The Practical Guide To Mac Security: Part 20, Erasing Your Mac

Check out the rest of the videos in this special course: The Practical Guide To Mac Security.


If you are going to sell, give away, recycle or pass on your Mac to someone else, you want to make sure you sign out of all of your accounts and completely erase the drive on the Mac.

Comments: 17 Responses to “The Practical Guide To Mac Security: Part 20, Erasing Your Mac”

    Lori
    1 month ago

    Hi Gary, I replaced my iMac going on 3 yrs ago. I just migrated everything from the old iMac to the newer iMac. Then its been sitting in it’s carry bag in a closet. Meant to deal with all the details of retiring it, time went by, next thing I know Covid! I didn’t go through all this sign out protocol. I’m going to get rid of it and wondering if I do all the “signing out”, will that not affect anything on my existing iMac as my Apple ID etc is still the same?
    Thanks

    1 month ago

    Lori: Signing out of your Apple ID on your old Mac is exactly what you need to do (first step at least). It won’t change anyone on your current Mac.

    Jerry Carleton
    1 month ago

    I have an old iMac running 10.6. I just want to erase the HD. I hold down the command R keys, press and hold the start button but it just opens in the regular mode, not recovery mode. Any ideas
    Thanks
    Jerry Carleton

    1 month ago

    Jerry: if it is that old, then it doesn’t have this functionality. You’ll need to use the DVD that came with it. Boot using that DVD and there should be some way to erase.

    Russell Tolman
    1 month ago

    First: Thanks for all the info on Mac Security. Been a Mac user for almost 30 years and I have learned so much watching the Security Info.

    I always use Secure Erase with the 3 pass option when erasing HD’s and SSD’s.
    Is doing this over kill or prudent?

    thanks.

    1 month ago

    Russell: Overkill with SSDs. And if you were using FIleVault then double overkill. Even with HDDs it is hard to justify it in a world where we hand our credit cards to waiters to pay restaurant bills.

    Bill
    4 weeks ago

    I have noticed that starting holding down Command and R only works to get the Mac into recovery mode if the Mac was totally off – ie: not just using Restart.

    Mayne
    4 weeks ago

    Thanks for this series of video’s Gary. I held the belief that its not necessary to secure erase SSD’s as a-pose to HDD’s since its “solid” state and not “bits” that should be overwritten. Until I found how easy you can recover data including “DELETED” pictures and video’s from iPhone’s which basically are too PCI SSD’s. I do not want to mention the apps that can achieve this since it may be ad’s. I think its worth the wait to secure erase before selling ESP if you have a HD, i’d do SSD’s too.

    4 weeks ago

    Mayne: Not sure what you saw about recovering iPhone data, but most of the techniques involve getting access to the backup, not finding shadow bits on an erased drive.

    Mayne
    4 weeks ago

    I know about the backup ones, Im not talking about them. There’s a program that actually gets the bits and recovers them easily. Its not fake or a gimmick you literally plug in an iPhone and scan for whatever you have ticked and it’ll recover it for you. I tried it myself and it scared the out of me. At least witch HDD you can overwrite .. Not sure if it can recover deleted vids and pics AFTER a factory reset though.

    4 weeks ago

    Mayne: I still think you are comparing two different things here. Deleting a file and erasing the drive are different. Also, using file recovery for a deleted file where you have access to the drive (know the password so the data in decrypted) is different as well. On the iPhone I don’t think someone else could recover a photo like that without first gaining access. On the Mac that would be true too, with FileVault. But also if the drive was erased, not just a single file deleted. Hard to say without knowing more about what software you are talking about.

    Mayne
    4 weeks ago

    I’ve been avoiding to post its name cos maybe you won’t allow it. Its called Ultdata By TenoShare and I think it’s literally the only one I found that can recover video’s and images directly from IOS device via lightning cable and its costly too.

    4 weeks ago

    Mayne: Looking at the instructions, it says the device must be connected, unlocked and that you confirm on the device that the computer is trusted. So you can’t use this to get into the data on someone’s iPhone unless they unlock it and trust the computer it is connected to. So you can’t use this to get access to someone else’s data.

    Mayne
    4 weeks ago

    Yes Gary i’m with you totally understand your point. What im trying to say is that they claim you can get it even after a factory reset.

    “High Recovery rate, No Matter Why You Lost It”
    “Whether you accidentally delete important data or lose data due to jailbreak, update, factory reset, etc.”

    So after factory resetting then selling your iPhone your data can be still be RECOVERED.

    4 weeks ago

    Mayne: I would imagine in that case they would be relying on a backup to get the data back, not directly from the device. Data on your iPhone is encrypted. If you sell your iPhone after a factory reset, or even without a factory reset, the new owner couldn’t decrypt the data on the iPhone. If you factory reset your iPhone and wanted to get lost data back, you would use your backup to access that lost data. I’m sure that’s what they mean.

    Mayne
    4 weeks ago

    Makes sense. Alright Gary thanks for clarifying this to me. One more last thing, if I am going to sell my pci ssd macbook pro, you recommend I do not waste my time doing secure erase? I do not mind the time waiting.

    4 weeks ago

    Mayne: There isn’t even a secure erase option for an SSD.

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