Erase all your information on your old tablet

David Novarro has more from Consumer Reports.
December 26, 2013 5:46:12 PM PST
If you were lucky enough to have received a new table or laptop of the holidays, you'll probably pass your old one on to someone else, or sending it off to be recycled. But before you do, you'll want to make sure all of your information gets erased.

Heather Feldman likes to stay current with all the new electronics coming out.

"We purchase new electronics all the time, because our kids are getting older, they need more electronics," Feldman said.

But she's not sure how to get rid of all of her old devices and keep her personal information safe.

"That stuff has your entire life on it," Feldman said.

Consumer Reports says it's important to remove your personal data before you get rid of any electronic device.

Consumer Reports' Rich Fisco has advice to help you get rid of your old devices and wiping your data.

"Everything from financial documents to photos, you want to make sure to delete all that information before you give it or sell it to anyone else," Fisco said.

On many tablets there are built-in ways to wipe your data.

For example, on the iPad, go to Settings and selected "General."

Look for the "Reset" option. In the next window, choose "Erase All Content" and "Settings." A box will appear. Hit "Erase," and you're done.

Many newer laptops also have built-in systems. Go to the "Settings" control panel and choose "Change PC Settings." In the next window, click on "Recovery."

Underneath the heading "Remove Everything" and "Install Windows," click on "Get Started." In the box that comes up, click on "Fully Clean My Drive."

"If you don't have any ways built into the device that can securely wipe the data for you, you're going to have to use a third-party application," said Fisco.

Consumer Reports recommends D-BAN, which you can download for free at It's easy to use and will take care erasing all your personal data.