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How to Wipe Personal Info from Electronics

Tech Talker: Quick and Dirty Tips to Navigate the Digital World
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Quick & Dirty Tips

Scientific American presents Tech Talker by Quick & Dirty Tips. Scientific American and Quick & Dirty Tips are both Macmillan companies.

The holidays have been over for a while now and odds are, you probably have more than one device that is now sitting lonely on your shelf, ever since it was replaced by that shiny new phone, tablet, or computer you got as a gift. In this week’s episode, we will be dusting off those old electronics, clearing them out, and getting them ready to sell!

Say you decide that you want to sell one or more of your older devices. However, now more than ever, these devices hold so much information about us that selling one that isn’t properly cleared is like giving away your identity to the highest bidder! This is a huge problem, but one that is easily avoided.

How to Erase Personal Data from Your Computer
Let’s talk about computers first. Computers hold a ton of information about you, and many people fear selling or even donating their older model computers because they don’t want the information stored on their hard drive getting into the wrong hands. It’s a very legitimate concern. You may have heard that formatting a hard drive is the answer to getting rid of all of your private information. While formatting a hard drive can certainly harm your data, it is definitely not a foolproof way to actually erase your data.

 

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