with recovery tools.

Before erasing, you should remove linked accounts (Apple account, Office 365 account, etc.) from your device and log out of all applications.

Modern oper­ating sys­tems have ded­i­cated func­tions to reset the com­puter or mobile device and pre­pare it for dis­posal or resale. How­ever, to achieve a reli­able dele­tion of your data on a hard disk, it is rec­om­mended to addi­tion­ally ran­domly over­write the hard disk sev­eral times with a spe­cial­ized pro­gram. The recovery data of the device man­u­fac­turer should also be over­written in the process.

If the device is not to be used fur­ther, a phys­ical destruc­tion of the data media can also be car­ried out. How­ever, the storage devices must first be removed from the device, which can be time-consuming.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion on this topic, see our article "Secure dele­tion".


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