What to do Before Selling or Exchanging an Old Laptop?

Most businesses and individuals sell or exchange an old laptop to replace them with a new one. This helps them in saving some money and reducing e-waste. If you’re one of them and planning to sell or exchange an old laptop, you have to take some precautions to safeguard your precious data and privacy before selling or exchanging your old laptop.

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Precautions to Take Before You Sell or Exchange Old Laptop

Data security and privacy are the two factors that you must first consider while planning to sell the old laptop. Your laptop contains sensitive, confidential, personal, and private data. Apart from the data that you actually save on your laptop, you may have noticed that the applications running on it also store sensitive data. For instance, the browser stores saved passwords, saved credit/debit card details, browsing history, cookies, autofill form data, and the other internet activities on the laptop.

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All such personal and confidential data, if it ends up in the wrong hands, can harm you in many ways. You might have deleted all the data or formatted your laptop before selling it. But if you think that the data is permanently deleted from your laptop, then this is not the case. This deleted or formatted data can be easily recovered by using data recovery software.

A study conducted by Stellar on 311 used devices revealed that more than 70% of these devices contained residual data such as PII, personal data, banking information, income tax records, and login credentials, etc.

Hence, before you sell your laptop, you must sanitize it properly. So, how do you sanitize your laptop or erase data from it permanently? You can securely erase data on your laptop by using a drive erasure software like “BitRaser Drive Eraser”. Formatting the hard drive or deleting the data doesn’t erase the data or sanitize your laptop.

How Is Data Erasure Different From Data Deletion/Formatting?

When you delete files or other data from a storage device, it removes only the references not the data. Similarly when you format a drive, apart from replacing the file system on the drive, it removes references to all the data on the storage device while the data is still present on the device. Therefore, selling the laptop after simply deleting or formatting it exposes you to a risk of data breach/theft. In such a case, anyone who gets a hold of your laptop can use a data recovery software to fetch your business or personal data from it and misuse it.

However, when you use device sanitization or drive erasure method, the data on your laptop gets permanently deleted beyond the scope of recovery. Thus, it’s crucial to wipe the laptop before selling it to prevent a data breach.

Use “BitRaser Drive Eraser” to Permanently Erase Data from Laptop

Drive Eraser Software - BitRaser

BitRaser Drive Eraser is an advanced tool to securely erase data from a drive/disk. You can use this tool to wipe data permanently from your laptop before selling it. It destroys every bit of data from your laptop’s hard drive and wipes data by overwriting it with random binary values. The software is compliant with International data erasure standards such as NIST, US DOD 5220.22-M (7 passes), etc.

The software also generates a digitally signed data erasure report and a certificate of erasure. You can use them for audit-trails and confirm erasure of data beyond the scope of recovery.

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If you’re planning to sell or exchange an old laptop, you must use a drive erasure software, instead of formatting the drive or deleting the data. Merely formatting or deletion doesn’t erase/wipe the data. It only removes the path of the files, not the actual data. Thus, exposing you to a risk of the data breach.

Data erasure software such as BitRaser Drive Eraser ensures the destruction of data beyond the scope of recovery. You can use the software to wipe every bit of data on the laptop’s hard drive. The software implements International Standards for drive sanitization and generates audit-trail reports and certificate of erasure.

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