If you have used a white board before, you know you can erase it simply by wiping it off. You cannot however, wipe the hard drive of your electronic devices in the same way. When you upgrade or switch to a new device, or have new employees come aboard, you should erase the data on the old device so no one else can access it.
Interestingly, 65% of electronics that are resold still have data from the previous owner on them. Just as you wouldn’t sell a car with your belongings in the trunk, when you dispose of an electronic device, you should erase your data for the protection of your business.
But erasing data is not a one step move. Data storage works by the data being written onto the hard drive of the device. When you delete data, you are actually deleting the file name, not the real file. Over time, that file gets written over. In the meantime, files on the hard drive can still be retrieved. Social security numbers, credit card data, private business information can be accessed by savvy computer users before that information is written over.
Erasing Data from Mobile Devices
When it comes to mobile devices, there’s generally less data than on a computer. Here’s how you can completely erase data on any device, including Windows, Apple devices, Android devices, etc.
Reset and Erase
For most devices, you can reset them to the factory setting, then locate the files and erase them, then reset to the factory setting again. This three step process is not a guaranteed fix, but a good option.
You can use eraser software which actually erases your hard drive for you. These can be worth the cost because of the dangers of stolen data.
Many communities have disposal options that destroy the hard drive. If you have the hard drive destroyed, be sure it is disposed of properly. While this is an option for personal devices, it is not recommended for business ones.
Erasing Files from the Cloud
Another place files can be stored is the cloud. If you need to permanently delete files stored in the cloud, most cloud systems have a double delete system.
To do so:
- Access the files you want to permanently delete in your cloud storage service.
- Select delete file.
- When the file is light gray color, select again and choose permanently delete to remove the file itself.
What to Do About Stolen Data
Finally, some devices do get stolen. This means your data can now be accessed by a stranger. It is a good idea to encrypt important data and implement other mobile security features so in the case of theft, it is somewhat protected.
Data storage and access can be a very technical issue. When you use Beacon Telecom, our technical support services can assist you with concerns about data retrieval and deletion.