A company has replaced five desktop computers in the accounting and finance department with new computers. The plan is to donate the recovered computers in a fully functional state to a not-for-profit community organization. How can the company ensure that sensitive financial data cannot be accessed once the computers are donated?

  • Data wipe the hard drives by using specialized software.
  • Perform a high-level format on the hard drives.
  • Drill holes through the hard drive platters.
  • Delete all the files and directories on the hard drives.
Explanation & Hint:

Data wiping the hard drives with software that will securely erase all data will ensure that company data cannot later be accessed. This may be time consuming but for a small number of computers this is more cost-effective than the expense of degaussing. Deleting all the files and directories on the hard drives or performing a high-level format on each drive will leave the computers vulnerable to having the company data recovered by specific forensic software. Drilling holes in the hard drive platters would mean that the computers are no longer in working condition.

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