How to Delete Personal Information

by Contributor

Deletion of all personal information from your computer's hard drive is a necessary step before it is sold or discarded. Unfortunately, many people are not aware that using the "Delete" button does not permanently erase the information, making themselves prime candidates for identity theft. You can learn how to correctly erase the information by following these steps.

Step 1

Select a hard disk wipe program that complies with the Department of Defense standard. This standard requires that it must be 5220.22-M compliant, making it the most comprehensive hard disk sanitization process on the market.

Step 2

Choose a program that erases the data quickly and easily. This step can save you hours or possibly days, depending on how much information is stored on the hard drive as well as how many passes are required to delete the data.

Step 3

Ensure that the program's wiping standard is strong enough to prevent recovery by any data recovery tool. Be aware that many powerful maintenance and repair tools can effectively search for deleted data and successfully recover the data.

Review the software's features and look for a wide variety of capabilities like being able to erase specific files and protection from forensic software.


  • Only purchase hard disk wipe software if the computer is to be sold. Otherwise, it is recommended to destroy the hard drive before discarding the computer.
  • Use trial downloads offered by most hard disk wipe programs to evaluate the features.
  • Be aware that some programs vary in complexity and require modification to some of the program's parameters before running.

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