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Are deleted e-mails retrievable on a work computer?

(11 Posts)
Branster Fri 11-Mar-05 09:50:50

This is for one of my friends so I hope she has nothing to do with MN otherwise she'll figure out who I am.
We're talking about working in the public sector. If one delets certain e-mails and empties the deleted box on their work computer, can someone else retrieve them if they want to? And how would they go about it ? Would they need a good reason to start an investigation or they can just do it as a routine excercise?

loudmum Fri 11-Mar-05 09:54:50

in theory, yes they can still be retrieved as they are stored in memory on computer and until the space is overwritten, some whizz kid could probably still get to them...

They would have to get to machine fairly fast to make sure no work could be done that would overwrite the memory that was released.

Mud Fri 11-Mar-05 09:56:14


Mud Fri 11-Mar-05 09:57:10

they don't need a reason to investigate, the computers belong to them, it is not bugging a system they are a work thing and all communication is open to their surveillance I believe

Branster Fri 11-Mar-05 09:57:41

so even if they are deleted from the deleted folder, there still is a trace of them on the harddisk somewhere which in tome would be overwritten by ongoing documents.

would they not have a permanent record of them on some central server somwhere where , say, they keep deleted messages for a certain period of time?

tarantula Fri 11-Mar-05 09:57:46

All emails can be retrieved as they will be on the mail server backups but it would require a manager to order this I should think and a good reason. Its not the easiest or quickest thing to do and cant see IT staff doing it on a whim. Also the older the system the less chance of getting them back with older exchange servers it difficult to restore individual mailboxes. However if the mail was stared in a personal folder retrievig the amil would be much easier. But as I say IT are busy and wouldnt do thsi on a whim (cept me unless surfing here is counted as busy )


Mud Fri 11-Mar-05 09:57:57

they probably won't even need to look at her machine, it will most likely route through a central server in the public sector (don't know that for fact but would imagine so)

Branster Fri 11-Mar-05 09:59:24

they are always monitored from what i understand, so when they are transmitted (inbox, send box) they can be intercepted if something arises suspicion or if they just feel like it.
but once that's done and you get rid of the emails, can they still find them?

tarantula Fri 11-Mar-05 10:02:48

yes they have backups on disc. Standard backup policy is to back up every night and keep for one week. Back ups on a Friday are kept for a month and the end of month backup disc is kept permenantly so that if the server fails the data is still intact.

Mud Fri 11-Mar-05 10:03:45

yes it is not possible to totally delete something. An IT person can always find them in the dim and dark cogs if they have been charged with doing so


Branster Fri 11-Mar-05 10:08:38

many thanks for the info. that's what i suspected. it makes perfect sense.

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