Think of a doctors or dentist surgery with rows of shelves stuffed with paper private medical records in alphabetical order. Remove the A-Z index and finding Mr. and Mrs. Green will be very hard. This is like when you delete a file from your USB stick, the file is likely still there but the index record is not. The same applies to USB hard drives, hard drives and camera memory cards.

Survey: 40% of hard drives bought on eBay hold personal, corporate data sums this up well. People and companies may have deleted their files or formatted the drive but the files could be recovered with off the shelf software.

Just how easy is it to recover files.....?

Blank USB stick with a single 1KB TXT file on. TXT file showing 321 as contents.


Deletion confirmation window. Empty looking USB stick.


A five second scan with free recovery software shows the deleted file available for restore. Recovered file shown on desktop and exactly the same as before it was deleted.

How do I ensure files cannot be recovered?
Various options exist including: physical shredding, physically punching holes, shredding individual files, overwriting the entire drive or even putting the whole drive in a furnace!