All companies and organizations have secure data they need to protect: customer data, employee records, or financial data.
Should this information fall into the wrong hands, it could damage the company’s reputation among clients and employees. The way around data breaches is by securely erasing data from your computer.
Wiping your hard drive’s information can be complicated, but PCs for People uses ultra-safe, digital data-wiping methods to assist your company when erasing your computer’s data.
Keep reading to learn how we protect your data through our sensitive computer data-wiping service.
What Is Sensitive Computer Data Wiping?
Wiping your computer’s data is essential before donating it or sending it to a recycling facility That is not certified for data destruction.
Data erasure of a drive involves adding new data that replaces previously encoded information, but to truly render data irrecoverable, the hard drive needs to be physically destroyed.
On the other hand, data wiping involves overwriting data from an electronic device so that it cannot be read. It’s normally done by physically connecting the data-containing devices to a bulk wiping device.
Secure wiping is usually a long process, easily taking an entire day for just one device. While the average user might not mind waiting, a business owner definitely will if they have many devices with sensitive information.
These Are the Safest Data-Wiping and Erasure Methods
NIST 800-88, Single-Pass
NIST 800-88 is a data wiping standard created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology for overwriting data with just one pass of all zeroes or random characters. It follows the baseline standard to protect your data.
It performs three types of media sanitization:
- Clear—involves all logical techniques to sanitize stored data in user-addressable storage locations.
- Purge—applies logical or physical techniques that render target data recovery impossible using advanced laboratory techniques.
- Destroy—renders data recovery infeasible and triggers the inability to use media to store data on the PC.
DoD 5220.22-m, 3-Pass
The U.S. Department of Defense uses this data erasure method for all electronic devices that don’t hold classified information. As such, it can be employed by ordinary PC users with the proper tools.
The DoD 5220.22-m 3-pass method overwrites data in three separate processes: writing only zeros over the data, then only ones, then with a random bit pattern.
DoD 5220.22-m, 7-Pass
This data erasure protocol is a similar drive wipe to the DoD 5220.22-m 3-pass protocol, but this time each step is repeated, plus another overwrite with all zeros.
This data destruction method erases the computer’s encryption key. This will keep encrypted data on the storage device but render the data unrecoverable and make it impossible to decrypt.
Which Sensitive Data-Wiping Method Is the Best?
While other options exist, large amounts of data can be safely erased using the NIST 800-88 single-pass method, which is the least time-consuming process. Once these are performed, it should be impossible to recover data.
Three Easy Steps to Prepare for the Data Wiping
PCs for People chooses the most secure data wipe method for your case.
The issue with many DIY data-erasing protocols is that sensitive and private information can remain behind and even be accessed after the supposed erasure.
Companies are at a higher risk for these data breaches due to employing more electronic equipment than the average user. It’s essential they protect their information by undergoing a certified data-wiping service.
Here are some steps you can take to prepare before PCs for People performs a data wipe:
Step 1: Backup
It goes without saying that all important information will be forever deleted from your machine, even if it’s secure before data wiping. Photos and videos with sentimental value or sensitive documents should be your priority so you don’t lose them permanently after the secure erase.
Take your time to consider which files you’d like to save, and back them up in an external memory or your current PC before the data wipe. You can manually delete files or keep the data stored on a USB flash drive, offering moderate storage capacity and the ability to easily transfer data.
Step 2: Erase Your Computer’s Hard Drive
The second step is erasing your computer’s hard disk, which can be done through your operating system’s factory reset program. Our certified data erasure program can take care of this step, but some IT companies might prefer to do it themselves.
Each operating system has a different way of deleting hard drives and restoring the machine to factory settings for secure removal. Some of these software tools work differently depending on the storage devices, but all securely wiped data in your PC is properly erased.
Step 3: Wipe Your Machine or Destroy The Hard Drive
Keep your donated assets safe from data breaches by properly disposing of their information.
Once you’ve backed up your data and restored factory settings on your computer, it’s time to wipe your sensitive computer data for good. As this is a time-consuming process, using a certified data-wiping service, like PCs for People, is more efficient.
We follow National Association of Information Destruction (NAID) AAA-certified standards for data wiping, ensuring nothing remains of your old information. To maximize security, if any drives fail the wiping process we will take care of the physical destruction of your drives. We then professionally refurbish your computer and make it available for low-income families, students, veterans, and others in the community.
Data Wiping Standards
We maintain the highest data sanitization standards for information security, eliminating the risk of identity theft and remnant data. PCs for People uses methods compliant with NIST 800-88 and DoD 5220.22-m data sanitization protocols. Our processes are also under constant scrutiny and frequent audits by the National Association of Information Destruction.
Secure Data Wiping of Your Computer With PCs for People
At PCs for People, we value the safety and security of our clients. When you donate your old computer, we understand that you must be confident that all important information has been wiped from the device.
Companies can access a secure, nationally compliant data sanitization method through PCs for People.
To learn more about how we can help you erase all the information on your computer, find a PCs for People store near you, or schedule a call today to speak with an Account Manager.