Joseph Clarke has been recently quoted in an article on Thisismoney.co.uk, providing expertise on how to ensure personal data has been wiped from devices - Currys launches 'Cash for Trash' scheme rewarding shoppers who bring in old or broken tech - but how do you make sure you wipe personal data first?
How to wipe data from devices
It is important to, where possible, wipe all personal data from electronic devices before getting them recycled, handing them in for a trade-in, selling them or even giving an item to someone else like a friend.
Sensitive personal data needs to be wiped from devices to ensure it cannot get into the hands of anyone with sinister intentions, like fraudsters. Otherwise, information like banking details, passwords, emails, SMS messages and phone calls can be recovered and used.
Here, Joe Clarke, a cyber incident response team consultant at Secure Impact, outlines points to note when wiping data from specific devices like Mac laptops:
Microsoft have made it quick and easy to securely clear your data off machines running Windows 10, whether it’s a laptop or desktop.
To do this head into settings from the start menu, then 'Update & Security' and finally 'Recovery'. Select 'Get Started' under 'Reset this PC' and choose to remove everything.
Android devices do not always have the option to securely wipe the device in the same location as each manufacturer may place it somewhere different, but it can usually be found in settings under 'System'.
Selecting 'Erase all data (Factory Reset)' here will remove all your data from the device. If this setting isn’t there on your device you can easily find it by opening up settings and then searching 'reset'.
Removing your data from iOS devices (that is, iPhones or iPads) is a simple process.
Open up the Settings menu and then the General sub menu. In this menu you can select 'Erase all Content and Settings' which will remove your data from the device and return it to a clean state. Note that you will be prompted to enter your Apple ID password when selecting this option.
Apple Mac desktop and laptop devices are slightly more drawn out than their handheld counterparts.
All connected devices such as iCloud, iMessage and iTunes accounts should all be disassociated through their respective menus prior to booting the device in recovery mode (holding the Command key + R on startup).
From here you need to select the Disk Utility application from the list. Next, you will need to select ‘Macintosh HD’ (unless an alternative name for the drive was chosen on creation) and erase the device and re-install the operating system.
If you have any questions about the security of your company devices, please contact our expert digital forensics team.