Privacy Cleaner?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by ErikAlbert, May 19, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    I'm looking for a privacy cleaner, free or paid, it doesn't matter.

    Already tested
    1. R-Wipe & Clean
    http://www.r-wipe.com/
    I had an installation error : I/O Error 32
    This one was a very powerfull one and I'm looking for something like that.

    2. CyberScrub
    http://www.cyberscrub.com/
    I had a BSOD, while it was erasing file slacks. I didn't like the GUI either

    3. Evidence Eliminator
    Well, $149.95 for such a tool is absurd.

    Any other suggestions?

    TIA.
     
  2. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Posts:
    2,459
    Location:
    North central Ohio, U.S.A.
  3. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    ThunderZ,
    Thanks for the links.

    I have CCleaner already.

    BCWipe is the most interesting one IMO, because it clears the swap-file, were encrypted files can be stored in decrypted form.
    Configurable too and can be scheduled.
    It's also possible to run it and turn your computer automatically off, which is practical if you want it to run during the night.
    I'm not sure if it cleans the clipboard, so I keep on searching. :)
     
  4. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Posts:
    2,854
    Location:
    The Gateway to the Blue Hills,WI.
  5. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Posts:
    2,301
    Location:
    Kent. UK by the sea
  6. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    ThunderZ, the Tester and TheQuest,
    Thanks alot for all your suggestions and above all your time.

    I have run them all and I kept two softwares :

    1. Ace Utilities, because its registry cleaner allows me to exclude reported registries in group.
    Alot of registry cleaners don't have that option, they only exclude reported registries one-by-one.
    I don't like to remove VALID registries after installing LEGITIMATE softwares, just because they are not used.
    I exclude these registries, because I don't want so see them anymore in the next report.
    The next report might have unvalid registries and those will be removed.

    2. Heidi Eraser, certainly for its deep cleaning and it's freeware :)

    But none of them satisfied me for my daily cleaning, until I found this one :
    Privacy Eraser Pro v5.60 ($39.95)
    http://www.privacyeraser.com/
    I like this one : a good icon, a good compact, organized and practical GUI, lots of options, some practical features and it mentions clearly that it also cleans the SWAP-file and Clipboard.
    If it does its job well during the 15-day trial, I will ditch CCleaner.

    Meanwhile, my PC is certainly WIPED after running all these softwares :D
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2006
  7. CJsDad

    CJsDad Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Posts:
    618
    3. Evidence Eliminator
    Well, $149.95 for such a tool is absurd.


    I think you mean whoever came up with that price is a tool.....:D
     
  8. Kentish

    Kentish Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Posts:
    92
    Location:
    Kent, England, UK
  9. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Thanks alot for the link and your time.
    This one is also very good. I will have to look for the differences this time.
    It's on my desktop, I will compare it with "Privacy Eraser Pro" in the next 14 days.
    I'm not in the mood anymore. I've seen more than enough erasers today. :D
     
  10. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Posts:
    2,275
    Location:
    Here, There and Everywhere
    I tried many and found only a handful that were worth a damn.
    I use Tracks Eraser Pro......worth every dime.
    BTW, the plug-in maker is so easy and I use it for specialized applications that have no 'official' plug-in available.
    It's an excellent program.
     
  11. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Posts:
    3,139
    Location:
    Clover, SC
    A quote from "elsewhere":

    My only other comment would be - if you want to find out what still has an identifiable file name hanging around, d/l a free trial copy of RecoverMyFiles: http://www.recovermyfiles.com/ , select the types of files you're concerned with from the list and run it.

    You see, this is a two-step process - first you've got to find absolutely all the things you can to "delete/erase", DO that, and then you've got to make sure all the file names get gone - wherever they're stored.

    Eraser ( http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/ ) does.

    Also notice - every single one of the programs I'm using is free (although I have "donated", either monetarily or via beta-testing) to nearly all of them. Pete
     
  12. TNT

    TNT Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Posts:
    948
    Evidence eliminator? Are we kidding, here? Evidence Eliminator has been marketed through spam for years! How can anyone trust such a "company"?
     
  13. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Posts:
    1,067
    Ok let's cut straight to the chase. You're looking for one of, if not the the very best cleaners around ! Well i've been using this product every single day for over 5 years with great success and with absolutely no problems whatsoever. You can also include your own custom choice of folders to be securely deleted too. On top of everything you can also set it up to erase the cluster tips of files as well for extra security.

    Very easy to configure unlike some others, and very reliable. I've tried many different recovery/undelete products afterwards to test it's effectiveness, with nothing to show ! Try doing that on some of the others ?

    For some reason the screenshot on their website doesn't show the full erase options, so i've shown mine.

    http://img363.imageshack.us/img363/1713/cds16qk.png

    Quotes from the website
    _______________________

    Comprehensive disk cleaning for the very tightest security (for Win95, Win98, WinME, WinNT, Win2000, WinXP)

    What is Clean Disk Security? -

    This program gives you secure file deletion, making sure that deleted files cannot be undeleted again. Deleting a file normally just removes the file's directory entry, but the data itself remains on the disk. This program completely eliminates the contents of deleted files. The highly acclaimed Gutmann disk cleaning method is now available as an option. This program can also clean the Window's swap file, and can optionally clean unneeded temporary files from your hard disk, such as your Internet browser cache, files in your system's Recycle Bin, and can clear the "recent files" list. Comes with a direct disk viewer for discovering exactly what is on your hard disk.

    Clean up Internet History tracks (index.dat files) without having to restart Windows.

    $25 or reminder to buy when you use it.

    http://www.theabsolute.net/sware/clndisk.html


    StevieO
     
  14. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Posts:
    2,275
    Location:
    Here, There and Everywhere
    Just remember to forget about using the time consuming and worthless Gutmann method. I have read many times before, and in the Truecrypt forums just recently, that Gutmann himself stresses that his "method" was developed long before modern PRML/EPRML conversion of hard drives. Gutmann himself says a couple of random passes is the best you can do. Some people don't believe that, and these privacy erasers still offer it as an option, but here's the words of Peter Gutmann in an epilogue update to his original paper:

    http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/secure_del.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2006
  15. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Posts:
    3,139
    Location:
    Clover, SC
    StevieO - Noticing a couple of things right off-the-bat here:

    (1) The program won't clean "file slack" unless you purchase the Full version.

    (SDelete - http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/SDelete.html - does this for free, although you'd still have to run Eraser to remove file names in free disk space)

    (2) Direct Disk View is available in the free version (!)

    (3) I've never heard of anyone legitimately being able to claim to "Clean up Internet History tracks (index.dat files) without having to restart Windows." They're locked while the OS is in use. (I've been wrong before, too, so correct me if I'm wrong).

    Question:

    (1)Have you ever run Index.datSuite after having run CDS, to see if IdS finds anything additional in the way of index.dats?

    (2) I take it CDS isn't open-source? Pete
     
  16. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    I wasn't planning to use the Gutmann method either. Seven passes was already too much for me. I better erase my disk with an automatic shutdown, just before I go to bed, then I don't have to look at this. Pffft.

    One thing I don't understand. Let's say you erase your harddisk once a day after working hours (you can't do it every minut). So your computer has been on-line for 8 hours. Duriing these 8 hours your not-erased data can be stolen. So erasure doesn't make much sense in a period between two erasures or am I missing something? :)
     
  17. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Posts:
    2,275
    Location:
    Here, There and Everywhere
    Erik, These apps are really more privacy tools than anything else.
     
  18. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Posts:
    2,969
    Location:
    Portland, OR (USA)
    The question is who is it you want privacy from. That's the thing that will help to define the best solution.

    The only real reason for wiping the hard drive is if you're going to get rid of the drive. Download RecoverMyFiles as mentioned above, you'll see that it takes quite a while for any info to be recovered, and if it's been overwritten even once then you're not going to recover it without some skill and nearly unlimited physical access. With those requirements, you'd have a lot more to worry about than your browser history. I would really just use a good cleaner that supports the things you use, and if you really want secure deletion then let Eraser do it's thing while you're away. The best way to go, IMO, is to disable features that would leave the kind of tracks that you really don't want to leave behind. Disable auto-fill in the browser and such. There's also a Firefox extension that will let you temporarily disable browser history, cache, etc. if there's particular sites that you're worried about.
     
  19. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Posts:
    2,854
    Location:
    The Gateway to the Blue Hills,WI.
    spy1 wrote:

    I noticed that too.
    Index.dat Suite clears those files at reboot.I don't see how a program can legitimately claim not to need a reboot to clean index.dat files!
     
  20. securityx

    securityx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Posts:
    149
    I also use Tracks Eraser Pro to wipe tracks from everyday use. I wish disabling features could handle it all, but there's too many registry writes, etc. that make relying on that alone too dangerous. I use something different though for wiping individual files, and free space, I use Eraser for that - The last Sami Tolvanen version (5.3) available here:
    http://www.tolvanen.com/eraser There's a version 5.8 from Eraser's successor, but I have found problems and prefer Sami's last version. It was fine the way it was.

    -----securityx-----
     
  21. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Posts:
    1,067
    Hi Spy,

    Agreed about the slack space, but as i use PGP for that, i don't need that option in CDS.

    Yes Direct Disk View works with my version.

    I do have Index.datSuite and QV so as per your suggestion i tried it out again for you. I got the exact same usual results, 100% clean and normal boot values for the files using QV, after using CDS and rebooting.

    http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/2904/id18bs.png

    Regarding the locked in use index.dat files, i always used to think the same too. I never bothered to test this aspect of CDS as i use it every day and reboot anyway. I just tried it to see without rebooting and the only file that IDS found was History.IE5\index.dat. Funnily enough the file size was about 500kb, but all it found was an entry for my default blank start page which i launched to test ?

    Contents of: C:\WINDOWS\History\History.IE5\index.dat

    Visited: mycomputername@res://C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\SHDOCLC.DLL/offcancl.htm

    I don't believe it is open source, but it definately works. Try it yourself and compare results, i'd be very interested to hear what you discover, or not !


    StevieO
     
  22. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Hear me out and tell me, when I'm wrong, because I want to get rid of this problem, once and for all. :)

    1. A well-done encryption protects your privacy at least constantly, while erasure doesn't offer any protection between two erasures and that is usually a long period, because nobody wants to erase his harddisk constantly, just because it isn't practical.
    In my case, I will use the good encryption freeware "TrueCrypt" to encrypt my system and data partition.
    My system partition has also personal data, because I can't move all my personal data to the data partition, just the important ones that contain my hard work, including emails and email-address-books.

    2. Deleted encrypted files are still encrypted, because my whole harddisk is encrypted.
    Even when they succeed in undeleting deleted encrypted files, they are still unreadable.
    So I don't need a daily erasure of my FREE SPACE on my harddisk and this kind of erasure lasts much longer, than erasing my swap-file, clipboard and history.

    3. The only weakness of encryption is when I open(ed) my personal files and traces can be found in my swap-file, clipboard and history.
    I can't do anything about this, than just a periodical erasure of my swap-file, clipboard and history and I can only hope that during that WEAK period nothing happens.
    The best moment to do this is on reboot or an automatic shutdown.
    This thread contains enough softwares to do this job and it doesn't really matter, which software I use, that is just a personal choice.

    Daily privacy protection = TrueCrypt + Privacy Eraser Pro (or something else, it doesn't matter).
    Not 100% but that is typical for security :)
     
  23. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,047
    Hi Erik

    I think you have gotten so entangled in the underbrush you can no longer see the tree's no less the forest.

    What in the heck are going to keep on that computer that warrants encrypting the system. IF it's that sensitive store it on a mobile drive, otherwise forget it.

    If you won't take that advise, since I know you are now practiced at restoring Acronis images, besure to keep one of your system unencrypted, because the odds are you will eventually need it.

    You stated "you don't want to protect your computer with 30 softwares". You don't need to, you can do it will 3 or 4 well chosen applications. Then no one can reasonably get to your data.

    Step back and think about what you are doing. Granted playing with software can be a lot of fun, I know I enjoy it, but when you talk about encrypting your system partition, you are just asking for big problems.

    Pete
     
  24. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    Peter,
    First you didn't like my plan of separating my winXPproSP2 from my personal files, well I've done it and it works already more than a week without problems and I'm very glad I did it.
    If I would have listen to you, I would still have my system and data on one partition.

    Now you don't like my plan of encrypting my harddisk. Why? I have no clue, maybe because you don't like encryption.
    I have my own reasons to use encryption. There are members enough at Wilders who use encryption, why don't you tell them, they are wrong and encryption is superfluous or is it just me ?

    When I use FDISR, I know in advance, I'm your man, because you use it too.
    When I ditch FDISR because I don't like it and replace it with ShadowUser, you will tell me I'm wrong.
    I will see for myself how practical FDISR really is. No software is that perfect.
    I'm not in love with any software, because that makes you blind for its disadvantages. FDISR is just a software like any other software.

    If I wouldn't know what I was doing,
    - I would be a regular visitor at SWI, crying for help with my nth HijackThis Log.
    - I would be a regular visitor at Acronis forums, complaining that ATI doesn't work.
    I don't have all these problems with ATI, mentioned in the Acronis forums. Why? I don't know and I don't care either.
    Will I ever have problems with ATI? Of course I will, just like with any other software, including FDISR.

    Nothing is dangerous as long you take precautions, the same with encryption and if I don't like encryption, I will ditch it, but I will give it a try, just like separating system and data. :)
     
  25. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Posts:
    3,139
    Location:
    Clover, SC
    StevieO - Hello again. I tried some tests here using CDS and IdS only, and my results are a little different than yours.

    After CDS ran (I wasn't using the "Logging" feature), I got the pop-up "Problems Encountered" and it had a link to View Report (which I clicked on) and it gave me the results I took this screenshot of.
     

    Attached Files:

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.