Brainstorms and Raves

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Old Hard Drives and Sensitive Information

Recently 2 MIT students made headlines with their discovery of thousands of personal records on discarded hard drives they’d bought at swap meets and on the Web. That personal data included over 5,000 credit card numbers, medical histories, sensitive corporate data, and more.

It’s not enough to just delete your files or even reformat your hard drive. So what should you do with that old hard drive, and how can you protect your private information? ZDNet has a new article about hard drive data: Ready to toss that old PC? Read this first, by Robert Vamosi. There’s some feedback there, too, and Robert Mazzeo’s response is well worth a read: TalkBack: RE: Ready to toss that old PC? Read this first.

If you’re interested in software to permanently delete sensitive data, check out this comparison chart: Disk and File Shredders: A Comparison. It was last updated May, 2001 but the info is still helpful.

02:33 pm, pst30 January, 2003 Comments, Trackbacks (1) ·

Categories: Technology


Comments, Trackbacks: 1 so far. Add yours!

  1. That’s actually a pretty scary article. But the point that comes across is that there is no single automated way for normal everyday users to protect their discarded harddrives against data-mining without employing a few rather geeky solutions. And none on that article were very comprehensive.

    11:08 am, pst16 February, 2005Comment by shredder bob

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