Do you know that we store more than 70% of our lives digitally these days? The photos we capture every day, our social media posts, the documents we write for work and personal purposes, and even our medical records are now stored as digital files. Knowing how to protect those files properly is important, since protecting them means protecting essential parts of your life.
Of course, more data means more storage. After a while, you will end up with old CDs or DVDs, broken hard drives and flash drives you no longer use. Whether you want to repurpose those old drives, or you need to dispose of them, here are the things you need to know first.
Check and Back Up
Before you throw away old drives, take the time to check the files in them. The last thing you want is to throw away drives that contain important memories or holiday photos that you haven’t backed up to the cloud. Make sure you have at least one backup image of the drive, preferably in the cloud somewhere.
Reading old drives isn’t always easy. As the drives get older, parts inside them may no longer work properly. You want to have backups of your files made before the drives get too old to read. Performing regular backups and documenting the files you already store in the cloud can make the whole process more manageable.
Wipe, Don’t Delete
Before you throw away an old hard drive or flash drive, it is necessary to perform a complete wipe of the drive. A wipe is different than a normal file deletion. When files are wiped clean from a drive, restoring them isn’t as easy as restoring accidentally deleted files.
Some top data recovery companies like Secure Data Recovery may still be able to recover files from hard drives that have been wiped clean. That said, the process is a lot more complicated and the success rate is not very high.
If the drive you’re throwing away has been used to store sensitive files like family photos, your personal accounting and sheets or documents related to work, wiping the drive clean is a good idea. You can go a step further and drill a hole through the drive’s main disc to render it completely impossible to restore. For CDs and DVDs, running a strong magnet through the surface should do it.
Re-purpose or Throw Away
With the drives wiped clean, you can safely throw them away. Alternatively, you can choose to repurpose the old drives for some DIY projects around the house. The internal disc of a hard drive works really well when repurposed as a mirror thanks to its smooth finish. You can use old drives as decorative pieces too.
If you’re interested in using old DVDs and CDs in DIY projects, be sure to stay tuned right here on Hubby Helps. In the meantime, you now know how to properly back up and wipe old drives for disposal; you can safeguard your information better with these tips and tricks in mind.