Transparent IT Expo - Portsmouth - Wednesday 13th March 2024

The Whys and Hows of Securely Wiping Your PC

Are you planning on selling your personal computer? If the answer is yes, this post is for you. You need to make sure that you securely wipe it before you sell it. Selling a computer that’s not wiped can lead to all of your personal information being stolen. Do you really want some stranger going through and accessing your private data? Wiping a computer can be a bit challenging for people who are not tech-savvy.

This post will explore the whys and hows of securely wiping your PC, so you know why it’s necessary and how to do it:

Identifying Computer Type

Until you identify your computer’s make and model, wiping it is out of the question, especially if you are an amateur. You also need to know which OS your computer is using. Once you know what your device’s operating system is, you can begin reading guides exclusive to that. For example, if you are using Windows, you can read more online about how to wipe a Windows computer. Similarly, if your device uses iOS, you can read a guide that has been written about that. Many guides have been authored about such topics on the internet. 

Identifying your computer’s make and model and OS should not be difficult for you to do. In truth, you should already know anyway. If you have forgotten though, find the original purchase receipt or press the Start button, click ‘Computer’, and then navigate to ‘Properties.’ This section should show you your computer’s make and model. Failing that, you can go onto the laptop or computer manufacturer’s website (your device should have its manufacturer on the back of its case) and search for yours. You need to make sure that the guide you read is unique to your device or OS, otherwise, the information you get won’t help you.

Ensuring Wipe Has Taken Place

Once you find a guide and successfully wipe your computer, you need to make sure that the wipe has taken place. Sometimes, wipes fail and computers are left unwiped. Make sure that you reboot your device after it has been wiped, create an account, and log onto it. Creating an account and subsequently logging onto it will make it possible for you to verify that your device has indeed been wiped. If the wipe was unsuccessful, you should go back and do it again.

The reason you need to check that the wipe has taken place is because if it fails and you sell or give the device away, somebody could access all of your information, or the buyer could be unable to create an account of their own and this could ruin their experience buying from you. Wipes are usually quite simple and effective, though. As long as your device is not infected with a virus or broken in some way, the wipe should work as it is supposed to.  Viruses can sometimes interfere with wipes and stop them from taking place.

Why Is A Wipe Necessary?

As mentioned in the introduction to this post, wiping your device means nobody will be able to access your personal information or private data after you get rid of it. Fraud has never been more of a problem than it is today on the internet. If you do not wipe your device, the information that’s gathered from it could be used to steal your money or identity. It’s not uncommon for people’s personal information to be used for identity theft. If your identity is stolen, the thieves could open bank accounts or credit cards in your name and use them to defraud you.

It is important that if you do have your identity stolen, you get in touch with the police. If you are able to identify the individual responsible for stealing your personal information, you should get in touch with a lawyer and take legal action against them, too. Internet law is hard to enforce but if the individual responsible for committing fraud lives in your country, you should be able to file a normal police report and then take them to court. In court, you should be able to claim financial compensation back from them.

Hiring Professional Support

If you don’t know how to wipe your device and are not having much luck finding online guides, you could always enlist a professional’s support. There are likely lots of computer repair stores in your area. All you have to do is take your device into one and they’ll do the work for you.

Wiping your device is absolutely essential if you plan on selling it. You can find a guide exclusive to your device or operating system online. Make sure that you follow your chosen guide to the letter, then confirm the wipe has taken place.