Deleted data: Is it still accessible on your PC?

Computer curser selecting "delete" option

Copyright: 123rf/Pavel Ignatov

It’s no secret data breaches can happen, we hear about them all the time but contrary to popular belief it is not always the result of a sophisticated hacking group or complicated plot to get past a corporate firewall but the result of a simple oversight. In fact, according to a 2016 study published by Blancco Technology Group of 200 used computer drives purchased from eBay and Craigslist, 67 percent of the drives held personally identifiable information and 11 percent contained sensitive corporate data.

There are many misconceptions about computer data and the best way to protect it. For instance, in file systems on PCs when someone presses delete, one may think the data is gone and forgotten. However, just hitting the delete key does not destroy the data; it merely prevents the user from accessing the file by removing the link to where the data was available. Deleted data can still be on the PC and accessible. A simple example of this would be to check your computer’s trash bin. Note; not every deleted file is recoverable, over time; if a deleted file not recovered the computer will eventually overwrite it.

So what can your company do to help avoid these pitfalls?

  • Remove and securely dispose of the hard drive before donating or disposing of any old or outdated PCs or laptops.
  • Have a security policy and train your staff on the risk and responsibilities of types of digital devices used with-in your organization.
  • Work with a certified vendor to ensure your information is properly destroyed.

Your company’s data is valuable and the disposal of everything protecting this resource should never be left to chance.  If you have additional questions be sure to contact your Shred Right representative or email