How to Delete Data Permanently from Computer
Simply deleting a file or formatting a computer’s hard drive doesn’t actually remove the data from your hard drive. The thing is, when you delete a file, it is moved to the recycle bin, and when you empty the recycle bin or use the ‘shift + delete’ keys, you are actually deleting the path to access the files and not the actual files. Similarly, formatting doesn’t remove the data; it just removes the existing file system and defines or sets up a new file system. But in real terms, the data remains intact in the hard drive.
In other words, by formatting the drive and deleting files and folders, you simply make it harder to access those files and folders. These deleted files and files from a formatted drive can be easily recovered with the help of a data recovery tool, thereby creating a grave risk for data privacy and security.
How to Permanently Remove Files and Folders
To permanently remove data from your computer, the hidden data or the data inside a formatted drive of your computer must be erased – not deleted. Overwriting the deleted data can permanently remove it, but you can’t be sure if you are writing or can write data in the same blocks from where the files were deleted. Therefore, erasing the files ensures that the files are deleted and the blocks where those files were stored are overwritten by a pattern of ones and zeroes.
Also, if you want to make sure that your deleted information or data doesn’t get into the wrong hands, wipe the unused space on your computer’s hard drive, as it may contain previously deleted files and folders containing sensitive information.
Step by Step: Using BitRaser for File
BitRaser for File is a revolutionary product in the field of software-based data destruction technology. It is an effective data erasure tool that can help you to erase – not delete – data permanently from your computer beyond the scope of data recovery. This tool uses 17 international standards, such as the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD Standard 5220.22-M) 3 pass/7 pass, NIST, etc., that ensure that the data is destroyed from the computer forever and can’t be recovered even with the help of forensics.
To permanently erase data from your computer, follow these steps:
1. Download and install BitRaser for File.
2. Run the program after installation.
3. Go to the ‘Tools’ tab and then select the erasure algorithm and verification from the respective drop-down list.
4. Click on the ‘Home’ tab, then click on ‘Erase Now’ in the left tree-view pane.
5. Expand the volume to locate the directory or files that you want to delete permanently and click the checkbox to select those files and folders.
6. Click the ‘Erase Now’ button located at the bottom-right corner of the software window.
7. Wait until the process is finished. When prompted, click ‘NO’ for now.
Next, erase unused space, as it may contain sensitive data. To do so, follow these steps:
8. In the left tree-view pane, click ‘Erase Unused Space’ and then select the hard drive. Click the ‘Select All’ checkbox at the bottom to choose all available drives.
9. Click the ‘Erase Now’ button. This process can take a while. After the process completes, click ‘Yes’ when prompted.
At this stage, you have successfully erased files and folders including previously deleted files from the unused space – beyond the scope of data recovery.
In case you did not find the files or folders you want to delete, use the ‘Search File’ option from the left tree-view pane. Then,
1. Click ‘Search by File Name’
2. In the ‘Search File’ text box, type the file name or extension and then click the ‘Add File’ button. You can add as many file names and extensions as you want.
3. In the ‘Search in’ checkbox list, select the location of the file by expanding the drives. If you are not sure, select the entire drive.
4. Click ‘Exact Search’ to search specific files only. Use ‘Remove From List’ if you have mistyped the file name or extension.
5. Click the ‘Search’ button and wait until the search process completes. All files by the name you entered are visible in the checklist box.
6. You can choose individual or multiple files by selecting the checkbox. You may click the ‘Select All’ checkbox to erase all files found in the search results.
7. Optionally, you can also click the ‘Create Certificate’ check box. This creates a certificate of Erasure for statutory and regulatory compliances, which you may or may not require.
8. Click the ‘Erase Now’ button to erase the files permanently from your computer.
After erasure, if you checked the ‘Create Certificate’ check box, a certificate is automatically generated containing information about the files that were deleted, time, and other details. You can find this certificate in the C:Program FilesBitRaser for File folder.
You also have an option to create and erase a list of files located at different locations that you want to permanently remove. The list is saved unless you delete it. So the next time, if files with the same name are generated or created, you can go to ‘Add Erasure List,’ select the previously added list, and delete the data permanently with one click.
This feature is of great help when you want to delete specific files and folders that are generated by a software or program automatically and you don’t want to keep them. This saves you time from searching or locating the file every time you want to erase those files or folders.