Many people believe that by simply deleting files from a hard disk will forever remove the content that was previously there. While this removes the data on a a visible level, traces still remain of the intact file and can be recovered using special methods. Thus, this puts at risk many people’s personal information when they give their computer away exposing them to all sorts of trouble. So, what should you do in order to avoid the loss of personal information and worse yet access to your financial data? There are few things you can do:
1. Format the hard disk using a military grade wipe method that makes it extremely hard to recover the information. Most backyard hackers would have trouble recovering the information stored on hard disk which has been formatted in the following method, however those with access to advanced data recovery equipment or who are forensic personal would be able to recover the information.
2. Use encryption to avoid unwanted access. This process is somewhat safer than the above method in that the only way to gain access to the information is by using a password. Banks themselves use AES-256bit encryption which is simply unable to be penetrated.
3. Physically destroy the hard disk. Yes, that’s right, smash the hard disk to pieces. While this isn’t the most graceful approach, this is a guaranteed way of ensuring data stored on your hard disk is not readable. Large corporations when information becomes irreverent actually use specific shredding machine on sensitive data, so it is nothing new but safe.
Therefore, using any of the above methods is going to stop potential thieves from using your personal information and will give you peace of mind. Do not ever think that the delete button is the be all end all; it is quite the contrary.