A data reminder.

A lady came to see me today to try to get her laptop fixed.
It had been dropped from a great height some 18 months previously and was very VERY much beyond repair.

Only she was then going to throw it straight into the bin.

BUT two things were apparent:-
She had no idea that all her personal data was still on the hard drive in her laptop and that all that data was easily recoverable, dead computer or not.

I’m probably preaching to the knowledgeable but remember folks, one of a computers job is to remember things and store them away. There they will stay until you PHYSICALLY delete them.


Just putting something into a system recycle bin or hitting the word Delete aka Erase DOES NOT wipe the information from the hard drive.

It just removes EASY access to it.

Formatting a drive is the same as it simply deletes it’s “easy to find” location, not unlike tearing out the index in a book.

The information is still there if you know what you are doing.
If you don’t know how, there is plenty of free software out on the Internet that will do its darnedest to recover things.

So don’t be silly, DO NOT RELY ON SOFTWARE to erase your data.
Besides, can you be absolutely sure, 100% certain, confident enough to put your life on the line, that the product you probably downloaded from the Internet as a free-be will work as advertised?

Only it doesn’t stop there.
There are people who sensibly store work and personal data on devices they can remove for security. Things like (ask your elders about this one folks) floppy diskettes, Rewritable CD’s and DVD’s, Memory cards (SD and more) and memory sticks (USB keys). Not forgetting external mass storage into an external hard drive.

massstorageMay I introduce you to the basic tools some of us OLD SCHOOL computer savvy engineers still use to “delete” things for evermore?

massstorkillHammer, cut, or burn, whatever you do PHYSICAL destruction is better than anything software can do.

Nothing to smash here,  I’m talking about THE CLOUD!
In the simplest form, cloud computing means storing and accessing data over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive.

Only that’s on someone else’s server, network, or computer, not under your control, anywhere in the world. You then having to trust that when you delete your precious data they will wipe it completely and in an unrecoverable form.


Right at the end I will mention encryption.
After all everyone is talking about security and not letting the authorities or “secret squirrel squad” read your stuff.

I’m sick to death of claims that encryption will keep your data safe from prying eyes.

Have you ever thought about whether the promises in the advertising literature are true?

What are you going to do when Microsoft or “big brother” is reading every key click on your keyboard?

Hows about the various governments of the world who have been spending trillions over the years on code cracking computers and you probably using some propriety product that has been government approved because they have the software back door pass key for it..

So there you are, trusting your mate, blog world, some unknown ex-spurt, or a leading computer paper who says “Your data is safe using this product”.

bsbullI wonder, when you find out it wasn’t, will you have any legal comeback against the fools who said it was bullet proof?

Or will you be a “little bit busy” dealing with the consequences of TPTB reading your messages, work, or thoughts.

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20 Responses to A data reminder.

  1. Brittius says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius.

  2. shtfprepper says:

    After I collected everything I needed from an old desktop hard drive, I soaked it in salt water for 2 days, let it sit a week outside in the heat, and then I took it to the sidewalk where I commenced to smash it to bits with a concrete demolition tool. I quite enjoyed destroying it! I now use a 32GB USB flash drive for my important documents.

  3. My mother is big on storing everything in the “cloud” – “It is so great – I do it automatically and don’t have to worry about losing all my pictures.”

    Great, Mom.

    I don’t trust the cloud at all. I am old school with the removable hard drive. We have a mirror image system set up that backs each other up.

    My phone gives me angry messages all the time about the “cloud” being disabled. Yup, and that won’t change!

  4. gamegetterII says:

    Back in July,I found two different keystroke loggers had been installed on my laptop,along with a couple of trojan downloaders-they had only been there a day and a half-but that’s long enough for someone to get a lot of info.
    If I didn’t run malware removal and virus removal software I would have never known the keystroke loggers were there.
    All my passwords are typed in by a virtual keyboard-or they are auto fill-so no passwords were typed for whoever had the keystroke loggers installed to get-they got some comments I typed on various websites is all. I’m sure that’s not what whoever had keystroke loggers installed was looking for.
    I’ve got several flash drives/thumb drives-whatever you call them,and an SD card,and an external hard drive-hopefully my important stuff is safe.

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