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[HowTo] Destroy Sensitive Files and Data From Your Computer

[HowTo] Destroy Sensitive Files and Data From Your Computer

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Published by eon01
Protecting your privacy is very important , and it doesn't only mean using Internet safely .
When you delete a file , it can be recovered easily . This is something that can harm your privacy and give others a lot of information about you , especially if the files you deleted are sensitive .

Drag a file to the Recycle bin and empty the bin , actually the file is deleted but not permanently removed .

Why ?
In reality , when deleting a file , it is not removed but the reference to that file is erased from an index table . The file is un-linked , invisible but still exists and the data can be recovered , sometimes some parts of it .
Protecting your privacy is very important , and it doesn't only mean using Internet safely .
When you delete a file , it can be recovered easily . This is something that can harm your privacy and give others a lot of information about you , especially if the files you deleted are sensitive .

Drag a file to the Recycle bin and empty the bin , actually the file is deleted but not permanently removed .

Why ?
In reality , when deleting a file , it is not removed but the reference to that file is erased from an index table . The file is un-linked , invisible but still exists and the data can be recovered , sometimes some parts of it .

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Published by: eon01 on Jul 11, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/15/2013

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[HowTo] Destroy Sensitive Files And Data From Your Computer
Level
: Beginner 
Keywords
: windows , sensitive , files , data , shred , wipe , eraser , ccleaner .
 Aymen Amri
 
amri.aymen@gmail.com
 
Protecting your privacy is very important , and it doesn't only mean using Internet safely .When you delete a file , it can be recovered easily . This is something that can harm your privacyand give others a lot of information about you , especially if the files you deleted are sensitive .Drag a file to the Recycle bin and empty the bin , actually the file is deleted but not permanently removed .
Why ?
In reality , when deleting a file , it is not removed but the reference to that file is erased froman index table . The file is un-linked , invisible but still exists and the data can be recovered ,sometimes some parts of it . When using the right tool , this allows you to restore your files if you've deleted them accidentally , and at the same time , allows every one who can have access toyour storage device to have access to your sensitive information .Imagine you are using windows and editing a word document containing some sensitiveinformation . You finished editing it and before deleting it you had stored it in an encrypted externalhard drive .Knowing that most of programs saves your work automatically every 10 minutes , you canfind a copy of your work in the Temporary Files folder or somewhere else . Even if Windows willdelete those temporary files after finishing , you know now that deleting a file is never done permanently . Encrypting your sensitive data is important , but for the big brother , your traces arethe linchpin .The right way to wipe data [1] , is overwriting the part of the drive containing the data manytimes (sometimes 35 times [2]) with random numbers .
How ?
Creating a secure backup when manipulating files , is a good habit , so don't hesitate to do it before starting .Eraser is an easy-to-use free and open source software that can help you wipe any file youwant . It can overwrite data several times using randomized patterns of binary code.Eraser provides you with a lot of advanced settings, for example different file and spaceerasure methods, the option to replace erased files with other files to allow plausible ‘deniability’,and schedule erasure of files, folders, recycle bin, or unused disk space.The tool is also available as a portable app calledEraserDrop Portable. It is part of thePortableApps suite.Using Eraser , you can choose between :
Delete and shred single files.
Wipe all free space on a drive .For the first option , you will be sure that you will only wipe the deleted file(s) of your choice , previously deleted files can be recovered . For the second option , you will wipe all the previously deleted files and if you've done a mistake , it will be impossible to recover your files .Be sure to make the right choice , in function of your need .
 
In both cases it is very recommended to :
Create a secure backup when you are not 100% sure .
Think about wiping the temporary files that may contains different versions of your original file . (explained in the next section) .In this tutorial, we will choose one file to delete and then we will wipe the temporary file , toleave no traces of any automatically-saved trace of the original file .
Wiping A Sensitive File With Eraser :
 Let's begin . Downloading the latest version of the software from theEraser homepageis thefirst step .Save the file to your desktop or somewhere where you can easily find it. When thedownload is complete, double click on the file to start the installation.If you are a windows Vista or Windows 7 user , you must click on “Yes” (or enter your administrator password) , when “Security Warning” dialog box appears , in order for the installationto continue.Click on “Next”.
 
 Figure 1 : Eraser Setup Window Figure 2 : End-User License Agreement 

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