With the growing possibility that deleted files can be recovered from your PC especially if it is passed on to someone else, there’s a growing threat that someone can gain access to sensitive information and blackmail you with it.
That said, here are 3 ways by which you can protect sensitive data from just about any storage device:
#1: About Drives
If you use mechanical drives, then it is possible to recover data from these older forms of storage. In order for you to prevent this from happening, you will have to overwrite the drive with something else. This applies to external solid state drives such as USBs and SD cards and so on and so forth too. External drives have a feature called TRIM which ensures that all memory cells are deleted permanently.
#2: Use Windows 8
Prior to Windows 8, people had to use third party software to delete files permanently from one’s hard drive. However, now a feature has been added makes this task easier while also installing your operating system as well.
The feature is “Reset your PC feature in Windows 8 or 8.1” where you can “fully clean the drive” and have your operating system as a result.
#3: Use encryption for your files
No matter whether deleted or current, encrypting them means protecting all types of files. Software such as TrueCrypt or the BitLocker feature where the former can encrypt entire drives or even create encrypted containers too. Of course, in order to access these files, you will have to enter an encryption passphrase without which, the data still on your PC will appear as gibberish.