Deleting Email - Permanently

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Question: When I delete email, is it really deleted?

The IT Guy says:
Eventually, but probably not immediately. There are two different kinds of Email systems. A client-based Email program will retrieve your messages from a remote Email server and store them on your computer's hard drive. When you delete the message from your inbox, it will go into the trash can (or whatever) of your Email program. When you empty that trash, it will move the message to your computer's trash or recycle bin. When you empty that trash, the message will be truly deleted. If you don't go through all those steps, however, your message may be sitting around in one of those trash cans.

A server-based Email system keeps you Email only on a remote computer, and not on your own computer. When you delete the message on the remote server, it usually goes into a folder called "Trash" or "Deleted Messages." Until you empty that folder (there will usually be a button next to the folder), your deleted message will be sitting in that folder.

However, no matter how many places you have deleted your message and how many trash cans you have emptied, it is more than likely there is still a copy floating around on the Email server, on its backup tapes, or some other obscure spot. Never assume that you can completely delete an Email from existence. That's why I always tell people to never write anything in an Email that you don't want to see on the cover of the local newspaper!

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