A claim that the only way to destroy data is to smash the hard drive has been criticised.
Acronis has claimed that a report by Which? Computing magazine is not environmentally friendly and unnecessarily expensive.
The magazine recovered 22,000 ‘deleted' files from eight computers purchased on eBay and claimed that the most straightforward solution to ensure that data is completely erased is complete destruction with a hammer.
Sarah Kidner, editor of Which? Computing, said: “PCs contain more valuable personal information than ever as people increasingly shop online, use social networking sites and take digital photos. Such information could bring identity thieves a hefty payday. It sounds extreme, but the only way to be 100 per cent safe is to smash your hard drive into smithereens.”
However, Acronis claimed that the study glosses over the fact that there are ultra-effective disk cleansing solutions available to the consumer, some of which have been approved by, and are used by, government defence agencies as well as Fortune 500 companies around the world.
Kevin Moreau, general manager at Acronis UK and Ireland, said: “In the current economic climate, individuals and business across the UK are choosing to re-use, re-cycle or donate older laptops. Wiping hard drives securely is a simple process and costs just a few pounds. Laptops or PCs can now be safely passed onto a new colleague, sold to a third party, or donated to a charity such as Computers for Africa.
“Taking a hammer to the hard drive not only defeats the above benefits, but opens up a whole slew of expensive disposal issues that individuals and companies must follow if they choose this approach. The headline-grabbing conclusion by Which? Computing is wrong. The cheaper, more environmental and kinder approach is also the easiest – use a secure disk cleansing solution.”