Most people, when selling on a computer second-hand, wipe the data by just deleting it. That's not quite enough. A simple delete just removes the references to the data on the disk - rather than wiping it clean. Software available free on the net can recover it relatively easily, as long as it hasn't been overwritten.
Which? bought eight computers on eBay and recovered 22,000 'deleted' files from them in this way. Some of those files contained personal data, which could be used by identity thieves to steal your... etc etc. Yawn. You know all this.
Of course, there's programs that'll hard-delete data, too, but Which? prefers another solution. A big hammer. They recommend pulling it out of the PC and whacking it very very hard, until the thing's in pieces. While I don't doubt the effectiveness of that method, it's a lot easier to use a program like SuperShredder to accomplish the same thing. Plus you won't get bits of disk platter in your eye. Bonus.
Which? (via BBC)
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Welcome to part three of Which Tech Are You! This week, given Ask.com's remarkably undrastic relaunch, we have a gaggle of search engines for you to become. Are you the calm, serene, but world-dominating Googleborg? Or are you feisty Yahoo!? Find out over the jump...
A recent consumer survey by Which? magazine suggests that Sony and Toshiba top the pile when it comes to laptop reliability, both scoring 93%.
Perhaps surprisingly given how they're used, and the belief that laptop computers don't last as long, portable PCs scored better than their desktop relatives.
Apple tied with Dell and Compaq at the top of the chart for desktop computer reliability, with 86%.
Of course these results are based on consumer experience rather than scientific measurement, so it doesn't mean those brands at the top of the pile are necessarily the best...
Good morning, children. Remember how I told you yesterday about a simple way of ordering 18-rated video games online without an age check? Well forget all that complicated postal order crap. A Which? Computing investigation has found that there are actually high street shops out there merrily flogging games to under-age players.
Leading consumer organisation "Which?" has called for insurers to move into the 21st century and begin acknowledging customer claims for loss of digital downloads.
Its own research suggests that less than half of the insurance companies it polled will cover the loss of music, video, and other downloads due to virus or hard drive failure.