The easiest and safest way to delete files and directories in *nix (that I've found) is Midnight Commander. Run ' mc ', CD to directory, Tag files if needed, hit F8 and will delete recursively with a Yes/No prompt.
I can count the times I've used ' rm -rf ' on one hand in DECADES of admin. You need to be careful with it, along with DD - and NOTHING will protect you if you don't have regular Backups. Barring MC, I have a "safe delete" Bash script that I use with ' find ' to delete files.