Liz Crenshaw's Guide to Consumer Issues, Recalls and More

Wiping Data From Phones & Computers

By Liz Crenshaw and Katie Roberts
|  Friday, Aug 30, 2013  |  Updated 3:46 PM EDT
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Wiping Data From Phones & Computers

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Want to sell or donate your old electronics? You'll want to wipe your personal information first.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Apple walked us through how to do it. The Virginia DEQ says that simply deleting files from your computer hard drive may not permanently erase that information.

If you don’t want to physically destroy your hard drive, it recommends overwriting the data. To overwrite, try using the installation CD that came with your computer. But if you can’t find that CD, software programs from websites like KillDisk can overwrite your personal information.

To delete your personal information from your iPhone or iPad, folow these steps: go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase all Content and Settings. If you want your documents backed up, be sure to do so before you erase the data.

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