Securely Empty Your Trash

When you empty the trash on your computer your data isn’t actually removed, that space is just opened up to be overwritten by other files. This means that if someone gets a hold of your computer they could possibly use data recovery software to restore your “deleted files”. If you want to completely erase a sensitive or confidential document, you should make sure to completely erase that data.

  • On a Mac, just go to the Finder menu and click Secure Empty Trash, confirm that you want to permanently erase the files in your Trash and click OK.
  • It’s not quite as simple on a PC, but still fairly easy. Follow the instructions on MIT’s website to download a free program that will allow you to securely erase files with a few clicks.