Apr 30, 09:18 pm

So the lease on your laptop has expired? The guy in IT has advised you that they’ll be collecting the old ones and issuing new ones. So you backup your files and data on CDs, DVDs, or USB thumbdrives as every computer user should on a regular, scheduled basis and then you delete the files on your desktop.

Sounds like a simple thing to do doesn’t it? Then you bring in your old mobile computer and pick up your new notebook. No questions asked, but what you may not realize is that the data still resides on the hard drive of your old, faithful laptop.

Do you know what’s going to done with your old computer? Will it be simply “inventoried” and placed in a storage room to gather dust, donated to charity, auctioned off or sold to the general public with the data still residing on the hard drive?

Frequently users don’t realize that when most computers delete a file, the contents of the file are not actually removed: the file is no longer linke to the file system, but it is still resident on the hard drive. The data remains on the disk until the operating system re-uses those sectors to write new data.

There are several ways to ensure the destruction or inaccessibility of data on the hard drive of an old computer that you plan to discard : degaussing, overwriting, data encryption and media destruction are some of the methods that have been employed to safeguard against disclosure of sensitive information.

So remember that old computer could contain protected confidential company information or personal tax and financial records. Much of that data could be the software applications and trivial information, but frequently the information remaining on these computers is extremely sensitive.

Just because the lease expires, doesn’t mean the data has expired, too!

Category: helpful hints, business

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