For storing and transferring data, USB flash drives have become important. However, there may come a moment when you need to safely remove private information from your USB drive in order to make room or to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. We’ll walk you through how to achieve that in this guide.
To learn how to permanently delete data from a USB flash drive, see this blog. The finest DIY techniques for entirely wiping the data off of a USB device have been published. To permanently remove data, you may also choose reputable data eraser software like BitRaser File Eraser.
It’s common to speak to formatting or deleting the storage media’s files and folders when we talk about wiping data from any storage medium. A drive or file is not overwritten when it is formatted or deleted, whereas data erasure essentially refers to the deletion of data through overwriting with a pattern of 0s and 1s. The data is completely erased from the storage medium when it is overwritten. There are two methods for permanently erasing data from a USB Flash drive, and they are as follows:
- Delete Specific or Selected Files and Folders
- Erasing all the data on a storage disc using a data erasure algorithm
The same thing as date erasure, wiping is just done on a larger scale. Wipe refers to completely wiping a partition or disc volume, not simply one or two files. Wiping permanently removes all data from the storage medium. Additionally, it destroys previously deleted data, rendering it unrecoverable.
Use the following techniques to permanently wipe or erase data from a USB flash drive:
1. A tool to erase data
It can be a little tough to use CMD for data erasure, and you run the risk of mistakenly deleting important files and folders (due to mistakes). Use a safe data erasing software instead, like BitRaser File Eraser, which enables you to wipe the entire disc using 3 global erasure methods (chosen one at a time), such DoD 5220.22-M.
To delete everything from your USB device using BitRaser File Eraser software, follow these steps:
- Run BitRaser File Eraser after installation and connect your USB device to the computer.
- From ‘Settings’, choose the data erasure algorithm and verification technique.
- Click Erase Deleted Data under Home.
- The linked volumes and drive are shown on the screen.
- To completely delete the contents of your USB drive, choose the disc.
- Follow the procedures if you want to delete only particular files or directories from your USB drive.
- Click “Erase Files and Folders,” then click “Add Items”.
- Select the USB device from the list, then expand it to choose the desired file(s).
- Click the Erase Now button once you’ve chosen your choice.
Keep in mind that data is often unrecoverable using standard methods once it has been securely wiped. To make sure you’ve taken all essential safeguards, you might want to speak with a professional data security specialist if you have particularly sensitive or classified information.
2. Using the Command Prompt
You have two options when using command prompt: you may select to permanently delete particular files and directories or you can choose to wipe the entire drive.
You can use the CMD Cypher command or the Microsoft SDelete utility. While SDelete allows you to erase a full drive as well as specific files or folders using the DoD 5220.22-M data erasure standard, Cypher only wipes free or empty storage space.
3. Drive or data encryption
Encryption is a fantastic tool for data deletion and protecting data from unauthorised access. Data from NAND flash-based storages, such as SSDs, cannot be erased using data erasure tools, including command-line and software-based erasure techniques. Encryption is the only method for protecting and sanitising data on SSDs. Data destruction occurs when the encryption key is deleted since it prevents access to the encrypted data.
Data on USB Flash drives can be deleted using the same procedure. You may secure and delete your data using BitLocker or other encryption features in Windows.
Use a trusted data erasure programme like “BitRaser File Eraser,” which is mentioned in this blog post, to permanently wipe data from USB flash drives and other flash storage devices as well as hard discs. You can sanitise data from several types of storage media by using this erasure software, which is secure to use. Additionally, the programme serves as a privacy protection tool and aids in erasing sensitive user information that has been stored in the form of internet activity logs, system logs, and application logs.
You can secure and destroy your data using the command prompt, encryption, or both. The aforementioned techniques call for some level of technical computer understanding, hence they are not advised for all users.