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Steven Caliendo
Steven Caliendo, Computer Software Engineer
Category: Programming
Satisfied Customers: 116
Experience:  Over 15 years professional experience as a software development engineer. Awarded 8 US Patents
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what can i do to make sure no one can access my information

Customer Question

what can i do to make sure no one can access my information on a computer i plan to discard? also why should i take such measures?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Programming
Expert:  Steven Caliendo replied 7 years ago.
If you have data of a sensitive nature, the best way to ensure that the data can no longer be accessed is to physically destroy it.

Since you are probably referring to a computer with a hard disk drive, do this:

1) Remove the drive from your computer
2) Find a magnet (The stronger the better - a really good refrigerator magnet will do the trick)
3) Rub the magnet over the case for a few minutes.
4) Smash the hard disk with a hammer a couple of times.

The magnet will corrupt the data on the disk. It does this by re-arranging the magnetic fields and images that reside on the physical surface of the disk.

The hammer does the obvious - it destroys the physical ability of the drive to acquire information from it.

There is one other method that can be used, but it is less convenient - incinerate the hard disk. Throwing it into a fire pit will destroy all information on it.

You should only take such measures if you have data on your computer that you believe someone might be looking for and you don't want them to have it.

Best Regards,