How to securely erase Mac data using Disk Utility 12.x

mac_diskutilityWhen you delete a file from a hard disk, the file isn’t erased, it’s just removed from the computer’s records. This rule applies to both PCs and Macs. If you decide to use the Mac Disk Utility 12.x or move files to Trash they are actually not erased. They are in fact just removed from the computer’s records.

Computer files require to be overwritten if they are to be completely removed. So how can you do this securely, without leaving a single trace? Here is a simple method, which involves using Disk Utility (this app is built into Mac OSX):

  • Open Spotlight type > disk utility – you can also find it in the Utilities folder in Launchpad
  • Click > Security Options and move the slider to > Most Secure (the slider is found in Mac OSX
  • “Most Secure” – this writes over your data 7 times (with zeros) and is compliant with US DOD 5220-22 M standard
  • Once you’ve chosen the above option click > Erase and then ….. wait
  • Disk Utility will take some time (the time taken to erase your data depends on the amount of data that needs to be erased)

Note: If you use encrypted volumes these will need to be closed before you can delete the entire hard disk. You do have the option of deleting the encrypted volumes when they are open, but this is not recommended.

Safe surfing folks!

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