Ask Leo! The latest articles from Ask Leo!. en-us Mon, 12 Nov 2018 16:00:09 +0000 Mon, 12 Nov 2018 16:00:09 +0000 (Leo Notenboom) What Happens When I Die?

Making technology both convenient and secure is a problem we deal with daily. We make trade-offs and use techniques that we hope strike an appropriate balance.

A more difficult dilemma that we rarely think about, however, is death. If something were to happen to you, would the people you leave behind be able to access the information they need? What happens to your encrypted data, online accounts, social media, online finances, pictures, and digital-whatever-else if for some reason you're not around or able to access it?

I hear regularly from people frantically trying to access important, sentimental, or critical data that a recently deceased or incapacitated friend or family member has locked up tightly.

It's not particularly pleasant to think about, but with all the security measures we put into place to keep bad people out, it's worth having a plan for letting the good people in.

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Mon, 12 Nov 2018 16:00:09 +0000 02493c15f07cda473aea43a98c343550
Why Can't I Undelete these Files?

Before my power supply blew, I'd deleted a huge folder of pictures and subfolders of pictures to the Recycle Bin. After I retrieved my computer from the shop, the folder was emptied from the Bin. So, I performed 2 system restores, which I later found doesn't restore files. Then, I downloaded data retrieving software which allowed me to look at my deleted data.

In deleted data, I can see my current folders in "pictures" and the files I deleted from them, and I can see one deleted folder from "pictures". The one deleted folder is an earlier version of the huge folder the computer shop deleted, but not the exact folder they deleted.

It's been exactly 5 days since I've had my computer back. Even if some of the pictures in it were overwritten, some still wouldn't be, right? The software doesn't list ANYTHING which was in that folder (or the folder itself) ...and at least 400 pictures were in there.

Why can't I see that folder, or other folders I've deleted from pictures? Why can I see only the earlier version?

Given the scenario you've described, I'd honestly be surprised if you found any pictures at all.

It's easy to view undelete utilities a little too optimistically. We should be surprised when they work, not the other way around.

Let's look at why your scenario is so problematic, and what steps I'd take in a last-ditch effort to retrieve your data.

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Fri, 09 Nov 2018 16:00:40 +0000 60b34ccd95054726547eafa7cd8f8b27