Use Eraser to Securely Delete Files

What happens to a file on your computer when you delete it?

Many people assume that deleting means it is gone, but often that’s not the case. The marker that points to your file may have been removed, but until the data is overwritten by something else, it still exists. If that is news to you, you’re not alone. A recent study by a New York computer forensics firm found that 40% of the used hard drives sold on eBay contain personal data that is easily recovered — everything from family photos to corporate financial data!

Enter Eraser, a free software program that that allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times. Eraser allows you to choose from several different overwriting methods, including the one used by the Department of Defense. Now that’s secure deletion! You can even schedule Eraser to run routine wipes of your free disk space. Once installed, Eraser makes “shredding” your files as easy as a right click.

Note: Mac users have had the “secure empty trash” option, based on a multiple pass DoD method, since OS 10.3 — no special program needed!

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Written by Rachel


Rachel is a librarian at KDL’s Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch. She enjoys reading nonfiction and mysteries.

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One Response to “Use Eraser to Securely Delete Files”

  1. Beth Says:

    Thanks for the Mac tip! I didn’t release that was the case when I used secure empty trash.