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Deleting files isn’t enough. Here’s how to properly erase hard drives.

Washington Post – “The right software can help. So can some power tools…just because you’ve deleted a file on your computer and emptied the Recycle Bin doesn’t mean it’s gone forever. Making sure those files are properly gone will take some extra work, but if you’re considering donating, selling, or even recycling an old computer with a hard drive in it, it’s absolutely worth putting in the time. “There are so many stories about people buying used computers online and recovering data,” said Andrés Arrieta, director of consumer privacy engineering at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “It’s kind of scary. It’s all your life there.” If you’re serious about keeping your data away from potentially prying eyes, here’s how to securely erase your old hard drives. For hard drives inside a working computer. If you can actually fire up and use the computer you’re trying to get rid of, consider yourself lucky. With the right software, the process can be mercifully simple. Thankfully, in some cases, the operating system that runs the computer already has everything you’ll need to securely erase the hard drive…”

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