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How to Protect Yourself From Deleted Files

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How to Protect Yourself From Deleted Files

Losing your files – your images, music, or carefully prepared presentations, your infinitely redrafted assignments, or your videos of a summer well spent – whatever they are, well, it sucks! Whether it’s down to accidental deleting, mystically vanishing folders, or total hard drive annihilation, the sense of rising panic that accompanies frantically searching for deleted files through folder after folder until the moment you finally admit defeat is horrifying.

Hours of work, years of collecting, a lifetime’s worth of memories: lost!

I remember one specific example in college, when I had spent over 20 hours straight working on a research paper in the library. I went to go grab some lunch and take a quick break. Except I forgot one crucial element: anytime you locked a computer in the library for a specific period of time, the hard drives were auto-erased, sending me into a panicked scramble for over an hour trying to talk the IT guy into finding the backup (he eventually found it).

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Even the most technically savvy individual can suffer this pulse-increasing, sweaty-palm-causing nightmare. So, what’s to be done about it?

When you a delete a file, it isn’t really erased – it continues existing on your hard drive, even after you empty it from the Recycle Bin. This allows you (and other people) to recover files you’ve deleted.

If you’re not careful, this will also allow other people to recover your confidential files, even if you think you’ve deleted them. This is a particularly important concern when you’re disposing of a computer or hard drive.

Windows (and other operating systems) keep track of where files are on a hard drive through “pointers.” Each file and folder on your hard disk has a pointer that tells Windows where the file’s data begins and ends.

When you delete a file, Windows removes the pointer and marks the sectors containing the file’s data as available. From the file system’s point of view, the file is no longer present on your hard drive and the sectors containing its data are considered free space.

– Chris Hoffman (via How To Geek)

So, you might then be wondering: Where on earth do these files go?

If you’re wondering why your computer doesn’t just erase files when you delete them, it’s actually pretty simple. Deleting a file’s pointer and marking its space as available is an extremely fast operation. In contrast, actually erasing a file by overwriting its data takes significantly longer. For example, if you’re deleting a 10 GB file, that would be near-instantaneous. To actually erase the file’s contents, it may take several minutes – just as long as if you were writing 10 gigabytes of data to your hard drive.

– Chris Hoffman (via How To Geek)

We know we’re supposed to back up everything important, but a smug, “I told you so,” isn’t going to get us anywhere in our time of need. What we really need is a handy guide, a one-size-fits-all flowchart that will point us in the direction of file recovery, memory restoration, and technical wizardry!

That’s where My Asset Tag come sailing in, with their lifesaving infographic on hand ready to save you from an evening spent moping (at the very least). Whether your files were saved in the cloud, on your hard drive, a USB or mobile device, they can help you when you need it most. Walking you through various operating systems as well, they guide you to a variety of resources that can answer almost any scenario’s call.

Because if you’ve accidentally deleted your daughter’s Justin Bieber collection, your life won’t be worth living.

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Click image to open interactive version (via MyAssetTag).

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    Last Updated on December 18, 2020

    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

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    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

    Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

    Does technology have all the answers?

    This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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    Creating technological solutions transparently

    This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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    Technology as the connecting tool

    Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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    “Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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