Be sure to wipe your storage drives, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and anything that potentially contained sensitive files before getting rid of it. Whether you’re disposing of it, selling it, or giving it away, you should securely erase your data first.
This is necessary because it’s possible to recover deleted files from many types of drives. Data isn’t always immediately removed from an underlying drive if you delete it in the normal way.
A wipe process is necessary for USB drives and external hard drives. Yes, even though your USB drive contains solid-state flash memory—and even though your external hard drive might contain a proper solid-state drive—you need to keep this in mind.