Delete data – but please do it securely!
Deleting files or documents “normally” on a Windows operating system simply moves those files to the recycle bin to start with. These files only disappear from view when the recycle bin is full or the user proactively empties it. In truth the files are still on the computer drive – only the references to them in the file system index have actually been removed. As a result the files you think are deleted are actually still on the disk or drive and can easily be recovered with the best file recovery software, such as O&O DiskRecovery. Even formatting a hard disk is not enough to securely delete confidential data.
Files and documents on intact hard disks can be securely deleted by O&O SafeErase so that they can never be recovered. This is done by writing over the data either once or several times. There are numerous deletion methods available including the methods recommended by the US Department of Defense and from the German IT security authority, the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI), which offer the very maximum in data security.
With todays hard disk sizes it is normally sufficient to simply overwrite the data once, whereas with older disks with a capacity of 120GB the data should be overwritten 7 times in view of the lower storage density.
Modern flash-based media like SSDs (Solid State Drives) require a special approach because regular deletion and overwriting of data affects the lifespan of an SSD. O&O SafeErase also offers the appropriate methods here to securely delete single files, directories or partitions. The data is deleted using TRIM commands. Should the SSD (Solid State Drive) not support TRIM commands then the volume is overwritten with zeros. This makes any recovery of the data at a later date impossible.
Should a defect mean access to a disk or drive is not possible then the only option is to physically destroy it to render it unusable.
You must delete your hard disks and SSDs permanently before you sell or pass them on! It is the only way you can protect your privacy and prevent identity theft!