How Do I Securely Wipe My Devices Before Donating It?

Ritu Roy | data wipe mac os Software Technology Windows | 4 minutes read | Modified on: 09-03-2023
How Do I Securely Wipe My Devices Before Donating It?

Giving computers or laptops with sensitive data still inside of them is asking for trouble. Learn why safely erasing a computer before donation is essential to preventing data leakage from the IT assets at the end of their useful lives by reading this blog.

Some Importances Points

A totally acceptable option to deal with old IT assets that are no longer in use is to donate devices. As part of their CSR initiative, many organisations donate used computers, smartphones, tablets, flash drives, and other technology. In general, data security protocols do not apply to outmoded devices. They do, however, contain sufficient company information, such as client personal data, investor and employee records, and other financial information. Simple factory resets of laptops or PCs pose a risk because data can still be recovered using free DIY data recovery software even after formatting. Failing to completely erase such sensitive data before and after the transfer of the devices can have extremely serious consequences. As a result, there is a high risk of data leaking, and businesses may face severe fines, numerous lawsuits, and loss of consumers in addition to these other consequences.

After receiving a used laptop that held the names, job titles, social security numbers, and phone numbers of around 6,244 workers, Intermountain Healthcare experienced a data breach. Data on the laptop was erased using third-party software before it was discarded. The item was given to a used goods shop and afterward sold to an unaffiliated user for $20. The end user discovered the personal data of thousands of employees there and alerted the authorities. Intermountain Healthcare updated its data disposal policy and chose a more secure method once the event came to light. Luckily, no legal action was taken because the end user did not leak any information. Regrettably, not all donors are able to find trustworthy recipients for their devices who won’t abuse the data they contain.  As a result, it is important to clean the computer before donation to prevent any malicious security threats.

Reasons for Secure Data Erasure Protocol

Wiping devices before donation is essential because digital forensic professionals may easily recover data from storage devices. Nothing is more concrete when it comes to following to best data protection practices than defining data destruction methods as a part of your business’s data destruction policy. Before donating their outdated IT assets, businesses dealing with huge amounts of information must comply with the following security protocols:

  • Implement a data deletion policy for the entire organisation to abide by stakeholder privacy requests and data protection laws.
  • To verify that the data on the storage media has been completely erased, always use a certified data wiping solution like CubexSoft Data Wipe Software to remove any personal data.
  • Make sure the IT asset recycler you hire offers secure data wiping by selecting a reputable and approved data wiping solution. Verify their qualification and adherence to rules and regulations as well.
  • Provide training sessions for employees that cover the consequences of data leaking and the consequences of non-compliance. To prevent data leaking, it is important to frequently instruct employees on how to securely wipe critical information from their devices.
  • In addition to utilising a safe technique to completely erase a hard drive before donation, organisations need to set up checkpoints, accountabilities, and actions to guarantee there are no vulnerabilities at any point in the lifecycle of an IT asset.

How Do I Securely Wipe My Devices Before Donating It with Professional Software?

Over a series of articles, we have been explaining why data formatting or deletion are incorrect methods for getting rid of unnecessary information. By now, we are aware that using the ‘Delete’ or ‘Format’ commands just conceals the data, leaving it open to forensic analysis or illicit data extraction.

Use secure file erasure using specialised software like CubexSoft Data Erasure, which ensures irreversible data wiping, to totally erase the information saved on a hard drive. To learn how to completely wipe a computer, read our Knowledge Base article on the subject.

The storage media is not harmed as data is logically overwritten by CubexSoft Data Eraser. The software is made to remove data from all types of storage devices, including hard drives, SSDs, NVMe, M.2, and those found in servers, laptops, desktop computers, printers, etc. Using international erasure standards like NIST 800-88 and DoD 3 & 7 Pass, it permanently deletes the data. The software also provides an erasure report and a tamper-proof certificate that serve as audit trails for regulatory compliance.

The Bottom Line

The manner that businesses operate has changed as a result of digitization. Computer storage is primarily occupied by emails, business papers, photographs, and financial activities. It is essential to avoid leaving anything behind that could enable intruders to access and abuse the private data. Always follow the data erasure best practise to delete hard drives before giving or disposing of equipment, even if some of the documents are no longer needed by the business. While giving away your old technology may seem like a good cause, you must be vigilant and adhere to security protocols in order to avoid any instances of data breach.