Deleted but Not Gone: How to Keep Your Photos and Files From Falling Into the Wrong Hands

We’ve published a number of posts in the past on how you can recover photos that were accidentally deleted from your computer or memory card. But what about when you delete a photo and expect it to actually be gone forever?

The ease with which deleted files can often be recovered means that you should be careful when selling or tossing hard drives or memory cards — your photos and files might end up falling into the wrong hands if someone decides to try data recovery.

In the short video above, Linus Sebastian of Techquickie explains why simple “deleting” and even emptying your recycle bin doesn’t actually make the data disappear, but instead simply “hides” it until it’s overwritten. Until it’s overwritten, it can often still be located and recovered using special software.

If you’re planning on selling, donating, or throwing away a hard drive or memory card that once stored personal or valuable files, make sure the data is permanently deleted.

One surefire way to do this is to physically destroy the drive or card. Otherwise, do a search for how to securely wipe data based on the operating system you use. There are operating system features and free tools out there that can help you do this with just a few clicks (e.g. Mac instructions and Windows instructions).

(H/T Lifehacker)

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