In most cases when you delete a file, the first part of that file is simply marked in a way that indicates the space used by the file as being available for storage. As additional space is required, the mark at the head of a deleted file makes the area available for use by other files.
The extremely large hard disks we have these days that means it may be quite a while, if ever, before the file is overwritten. That is both good and bad. The file can generally be recovered, which is good if you want the file back, but bad if you don’t want others getting access to it.
When you sell or throw out an old machine you of course delete all the data, but with the above in mind it isn’t really as “deleted” as you may have thought – a technically savvy person may be able to recover it.
If you think about all the places that you find disk storage these days you may become concerned about ensuring the data on these devices is actually wiped before they are sold. There are examples of copy machines that use hard drives to store image scans (such as signatures) being sold without their storage being wiped, and this has allowed very private data to be recovered by people with no rights to that information.
If you are planning to dispose of or sell any technology device you need to ensure it is totally wiped before you do so. A great option for doing this with PCs is to use Dvorak Boot n Nuke (DBAN for short). This utility allows you to create a device to boot your machine from, and then proceed to securely over write all the information on any internal storage to the point where it is virtually unrecoverable.
Before you dispose of any technology device, take a moment to ensure that you wipe every thing off that device, no matter what you plan to do with it.
If you need help wiping your device don’t hesitate to contact Correct Solutions on (02) 8831 8200.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net