Shred files and wipe disks | BleachBit (I've used BleachBit for several years in both Windows and Linux)
QUOTE: Normally when software deletes a file, only the "metadata" is erased: that means the complete contents can often easily be recovered, so BleachBit (and similar applications) offer secure erase features (also called secure wipe or file shredding) to permanently remove data. Some applications even advertise "advanced" erasure methods referencing important names in security such as Gutmann, the United States Department of Defense, and the NSA, but these references often mislead people to waste time on snake oil technological remedies while ignoring important basics. Any product or method suggesting a convenient, comprehensive solution to security is deceptive: convenience and security oppose each other. This guide will explain how 1 pass is enough, but 35 passes are not enough. Regardless of the tools you use, please read this guide carefully and completely.
Myths and legends
Most of the confusion regarding the topic of data remanence (data left behind after it is deleted) is because of myths and urban legends. Before discussing what is true, let's preview what is not:
- False: Data on a hard drive overwritten by one pass can be recovered by powerful government agencies
- False: Overwritting data with multiple passes makes it harder to recover than overwritting it with a single pass.
- False: Peter Gutmann thinks data should be overwritten with 35 passes to prevent recovery.
- False: Peter Gutmann's paper applies to modern hard drives ("modern" meaning manufactured after the year 2000 or so).
- False: There are methods approved by the DOD (5220.22-M), NSA, and Gutmann to shred files.
- False: The United States Department of Defense approves of overwriting (of a whole hard drive) as a data sanitation method.
Anyone that doubts one pass is enough, click on the link above for much more info.
Edited by buddy215, 20 March 2015 - 11:09 AM.