Ensuring security - beginner needs help

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by badatcomputing, Oct 12, 2004.

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  1. Hi,
    This is my first post here and believe me I do live up to my username.

    My story is that I sent my computer in to a repair shop a few months ago and while I was talking to my friends wife she said I ought to watch for any personal details on it. I am afraid to say I was too stupid think of this as I just wanted the computer fixed.

    Oh no I thought my computer is in the repair shop and it has some of my partners credit card details on it as well as various passwords that I save in microsoft word so I don't forget them as well as various personal documents such as CV or Resume etc (as I believe they call them in USA) and personal emails.

    I had the computer back and no mishaps yet but that doesn't mean he wasn't looking but how do I prevent this happening in future?

    I have been doing some google searches today and it seems that Eraser by Sami Tolvanen is a widely recommended program to permanantly delete files. Is this a good program to use or is there a better one?

    I need one that is easy to use to as I only have a basic knowledge of computing and the like.

    Basically I want to delete files and email messages, so that if I send my computer in again it would not be possible for him to find the personal files. I am not too bothered about deleting internet things but that could be an added bonus just to have added security.

    Thanks for any help
     
  2. Meltdown

    Meltdown Registered Member

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  3. meneer

    meneer Registered Member

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    Use a password management tool to manage all your passwords. A decent tool, like PINS stores the passwords in a (password protected) encrypted file.
     
  4. notgoodatcomputing

    notgoodatcomputing Registered Member

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    thanks,
    I have a couple of questions if anyone would answer them.

    (1)I notice that eraser is said by luv2bsecure to be 'best for free-space cleaning' and iceni60 says 'eraser is very good for deleting/over-writting unused disk space' - this is probably a stupid question but what is free space cleaning and what is deleting/over writing unused disk space? -is this anything to do with deleting files and folders?

    (2)Also luv2bsecure says that 'For secure cleaning of Windows - ERASER and Tracks Eraser Pro make a great combination.' My question is why are they used in combination what does one do that the other doesn't?


    Thanks again for your help
     
  5. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    the free space i was talking of is the part of your hard-drive which is not being used by your operating system (windows xp?). its where old data and anything thrown out of the recycle bin goes. read all of this page What is Eraser? Why use Eraser? and Secure Data Removal, for a better explaination :)

    and you can use this program to see and recover files from your unused disk space

    im not an expert (luv2bsecure is) but, the way i see it is, you can not delete something and it will be gone. you have to write something on top of it. its like ink and paper, you cant make the ink disappear, but if you keep writting different letters on top of the word you want to delete, there'll be a point when you cant read the orginal word. thats what eraser does over-writes with patterns so you cant read what was there in the first place.

    hopefully luv2bsecure, or someone else more knowledgeable then me will add to this post :)
     
  6. notgoodatcomputing

    notgoodatcomputing Registered Member

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    thanks I understand

    So I have downloaded and installed eraser and have made some test wordpad files for deletion. I have not altered/configured eraser in anyway - is it as simple as right clicking on the wordpad file and selecting erase? This seems too simple if it is (excellent!)


    Also to delete the unused disk space is it as simple as clicking on new task in the eraser window selecting local disk c: and then pressing OK? - again this seems very simple is that all there is to it? Also this won't mess anything up on my computer will it?

    What is the swap/paging file that eraser cannot delete - is this anything to worry about?


    Thanks for your help everyone
     
  7. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    Be sure and read the help file and faq. Much info in there.
     
  8. hanger18

    hanger18 Guest

    I like the combination of System Security Suite (free) http://www.igorshpak.net and then run Eraser (free) to overwrite the free space. What a combination, and all for free. :D
     
  9. notgoodatcomputing

    notgoodatcomputing Registered Member

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    Thanks

    I have read the help files some of it I can understand and some of it I can't but I would just like reassurance from someone that the way I am deleting files is OK (the way I have described in my post above) and that if I use eraser to delete the unused disk space nothing else will be deleted as there doesn't seem to be a great deal about deleting unused disk space on the eraser help files.

    I think I have worked out that windows xp pro (which is what I use) will delete the paging file at restart (whatever the paging file is!)

    It just seems too simple if I am erasing files correctly so I would like someone who knows about these things to tell me whether I am doing it right or not.

    Thanks again for your help
     
  10. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    I just use three passes for unused disk space. I have had no problems at all using Eraser.
    The more passes you make, the longer it takes of course.

    The paging file is the same as a swap file. Windows uses a page file for memory.



    Page file info
     

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  11. Thanks
    I tried three passes for unused disk space and it run for about 4-5 hours but then the computer restarted itself unexpectedly (I think I have a hardware problem) I am unsure if it had finished erasing unused disk space in this time.

    Now in my c: drive I have a folder called ~ERAFSWD.TMP which wasn't there before. Inside this folder there is quite a few files that I can't open - should I just delete this folder and all the files?

    Thanks
     
  12. Also the size of this folder is 65.4GB which is nearly all of my hard drive - my hard drive now says I have 240mb free space - so what should I do?


    Thanks
     
  13. ah - should have read help file it says:

    ' open command prompt and type "deltree X:\~ERAFSWD.TMP", where X is the drive letter '

    to reclaim the free space.

    So just one question how do I open the command prompt?
     
  14. Don Pelotas

    Don Pelotas Registered Member

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    Click start > all programs > Accessories > commandt prompt, or start > run > type cmd > ok. :)
     
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