Anyone who thinks that formatting a computer’s hard drive or erasing the history of applications and browsers is enough before throwing a device away is wrong. Data can still be recovered by criminals even after formatting, although cleaning is different for each operating system. The ESET, the leader in proactive threat detection, shares some safety tips to take into account before playing devices used in the trash.
Video: “How to get rid of your old devices safely”
1) Look for programs for formatting: each operating system has a different way of having its disk reset. Cleaning MAC computers is simple, just use the Disk Utility function. In the case of Windows, there is no internal tool, so ESET recommends searching for solutions online. For your safety, the expert suggests searching for utilities with more reviews.
If you have a solid-state drive (SSD, another storage device), see the manufacturer’s website for the product utility. If you want to go further, it is possible to destroy it.
2) Eliminate passwords and logins from your cell phone: as for smartphones, they have their utilities implemented in the system to make the process as agile as possible. If you intend to discard an iPhone, you must first log out of all services such as iTunes, iCloud, App Store, etc. Then enter the Settings section, then the Reset menu, and press “Clear all content and settings”.
If you plan to discard an Android, the process may vary slightly from one manufacturer to another, but the procedure is usually similar. First, you eliminate security measures (such as the lock screen password) and then proceed with deleting the accounts you logged in with. The data is encrypted on the phone and then just run the “factory reset data on phone” option.
3) Environment: in addition to safety issues, it is also important to be responsible for the environment. “If you’re planning to dispose of a device, it’s essential to look for places that do recycling electronics. They contain valuable resources that can be used in the manufacture of future devices”, says Camilo Gutierrez, head of the research laboratory at ESET Latin America.
4) Backup information: back up your data. For cell phones, you can use a free cloud solution, such as those offered by some email providers, or use your computer’s memory. As for PCs and Notebooks, a combination of cloud and external HD can help. This way, it is possible to avoid the loss of confidential or sensitive data.
To learn more about cybersecurity, visit the ESET news portal: http://www.welivesecurity.com/br/2020/01/07/como-se-livrar-de-seus-disvisãos-antigos-com-seguranca /
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