Here's what we'll be covering...
Simply pressing the delete button, emptying the Recycle Bin or even formatting the drive doesn't get rid of files. When we delete, the pathway that leads to the file is deleted and the space the file was taking up is marked as being available for re-use and will at some stage, be over-written with new data.
The digital information still remains on the drive we are using, which can be the hard disk drive (HDD) or an external drive, such as a USB. However, until the file is overwritten, there are programs that can recreate this deleted data from the different hidden locations on the HDD or from the swap file -- I have discussed the use of recovery programs in my article, Software To Undelete That Lost Data
Anyone with one of these programs and access to our computer can see everything we've ever used our computer for... unless our unwanted information is deleted beyond recovery bu using a commercial or free file shredder. You may think you have nothing to hide and are happy that data can be recovered but there are reasonds why you should consider a commercial or free shredder...
Here's just a few reasons when you may want to permanently wipe information from your computer...
Heard the saying, "You get what you pay for"? Well, to a large extent, it's also true for the commercial and free file shredder.
There are a few good file shredder programs that will erase hard drive free and delete internet history. i.e. they are not on a 'free trial and then buy' basis, but gratis.
However, if you have commercially sensitive or private confidential data that you want to be sure is deleted beyond recovery, then I suggest you try the commercial program that I use, CyberScrub Privacy Suite, which has a 15 Day free trial. It is approved for use by a number of U.S. Government agencies, sech as the EPA. You can also find out more in my article, The Features and Benefits of Using CyberScrub
There are two free file shredder programs, which I'd recommend for freeing up disk space and to erase a good portion of your Internet history habits...
The program cleans: Internet History, Recycle Bin, Recent Documents, Temporary files, Log files, Clipboard, DNS Cache, Error Reporting, Memory Dumps and Jump Lists.
It also works with numerous third-party applications to remove temporary files and recent file lists (MRUs), such as with Windows Media Player, Adobe Acrobat, WinZip and Google Toolbar etc.
Not only is this program a free file shredder, but it also has a Registry Cleaner, which removes unused and old entries, including File Extensions, ActiveX Controls, ClassIDs, ProgIDs, Uninstallers, Shared DLLs, Fonts, Help Files, Application Paths, Icons, Invalid Shortcuts and more.
This is also a fast program... setting the wipe process for 7 passes (the usual recommendation is 3 passes), my computer is cleaned in under 1 minute! If the program is set to wipe free space, then the process takes just under 2 hours -- that's one third of the time taken by some file shredder programs!
If you'd like to read about the features and how to use CCleaner, see my article,
These problems were taken into consideration when Eraser was designed and it has an intuitive and simple user interface.
It wipes data via using pseudo-random data, and makes wipe passes from 1 up to the 35 specified by Gutmann