When you are in the woods camping you tend to leave tracks. Sometimes these are foot tracks and other times it is different types of tracks. These tracks can be what you ate that day or the different types of tools that you use while you were out there. It is the same while you are on the computer as well. When you use the computer you tend the leave traces of yourself by the files that you delete. While you think that it might be gone and that no-one will be able to see it that is not always quite true.
First of all, it is amazing how many people do not know about the Recycle bin that is on their computer. They think that just because they hit delete on a file that it is gone forever. No, Windows goes through a process first before it gets rid of the file. It allows you to have time to really make sure that you wanted to get rid of that file. So it puts the file in the recycle bin. The recycle bin stores the file until you hit the button to clear it. Only at that point is the file really gone and you do not have to worry about it anymore.
But is it really gone? If you are dealing with a Windows based system then no, it is really not gone. You have just told the computer that it can use the space that the deleted file is in for something else. Only when that computer is ready to put something over the top of it will it truly be gone. That process might take just a few hours or it might take a few months. It is all about when you place a new file on there to replace the old one.
If you are a black hat hacker then you already know these tricks. When you are looking for information on someone else’s computer it is real handy to have this type of knowledge lying around. Most people do not know about this so this tends for them to not really clean up after themselves.
If you really want to be sure that you are not leaving any traces about yourself then there are several programs that you can use that will truly delete a file off of your system. You will not leave a trace.