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Securing Data Before Device Disposal or Transfer

When getting rid of a device not everyone thinks about the data that exists on their device or how to properly secure it. When you are throwing a device away, selling it, passing it down to a sibling or child there are certain steps you should take to ensure your private and financial data cannot be retrieved.

Computers

Data is stored on the hard disk of your computer, before disposing or tranfering ownership of your device you should ensure this disk is wiped or otherwise secured.

No persistent data is stored in your RAM (Memory)

Wiping the drive

Use our guides to wipe the particular type of storage in your device before transfer or disposal.

Keep the drive

Keeping the disk is also a valid method, especially if you are selling a machine or passing it down. Buy a new disk to put into the machine (or sell it without a disk at all). This will ensure the next owner has a healthy clean slate to start out on.

Mobile devices (phones/tablets)

Modern mobile devices use transparent encryption to protect your data. This makes it very easy to secure by simply factory resetting the device. When the factory reset is done your encryption keys will be cycled and all previous data will be unrecoverable.

Vehicles

Vehicles get smarter and smarter every year, with new integrations that can load more of our data into their memory. Any car that can have a phone linked via BlueTooth is capable of loading in your contacts as well as retaining your device name. Before selling a car or turning in a rental go through the settings menu to remove your devices or factory reset the radio head unit from the settings.

This applies to owned and rented vehicles. Both can leak data you do not intend to share.