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Never Throw Away a USB Flash Drive without Erasing All Data on It

Never Throw Away a USB Flash Drive without Erasing All Data on It

  • 20th Oct, 2021
  • IGS Cleaner

Do you have an old USB flash drive that you'd like to give away, sell, or discard? Before you do anything with it, make sure that to erase data before throwing a USB Drive. According to surveys, most people leave recoverable data on USB sticks they discard, effectively inviting unauthorized access to their files.

Why You Should Shred Files Using a File Shredder

You'll be surprised at the types of files that can be recovered from old USB thumb drives using free file recovery software. Old photos, including pictures of people's children and less than modest shots, ID scans and photos, tax statements, medical data, receipts, and other documents. Consider what could happen if all of this information ended up in the wrong hands! To steal your identity, criminals only need your name and address. And providing your name, address, and photos of your children could lead to disasters such as your child being kidnapped and harmed. It's all because you failed to properly erase data from an old USB stick. That's why you make sure every time to erase data before throwing a USB Drive.

Why Hitting the Delete Button Doesn’t Help

Using the Delete key, Shift+Delete to bypass the Recycle Bin, or even quick-formatting the drive does not remove any files. All of these procedures do is mark the space as available, awaiting the addition of new files. However, if the deleted files are not completely overwritten with new data, they can be easily recovered. The bad news is that even full formatting does not work due to the way USB drives work. As a result, you should use a file shredder to overwrite deleted files and prevent them from being recovered.

How to Properly Erase Data from USB Drives

The only secure way to prevent data recovery from USB drives is to overwrite every single byte of space with random data three times. You can accomplish this with a professional data-wiping program, such as Easy File Shredder. With such an app, you'll have a plethora of options for erasing confidential files and protecting yourself. If you know the content of your USB drive does not contain any identifiable data, then wiping it clean in one or three passes should suffice. If you have bank statements and other files that contain your name, ID number, and address, use a more advanced shredding method, such as the US Military shredding algorithms. Only then you can safely sell your USB thumb drive on eBay, give it away, or throw it away.