Data security for father in-laws

May 27th, 2009 | Tags: ,

Last weekend my father in-law asked me if it was safe for him to throw away an old computer, as an ex-practicing solicitor his level of paranoia is heightened when it comes to information security.

I found out that he had been storing his old computer(s) for over 12 years as he didn’t want to risk his own data being recovered and falling into the wrong hands. Whilst this is exemplary display of information security it is probably not the most convenient way of avoiding information leakage!

What most of us don’t understand is that when you delete a file it changes a marker that identifies it as free space that could be overwritten, without actually overwriting the file in question it is easily recoverable. I explained to him that by using (with my assistance) simple freeware software like Darik’s Boot and Nuke he could throw away his old 8gb hard drive without a worry in the world.

The other alternative is hard drive shredding, see my previous post here