Where Does Deleted Data Go?

Have you deleted a file and immediately regretted it? Well that may be easy enough to get the file back. What if your intention was to make that file disappear for good? Then you have to understand that the way many operating systems handle the deletion of files may present problems for you.

Depending how you went about deleting the file in question, they may not be deleted at all; and, if they hold sensitive information, they will still be accessible by hackers looking to profit off of your negligence. Below we’ll outline what happens when you delete a file to give you an idea what exactly the process is to get rid of data. That kind of awareness is critical for you to protect your data, and your company’s data.

Deleting a PC File
On your standard PC, running some form of Windows, when you delete a file it is moved to your Recycle Bin. You may think that the files are gone, but that isn’t the case at all. The location of the file is changed, that’s all. If you access the file path inside the Recycle Bin, you can still open it and restore it. You can’t even get a file to open if you delete it out of the Recycle Bin. Doing so eliminates the file path and is labeled “free”, but the file itself is not overwritten.

This data won’t be gone in perpetuity until it is overwritten by another file, which is rather unlikely if you are using massive storage facilities for smaller files. Since you never really want to be that close to maxing out your available data storage, overwriting deleted file data happens less than a computer’s user would like.

Cloud Storage Considerations
If you are using a cloud storage facility like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive and you want to delete a file, the provider typically keeps this information for a couple of days after the initial deletion, just in case a user made a mistake. After that, however, consumer-grade cloud services customer probably won’t have much luck retrieving any data they had deleted.

Business cloud storage solutions are another story altogether. If your business is a customer of any notable cloud provider, it’s likely to come with redundancy built in. This is a strategy to protect businesses from human error.

Ashton Technology Solutions can help your business equip itself with a data storage structure that keeps your data under control. For more information contact us today at 216-397-4080. 

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