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Smashing PC 'only way to cut fraud'


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The safest way to avoid ID fraud when you sell or throw away your computer is to "destroy it with a hammer", a consumer magazine has said. Which? Computing warned that thieves were trawling council tips and internet auctions to find unwanted PCs.


They then use specialist software to recover files that the original owner had deleted. This gives them access to everything from family photographs to bank statements and credit card details.


Sarah Kidner, editor of Which? Computing, warned that the risk of becoming a victim was increasing.


"Even if you delete your files, you'd be surprised how easy it is to recover your personal data. Such information could bring identity thieves a hefty payday.


"It sounds extreme, but the only way to be 100% safe is to smash your hard drive into smithereens," she said.


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That is correct, but you can erase free space which will write over the deleted files that are tagged as free space. It is pretty difficult to retrieve legible data burn from a one pass write over unless you have very clever techno kit and it is time consuming certainly not convenient for the average skally. Several write overs make it practically impossible to recover the original data trace although certain 'free world' government agencies claim they can. I cannot remember how to do it on a PC. Its fairly simple on a Mac though. If you go for the hammer option protect your eyes.

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