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Make sure sensitive deleted files cannot easily be found again

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  • Make sure sensitive deleted files cannot easily be found again

    Usually when you delete a file in Windows, it is actually moved to the Recycle bin, where it stays until you empty it. This means that another user of your PC could easily find it. This is far from ideal, especially when dealing with sensitive data, so you really should permanently delete files, bypassing the Recycle bin. To delete items immediately:

    Select the item to be permanently deleted.
    Press and hold [Shift] and then press [Delete].

  • #2
    [MENTION=193384]Vertrigo[/MENTION] , on shift + deleting also, your files are recoverable with file recovery tools ;)

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    • #3
      Emptying the recycling bin or doing the shift delete does not permanently delete the file, it's still there, just need to know how to look for it. The way it works is that it flags the file system that the space that the file originally occupies is now inactive and free to write to. It will only become unrecoverable once another file writes to it's sector. Usually this doesn't happen automatically and if you don't defrag often or if the file is at a sector where it was never moved closer in then it will be a very long time before the file gets overridden with something else. A specialty software is needed to write that whole file section to 0's if you want to make sure it's not recoverable.

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      • #4
        ccleaner can be set to secure delete.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Wipe your free disk space with CCleaner or the likes. Should be pretty effective against most recovery software. (And just for fun, clean up the registry and delete the temp folder. Reset the RAM even, if you're paranoid; or for dramatic purposes. It doesn't have any effect on the deletion of a file. But yeah, CCleaner should be good enough. You can also check out Glary Utilities.)

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          • #6
            If you configure CCleaner properly, it will do secure wipe passes on the deleted files by right clicking your recycle bin and clicking run. In the install its one of the options to have it in your right click menu. I highly recommend it, its a very flexible tool (just make sure its not deleting your web data unless you want it to, it can get a little zealous if you don't configure it properly).

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            • #7
              Another nice little tool is called zdelete. I had this many years ago, and assumed they had gone out of business. But, just checked and they are still out there with new versions and new tools too.

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              • #8
                razeem magnets! big strong magnets!

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                • #9
                  I bring by a little addition:
                  For those who want an more advanced tool, try ERASER ( http://sourceforge.net/projects/eraser/ ). It has alot of erasure methods the choose from, some of them even used by government agencies.

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                  • #10
                    I bring by shred. A secure file deletion tool for unix.

                    Code:
                    shred --help
                    Usage: shred [OPTION]... FILE...
                    Overwrite the specified FILE(s) repeatedly, in order to make it harder
                    for even very expensive hardware probing to recover the data.
                    
                    
                    Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.
                      -f, --force    change permissions to allow writing if necessary
                      -n, --iterations=N  overwrite N times instead of the default (3)
                          --random-source=FILE  get random bytes from FILE
                      -s, --size=N   shred this many bytes (suffixes like K, M, G accepted)
                      -u, --remove   truncate and remove file after overwriting
                      -v, --verbose  show progress
                      -x, --exact    do not round file sizes up to the next full block;
                                       this is the default for non-regular files
                      -z, --zero     add a final overwrite with zeros to hide shredding
                          --help     display this help and exit
                          --version  output version information and exit
                    "Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more." - Nikola Tesla

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                    • #11
                      I'd also point out that if you're in ultra paranoid mode and want to prevent the NSA, etc from getting any of your data, you'll want a program that writes random 1s and 0s in multiple passes, as even when the bit is flipped, it still has a certain magnetic signature that can be at least partially decoded when you only do one pass. Of course, that is not an issue for 99.9% of people.

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                      • #12
                        If you're really paranoid you can use Gutmann method from Eraser which uses 35 passes.

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                        • #13
                          I read all posts and i seen that no one mentioned one of the best softwares (probably the best) : Revo Uninstaller Pro
                          There is a way to delete data from your hard drive without possibility of recovery by any recovery software.

                          Evidence Remover will eliminate all chances to get data back from your hard drive. It will forever erase files and folders already deleted, but left physically on your hard disk.
                          No matter what tool you or somebody else will use to recover the data, including professional and expensive recovery and un-delete tools, the result will always be the same
                          - the data erased with Evidence Remover is impossible to recover.

                          The process is slow, because the data is overwritten 3 times randomly. The speed depends on:
                          - Computer Processor (CPU);
                          - The size of the selected drive;
                          - Running programs;
                          - Running security software anti-virus, Internet Security, etc.
                          During the process, the free disk space decreases, because Evidence Remover creates a very huge file and writes random data in it.
                          That huge file is deleted at the end of the process the free disk space is restored.

                          Revo eraser use Gutmann method - 35 phases.



                          You can find the last version released on 0day trackers.
                          Last edited by Spawnny; October 14, 2014, 05:41 AM.

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                          • #14
                            If you're really REALLY paranoid, take out the hard drive, soak it in acid, burn it, and crush it in a compacter. Oh, and then drop it in the middle of the ocean.

                            - Nipples

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                            • #15
                              DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke)

                              PRNG: Mersenne Twister
                              Method: PRNG Stream
                              Rounds: 8

                              You won't recover anything after that.
                              Better than the Gutmann method said above.

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