Not many people know that when you erase files by pressing 'delete', or when you format a disk, you are not erasing it for good. The pathways to the files are deleted but the data remains until overwritten by other content. There is special data recovery software that can put together the information you have erased. To find out more about the deletion process and why you should delete beyond recovery, read my article, Why You Should Permanently Delete Files
So, if you have sensitive information that must not be recovered for commercial or personal reasons, how can you guard your privacy and make sure that once you erase something, there is no way for anyone to recover it?
Well, to answer that question, I'll be talking about disk wipe software capable of wiping hard drive contents beyond recovery.
There are two products I'd recommend, depending on whether it's just for wiping hard drive entirely, or for selected file deletion. I have tested these disk wipe programs using recovery software to ensure deletion has occurred beyond recovery. I use Phoenix Data Recovery, which operates on both Windows and Mac systems, which can be downloaded and used to scan for free.
I use CyberScrub to not only keep my computer 'clean' from prying eyes, but also to erase stored data that is no longer needed to keep my prevent my computer from slowing down.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends CyberScrub for hard drive erasure. CyberScrub security products are purchased by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Department of the Interior and Defense, the United Nations and Fortune 100 companies... a strong testament to the quality and efficacy of its deletion products!
There are two of CyberScrub's products that I'd highly recommend...
1. CyberScrub cyberCide
This software has been designed for strict compliance with corporate/government file retention and hard drive erasure policies. It provides essential protection for Health Care (HIPAA), Corporate (Sarbanes-Oxley, FACTA) and Financial Regulatory Compliance for data destruction. It is recommended for disk sanitization by the EPA and other government agencies.cyberCide employs advanced hard drive erasure options that will defeat software OR hardware forensic recovery by utilizing wipe methods that exceed standards set by the U.S. Department of Defense. You will want to use this software if you want to erase hard drives totally, rather than erasing specific files beyond recovery.
It operates by creating a bootable CD or DVD on a separate computer to the target computer which is to be sanitized. You can read more about this process at, cyberCide Boot from CD/DVD
There are no commercial or black-market file retrieval products that have been known to retrieve a file after this process.New York Times
You'll be able to have a practice run with the software, but to carry out the full data destruction, you will need to buy a license
2. CyberScrub Security
CyberScrub Security is the other progam of CyberScrub's I recommend. This is the one I actually use. It has all the deletion power of cyberCide but can be installed on your computer to overwrite deleted data to your determined level... 1 pass or up to Gutmann (35 passes). The great thing about this program is that it additionally wipes external media such as USB sticks, CD/DVD and hard drives. There are Regulatory compliance attributes included, such as meeting document life-cycle policies for HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, FACTA and GLB.
I go into more detail about this software in my article, Wiping Hard Drive with CyberScrub.
Alternatively, see more about CyberScrub Security Information and Try the 15 Day Free Trial