How to securely erase external hard drives, SD cards, or flash drives? 
Last updated on January 24th, 2023 in Privacy
Last updated on January 24th, 2023 in Privacy
Whether you’re disposing of an old external hard drive, SD card, or flash drive, it’s important to make sure all your data on the device is securely erased. This ensures that your personal information stays out of the hands of cyber criminals and other malicious actors. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to securely erase data from external storage devices. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most effective ways to securely erase external hard drives, SD cards, and flash drives. We’ll also take a look at which tools and techniques are best suited for different types of storage media.
When you delete a file from an external hard drive, SD card, or flash drive, the data is not actually erased. The space that the file occupied is simply marked as available for new data to be written over it. This means that if you sell or donate your external storage device without first securely erasing the data on it, your personal information could be compromised.
Securely erasing a drive means overwriting the data with random bits of information so that it can no longer be read. This process can be done using special software or by physically destroying the storage device. After a drive has been securely erased, you can be confident that your personal information is no longer accessible.
When you delete a file from an external hard drive, SD card, or flash drive, it isn’t actually gone. The space that file occupied is simply marked as available for new data to be written over it. This means that if you were to sell your external hard drive, SD card, or flash drive without first securely erasing the data on it, the new owner could easily recover your deleted files.
Securely erasing data from an external hard drive, SD card, or flash drive ensures that your deleted files are truly gone and can’t be recovered. This is important whether you’re selling your device or simply wanting to keep your personal data private.
When you want to securely erase data from an external hard drive, SD card, or flash drive, the best option is to use a tool that overwrites the data with zeroes or random data. This ensures that the data cannot be recovered by any means.
There are many tools available that can do this, but we recommend using the open source tool Disk Utility on macOS or the free tool CCleaner on Windows. Both of these tools have the ability to overwrite all free space on a drive, which will effectively erase any data that was previously stored on the drive.
To use Disk Utility on macOS:
1. Open Disk Utility (located in /Applications/Utilities/).
2. Select the drive you want to erase from the left sidebar.
3. Click on the “Erase” button.
4. Select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” from the Format drop-down menu.
5. Select “Security Options” from the Erase drop-down menu and choose “Most Secure”. This will overwrite all free space with random data three times.
6. Click on the “Erase” button to begin erasing the drive.
To use CCleaner on Windows:
1. Download and install CCleaner (https://www.ccleaner.com/).
2. Launch CCleaner and select Tools > Drive Wiper from the left sidebar.
When you want to get rid of an external hard drive, SD card, or flash drive, you need to make sure that your data is completely erased. Otherwise, someone could recover your data and use it for malicious purposes.
There are a few different ways that you can erase your data. You can do it manually, using a program like DBAN, or you can use a service like Blancco.
Manually erasing your data is the most secure way to do it, but it’s also the most time-consuming. If you’re not worried about time, then this is the best option for you.
To erase your data manually, you’ll need to overwrite every single sector of your drive with zeroes or random data. This will make it impossible for anyone to recover your data.
DBAN is a program that can automate the process of overwriting all of the sectors on your drive. It’s free to download and use, and it’s very easy to use. Just download the program and follow the instructions.
Blancco is a commercial service that will securely erase your data for you. They offer a variety of packages, depending on how much data you need to erase. Prices start at $99 for 1TB of data.
We hope that this article has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of how to securely erase external hard drives, SD cards, or flash drives.
With the right tools and techniques in hand, you can ensure that all the data on your digital devices is completely and irreversibly wiped from existence.
Whether you are moving to a new device or disposing of an old one, make sure that your confidential information does not fall into the wrong hands by taking the necessary steps to securely erase it before disposal.