Gone Without a Trace: How to Wipe a Laptop Before You Recycle It?
Did you know that 56% of people use their laptops to store both work and personal information? And this statistic is most likely low due to underreporting! So, if you’re one of these people, what happens to that information when you get rid of your laptop?
If you don’t wipe your laptop completely, it will remain a treasure trove of sensitive personal and company information. This means passport numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, your social security number, and it can present a major security threat for the company you work for.
This underscores the need to know how to wipe a laptop. So, if you’re planning on getting rid of a laptop, be sure to read this article first so your private information stays private!
How to Wipe a Laptop
Many people delete their downloads and log out of their accounts and call this a complete wipe. However, you’re neglecting saved passwords, cookies saved in your browser, and the fact that deleted files can be restored by savvy hackers.
Instead, you need to completely wipe a computer before pitching it. The best way to do this is a factory reset, which is a reinstall of the base operating system. Before completing the following steps, make sure you’ve backed up everything you need to back up!
First, sign out of the iCloud under your system preferences. Then, reboot your Mac. While it’s starting up, hold the Shift + Command + Option + R keys.
You should see the Apple logo, and you can follow the prompts to reinstall the Apple operating system.
For Windows users, start by navigating to the Start Menu and clicking on settings. Then, go to “Update and Security.” You should see a section marked “Recovery.”
Then, click “Reset this PC” and follow the prompts to reset the computer. During this process, it will ask you if you want to reset “quickly” or “thoroughly.” Select “thoroughly” for a more complete wipe.
How to Completely Wipe a Laptop
The above steps will wipe your laptop and will be sufficient to protect most of your data. However, dedicated and knowledgeable hackers can still restore your old data. Beyond taking a hammer to your hard drive, there’s only one way you can make sure your data is 100% safe: contacting the professionals.
When it comes to how to wipe a laptop clean, no one does it better than ITAD service professionals. They will completely erase your hard drive and provide you with a certificate of erasure. This is the best way how to wipe a laptop hard drive if you used it for sensitive client information or are very concerned about your personal safety.
Now You Know How to Wipe a Computer
Cybersecurity is advancing every day, but hackers are advancing at the same rate, if not faster. To protect your information, you need to know how to wipe a laptop before recycling it. It’s not enough to log out and delete a few files, you need to be thorough.
That said, now that you know how to do it, it shouldn’t take you too long! Give it a try next time you get rid of a computer!
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