This happens one day you could leave your company whether it is voluntary or constrained (spouse monitoring, dismissal etc.). In any case, you may have used your business computer for personal purposes. This is not prohibited at all, even during your working hours, only here you have to leave the company and you would like to erase your personal data. In 5 minutes, you will have seen that cleaning a workstation is not that complicated and remains within the reach of all.
List your personal uses
The longest and most complicated thing for you is to identify the elements that are 100% personal to you. Indeed, you must not delete a data/file that would be even 5% professionals you could accuse you of sabotage and hello boredom. I specify because I knew in the company a collaborator who left had formatted his hard drive to destroy all this data. Too bad for his posts were all saved on a server or he had no access.
To help you make this list very often you could download personal files such as invoices, pay slips, family photos etc. Either you are organized and you have created a “personal” folder on your computer and everything is there, in which case it is almost perfect. Otherwise, you will have to hunt for documents, to help you search built into your computer will be very useful.
What to do once the documents/files identified?
You have listed all the files to be copied on a USB key or an external disk so as not to lose them, you no longer have to copy them to your media. Once the copy is complete, delete these files. By cons do not just put in the trash, because even by emptying it will still be possible to find deleted files and even after years …
And unsecured files deleted?
You have to tell yourself OK for the files you are going to remove no worries, but what have you deleted in the past? Indeed, if you had not used a specific tool it is always possible to find them … To do this I propose to use another tool that is CCleaner. We will use this tool for two very interesting functions. The first it will be able to delete all your personal data or not stored in your internet browsers (email address, personal, the image of your Facebook accounts kept in cache, personal password etc.). The second and that he will be able to permanently delete the files that have not been securely deleted.
Beware of the first manipulation if you have data in your browser that are professional and you must not lose export them before. Once installed nothing very complicated for use. It starts directly on the tab “Cleaner” in this window you have two tabs a “Windows” and another “Applications” being for complete cleaning of the machine do not bother you, check all the boxes of the two tabs. Once done start cleaning by clicking on “Run Cleaner”.
The second feature is in the “Tools” or “Tools” menu and is called “Drive Wiper”, be careful if you are the wrong option you will erase all your hard drive and it will be unrecoverable … On the capture of the next screen here is how to configure the options to erase only the empty spaces (ie also the old deleted files). Attention if you use an SSD it will be necessary to choose the option 1 pass because it is the only available indeed use of several passes could destroy the SSD.
On a normal hard drive, I recommend you use 7 passes. Attention the operation can last very long depending on the free space on your disk (for 500 GB of free it took more than a day in my case …).
Here your data is erased on your PC for good!
The e-mail box the big forgotten
Very often it is what you will not clean, why? Simply by opening your e-mail box, you see the amount of information stored and it’s like for you to find a needle in a haystack. To help you anticipate this kind of household I advise you to read or re-read my article on How to use your e-mail box securely.
If you have been conscientious as soon as you have received and/or sent a personal e-mail you have deleted it quickly after taking it into account or after having confirmed the good reception, you do not really have to do housework in your e-mail box. On the other hand, if it is not the case you left to make … A tip used the search engine of your mailbox to search for personal emails to whom you could have sent/received e-mails -mails. Search also keywords such as ” Password “, ” Password “, or ” Payroll “, ” Taxes ” etc., but I will not lie to you the search can be long if you have managed your mailbox as 90% of users.
You should know that personal emails are not prohibited from your business account. I recommend you to always put in the object the keyword ” Personal ” or ” Personal ” to be able to find them more quickly and also to avoid that your direction does not open an e-mail to which it does not have the right to ‘to access.
With these tips, you are equipped to give your employer a clean PC without any personal data and without losing business data. Of course, it is likely that your machine is reformatted before being entrusted to another collaborator, but this is not enough to erase your data as you saw above.
Last advice, limited your personal uses with the devices of your company, you would save you well worries that it is during a departure or the change of material (because it will have to do the same thing).
You can also use these techniques when reselling a computer even if in my opinion a complete secure formatting and the best option before reinstalling the machine or changing the SSD or hard drive when possible.
Also published on Medium.