If you suppose that deleting a file removes it completely from your computer, then you have a wrong notion. The file can be recovered by using recovery tools. And this could be a risk if any unauthorized person uses your computer and retrieves such files; especially when the files are sensitive.
What happens when you delete a file?
Whenever a file is deleted, it is dumped in the recycle bin or trash, depending on the operating system of your computer. Later, you can recover the same file if any need arises. Now, when you delete a file using the combination ‘Shift + Delete’, the file does not go to the recycle bin and gets deleted permanently. Now, ‘permanently’ here means that the file cannot be found anymore using the normal functionalities in your computer. The file is, however, still buried somewhere in the hard disk, which can be recovered using a recovery software. While this can be an advantage, it can be a risk too. Let’s say, you choose to ‘shift + delete’ certain sensitive data such as personal photos and videos, credit card numbers, banking passwords, classified corporate information, etc. A normal user may not be able to find these files, but a tech-savvy attacker may be able to retrieve them. This can lead to identity theft, data breach, social engineering attack, etc. So you see, emptying recycle bin or shift deleting files is not secure enough.
How can you be sure that your information is gone forever?
To rest assured that once a file is deleted, it stays buried and unrecoverable forever, you must use a software that uses a multi-layered process of deleting data.
- 1st level of deletion: random letters are written over the selected data (date to be deleted), and then the data is deleted.
- 2nd level of deletion: selected data is overwritten with random letters multiple times, and then the data gets deleted.
- 3rd level of deletion: selected data is overwritten with fully encrypted random letters, before it gets deleted.
No data recovery tool can retrieve data that gets deleted using the above levels of deletion.
You will find the same feature in the following products:
In each of these software, data once removed or deleted using the Secure Delete process becomes unrecoverable by any kind of data recovery tool. This ensures that your sensitive and confidential information is not misused and your privacy is protected.