Corporate Intellectual Property How to Permanently Delete Files

In 2020 there were 1,108 publicly reported data breaches. Phishing and ransomware attacks are the two most common methods hackers use for obtaining data. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to protect your customer’s data. 

It isn’t just your customer’s data that you should protect. You also need to guard your company’s proprietary data. 

Learn how to permanently delete files to protect your business and your customers. 

Hard Drive Partition 

The Windows OS has a disk management feature that clears all data in a chosen partition. The key to effectively deleting digital files is to uncheck the selection for performing a quick format.  

Open the Run Command box and enter “diskmgmt.msc” and execute the command. Next, choose the partition you want to delete files from by right-clicking on it and choosing Format. Confirm your selections and select “Ok” when prompted. 

Command Prompt 

If you have a Windows computer, you can go to Start and type Command Prompt into the search box that pops up. Run it as an administrator and enter “diskpart” and “list disk” to select the specific disk with the files you want to delete. Finally, enter the command “clean all” to clear all of the data on the selected drive. 

Digital File Shredder Software

There are software services that offer digital software shredding. These systems provide the modern age version of old-school paper shredders. Documents get deleted permanently without the opportunity for document recovery. 

You can download a digital shredder here as a part of the Norton utility software suite. 

Deleting Files on a Mac 

If you own a Mac, how you go about deleting files depends on the type of hard drive your laptop has. Older Macs have regular hard disk drives or HDDs. New Macs have solid-state drives or SSDs.

Deleted Files on an HDD 

On older Macs, you can use secure file deletion methods. The file gets overwritten with junk data to render the original data unrecoverable. The Secure Empty Trash feature follows US DoD protocols by overwriting the data seven times. 

This method works for HDDs because the file is in a physical place on the drive. Overwriting is possible because it happens in that exact same physical location. With the switch to SSDs, Mac removed this feature. 

Deleted Files on an SSD

Traditional secure file deletion methods don’t work with SSDs. The data for files get moved around. It’s impossible to overwrite the file with junk data encryption because it would get put in a new location, never overwriting the file you want to delete. 

Instead, you can move the file to the trash and then empty the trash. This will remove the file from the computer. Another option is to just the Delete Immediately feature that bypasses the trash. 

Permanently Delete Files in Your System 

Now that you know how to permanently delete files, you are ready to erase a computer. This eliminates sensitive data and information, preventing someone from accessing the information and using it for nefarious purposes. 

Check out our other technical articles for more helpful advice on managing your business’ data and digital assets. 

In 2020 there were 1,108 publicly reported data breaches. Phishing and ransomware attacks are the two most common methods hackers use for obtaining data. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to protect your customer’s data. 

It isn’t just your customer’s data that you should protect. You also need to guard your company’s proprietary data. 

Learn how to permanently delete files to protect your business and your customers. 

Hard Drive Partition 

The Windows OS has a disk management feature that clears all data in a chosen partition. The key to effectively deleting digital files is to uncheck the selection for performing a quick format.  

Open the Run Command box and enter “diskmgmt.msc” and execute the command. Next, choose the partition you want to delete files from by right-clicking on it and choosing Format. Confirm your selections and select “Ok” when prompted. 

Command Prompt 

If you have a Windows computer, you can go to Start and type Command Prompt into the search box that pops up. Run it as an administrator and enter “diskpart” and “list disk” to select the specific disk with the files you want to delete. Finally, enter the command “clean all” to clear all of the data on the selected drive. 

Digital File Shredder Software

There are software services that offer digital software shredding. These systems provide the modern age version of old-school paper shredders. Documents get deleted permanently without the opportunity for document recovery. 

You can download a digital shredder here as a part of the Norton utility software suite. 

Deleting Files on a Mac 

If you own a Mac, how you go about deleting files depends on the type of hard drive your laptop has. Older Macs have regular hard disk drives or HDDs. New Macs have solid-state drives or SSDs.

Deleted Files on an HDD 

On older Macs, you can use secure file deletion methods. The file gets overwritten with junk data to render the original data unrecoverable. The Secure Empty Trash feature follows US DoD protocols by overwriting the data seven times. 

This method works for HDDs because the file is in a physical place on the drive. Overwriting is possible because it happens in that exact same physical location. With the switch to SSDs, Mac removed this feature. 

Deleted Files on an SSD

Traditional secure file deletion methods don’t work with SSDs. The data for files get moved around. It’s impossible to overwrite the file with junk data encryption because it would get put in a new location, never overwriting the file you want to delete. 

Instead, you can move the file to the trash and then empty the trash. This will remove the file from the computer. Another option is to just the Delete Immediately feature that bypasses the trash. 

Permanently Delete Files in Your System 

Now that you know how to permanently delete files, you are ready to erase a computer. This eliminates sensitive data and information, preventing someone from accessing the information and using it for nefarious purposes. 

Check out our other technical articles for more helpful advice on managing your business’ data and digital assets.¬†

To understand about Solid State Drive (SSD) industry, Read here