Thursday, October 18, 2012
Destroying data on old electronics
Here’s a video from MSN about how to wipe old electronics clean before discarding.
Most smart phones have an easy button to press. For Windows PC, there is a CD with a utility called Dban, and for the Mac there is a utility that comes with the boot disc; you reboot with the disc in the drive and follow some instructions.
The link is here.
What about physical destruction of the unit or exposure to heat or to magnetic fields? Could a strong magnet wipe out a smart phone? None of this would work with data stored on CD drives (and backup on optical devices could be a good strategy to protect against an enemy EMP strike some day – something that has of yet never happened in the U.S. or the West).
Perhaps another concern is personal data on equipment after a burglary, unless it is detected immediately.
Two-step verification might not even protect actual hardware that is stolen. It’s perhaps a good idea to change passwords before leaving a residence or small business alone for long periods of time. This could be a particularly sensitive matter for businesses that store consumer information on site.
It still boggles the mind, that businesses can give loans to fictitious dopplegangers of real people without contacting them at real addresses. Some banks insist of mail verification of any changes (for example, my ING retirement plan insists on verification by last known address).
In 2000, I found out that I had a questionable “debt” where notices had been sent to an address I had not lived at since 1979.