Looking to Sell Your Laptop? Here's How to Wipe Clean Your Data

Like it or not, when the time comes, we have to say goodbye to our favorite laptops at the end of the road. Before thinking of selling or handing it over to a new person, you may have to pay attention to your personal data.

If you're not familiar with computers, deleting data does not merely mean the data is gone forever. It means that finding it will be more challenging than ever, yet still doable thanks to several third-party software. 

So, what should you do before selling your laptop? Here are three things you must pay attention to before handing your tech device to the next person. 

Read also: Why Your Website Speed is Even More Important Than Ever.

Back-Up Your Personal Data 

Before your laptop moves to another home, you have to back-up your personal data, and we have two options to do this. 

The first is by manually moving it to another storage. Do you have a flash disk or an external harddisk? Clear up some space for your personal data. It's the fastest solution you can come up with, but you're still exposed to risks if you don't take care of your external storage devices carefully. 

The second option is to purchase cloud storage, like Dropbox or Google Drive. To put things into comparison, Google Drive gives you 15 GB free for every new Gmail address. If you need more, there are plenty of plans ranging from the cheapest to the most expensive. 

The only downside of this process is that you have to continuously pay for the subscription, although it's not too expensive. Plus, you will need a fast and reliable internet connection to upload all your personal data. 

Deauthorize Purchases

The next step is to deauthorize purchases. Like Apple's iTunes, several apps store your credit card and payment credentials to help you purchase items easier on it. When you want to hand over your laptop to a new owner, you have to disconnect your card or whichever payment process you'd prefer from your computer.

The process varies from one app to another, but always make sure to keep them disconnected. For iTunes, open the app, click the 'iTunes Store' menu from the left top of your corner, and then select 'Deauthorize this Computer.'

Wipe Clean

The last step is to wipe it clean. 

For PCs with magnetic hard drives (HDD), a third-party tool called DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke CD) can be used to irrecoverably destroy data. To do so, download a copy of the ISO image and burn it into a blank CD. Once done, stick the CD into the drive and turn your desktop on. Once you boot the DBAN prompt, you'll see a menu and type "autonuke" without the quotes. Doing this will wipe your data clean and traceless. 

Or, if you're using an SSD, things are a bit easier. Head over to the PC settings and then click General. You will see several options, but the one we'll go with is to "fully clean the drive." It may take a lot of time, depending on your device, but once you're set, a Welcome message from Windows will automatically show up. 

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