We often get asked to recover deleted data, this time we are showing you how to delete it. Permanently.We recently wrote a guide about how to get rid of an old hard drive and have been asked to explain in greater detail, how to permanently wipe it clean. So, here it is: what to do if you are changing your old computer and how to completely erase data - personal, professional and/or business.
It is estimated that over 50% of used hard drives on eBay have easily recoverable data on them. A recent study from a computer forensics company in America found that many of these computers needed nothing more than powering up in order to find data that included photos, corporate emails and financial records.
So you ought to know how to permanently wipe this information, stopping it from falling into the wrong hands. Just imagine if you had folders full of your deepest, darkest secrets. Combine this with your email list and business contacts and wahey, you are a prime candidate for blackmail!
How to delete files - permanently!
When you delete a file, are you under the impression that it’s gone? Wrong! It’s like writing down all your information on paper and pencil and then wiping it with an eraser, it looks like it’s gone, but there’s still an imprint of that information there. Your best defense is by overwriting this data so that the original data cannot be recovered. There are a number of programs that can help overwrite and "wipe clean" this information.
This is a Windows specific tool that allows the user to overwrite specific files up to twenty times, it can also be scheduled to clear your trash bin out, too. You probably don’t need to do it twenty times, though.
With CCleaner you can target specific areas or applications on your computer. It could be your trash bin, a folder or your browser. It clears out the empty space and any deleted files that you haven’t managed to delete properly. It can overwrite data as many times as you want it to.
Secure Empty Trash
On an Apple, this process is already built in and performs a similar operation to Eraser, albeit automatically.
If, after using the above applications you still feel paranoid, instantly craning your neck upward for the sound of drones following your every move, there really is no other option than to take a sledgehammer to your platters!
You might find that nothing gives you more pleasure than seeing the contact of hammer on hard drive. Just make sure you wear suitable eye protection first! Whatever you decide to do, you really must stay vigilant with your data. Taking the time to erase, wipe and overwrite your data is a lot less painful than seeing your deleted private photos posted on social media.