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Erasers


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Ally Maypole

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 11:00 AM

Hello all,

I read somewhere that, even if a personal file (such as a bank statement) is deleted from your hard drive, it is still really there. The computer just "forgets" where the file is. If someone wanted to search for it, they could still, in theory, find it. Someone sugested that you can use an eraser such as this: http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/ which permanently erases the data from your hard disc. I was wondering if this was necessary if I wanted to protect myself from hackers etc. I'm not even that sure how to use an eraser correctly.

I use removable storage to keep all my financial data, letters, photos and things. In theory, could someone get hold of these things if they had first been stored on my hard disc before being transferred on to removable storage.

I also have a good firewall and security system, but am perhaps a bit paranoid since my computer was hacked into last year!

Cheers all

AM

:thumbsup:

Mod Edit: I fixed the link.

Edited by tg1911, 21 August 2005 - 10:42 PM.


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#2 jgweed

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 03:51 PM

And rightly so too.
Deleting files or applications is like tearing out the table of contents of a book; the chapters, or files, remain until they are overwritten by your computer when it adds files to what it thinks is empty space. If anything is stored on your hard drive and deleted, it could be retrieved; why take a chance?
I regularly use an erasing application in place of simple deletion. My application of choice is:

http://www.tolvanen.com/eraser/

It will allow you to choose the degree of overwriting, and to use it from your Windows drop down menu either file by file, or when you go to your Recycle bin.

Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#3 tg1911

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 10:40 PM

I, like John, also use Eraser.
In fact, I don't delete anything, anymore, I right click and Erase it.

The link John provided is to the last version (5.3) produced by Tolvanen.
It has a new maintainer now, and an updated version (5.7), but it's still the same program.
The link you gave, is the updated version.
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#4 Leurgy

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 06:12 AM

While Eraser is a good program from a reputable software writer I thought I would add for informational purposes the fact that Spybot Search and Destory incorporates a secure "Shredder". It can be found if you open Spybot and go to Advanced Mode through the Mode menu. Click on Tools and you will see the Secure Shredder on the left. Right click the empty window and you can select "Add file(s) to the list". You can adjust the number of passes.

Edited by Leurgy, 22 August 2005 - 06:14 AM.

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#5 Ally Maypole

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 12:39 PM

Thanks for swift replies - very useful info.

AM
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#6 jgweed

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 01:16 PM

You are correct about Spybot S&D, which does have a shredder in its advanced tool section; however, Eraser does seem easier to use, especially on a regular basis, else Spybot will certainly work for the occasional use without having to add another application to the hard drive.
Cheers,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#7 Ally Maypole

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 02:22 PM

I've just run the above eraser, and told it to erase the unused areas of my hard disc. It ran a report saying that some could not be overwritten, and I'm not sure what it means exactly. Is that normal? Perhaps it was due to the fact that I had other applications open when doing the erase?

Thanks.

AM
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#8 Leurgy

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 03:53 PM

More than likely files in a Temp directory or temporary internet files created by your open applications as you said. Firewalls and anti-virus programs create temp files also.

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool


#9 Ally Maypole

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 02:54 AM

Thanks again.

#10 micaman

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 07:51 PM

If you use a security suite product like McAfee, it comes with a shredder that works really well. You can set the number of time you want to shred the information.

As stated above, if you want to maintain privacy, you must erase or shred the information. Also, use your disc defragmenter utility on a regular basis. This will move files around which will re-write more data onto your free areas of your hard drive. Once you delete information, Windows will simply remove the file extension attached to the file/folder but leave the information in its entirety. It is there just as you left it! Everything you have ever done on your machine is ready to be viewed again.

#11 RockIV

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 01:51 AM

I am using this right now, But how long is it suppose to take? It has been over 4 hours and only half-way through Cluster Tips!




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