A new study by Which? Computing magazine recovered 22,000 supposedly deleted files from eight separate computers purchased on eBay. It’s easy and often free to obtain software that can recover supposedly permanently deleted files.
So Which? recommends removing the hard drive and smashing it with a hammer before getting rid of the computer, even though there are environmentally dangerous materials inside. However, there are those who feel that action is a bit too drastic, even though criminals often buy old computers just for the information they can retrieve.
Instead, they suggest using deleting software, which should be adequate for most people. Even though there’s very sophisticated data recovery software available, the cheap cost of credit card date – around $15 online – means that criminals are unlikely to invest a lot simply to obtain a set of credit card numbers.