Should I be worried that someone can find files I have deleted off a computer?

by on May 16, 2010

Q: I did a stupid thing. I’ve been using my bosses laptop for the past 2 1/2 years regularly day in and out and I guess I thought I’d be working for him forever. But now, we’ve decided to part ways. He is a small business owner that uses the local consulting firm to upkeep his computers and I never signed any IT agreement. Of course, I used this computer for business and personal including photos and videos.

The videos are compromising to say the least. I’ve deleted the files, I’ve deleted the QuickPlay program it was recorded on, I’ve gone into public folders and deleted any images there, I went into safemode and deleted files there, I downloaded and ran a free eraser program on it and I also defraged. Did I kill it enough? Unfortunately, due to time constraints I cannot wipe the hard drive down. My fear is one day a computer geek will go in there to upgrade and see left over images on the hard drive. Is that something I should be concerned about?

One Response to “Should I be worried that someone can find files I have deleted off a computer?”
    Picked as best answer

    All the deleting, the file erasing program and the defrag is a pretty good kill. Any trace that might actually be left is going to be less and less recoverable with each day of use of the laptop. If you still have access to the laptop Recuva is a very good free undelete program so you can always run that on the drive to see if it turns anything up. They also have a portable build that can run off a USB drive so you don’t have to actually install it on the laptop.

    Beyond that the only realistic chance would be if the boss handing the laptop over to an expert and pay a bunch of money to actively search the drive for anything. If recuva doesn’t have anything pop up I’d say you did a good cleaning job. If you still need to do some wiping you can try wipe file (free)