Eraser is a free program that completely eliminates sensitive files and folders on your hard drive, or external drive, so that they cannot be recovered.
We all have sensitive data stored on our computers: passwords, financial information, contact information even those old poems you wrote in high school. You wouldn’t want anyone to get their hands on these files, but when you delete them they’re not completely gone. Files and folders deleted from hard drives, flash drives, and floppy drives can all be easily recovered, which means that laptop you sold to your neighbor may still be loaded with your personal information. How do you make sure your sensitive data is gone for good? Use Eraser, a free program designed to obliterate files and folders by overwriting them, so they can never be recovered. Eraser lets you schedule regular overwriting of files and folders on your hard drive, in your recycle bin, or even overwriting of unused space where the ghosts of deleted files past may still linger.
While you may regularly empty your recycle bin and delete your browser cache, those files can still be recovered. Use Eraser to schedule files and folders to be overwritten daily, weekly, monthly, or whenever your computer is restarted, and you can rest assured that your sensitive data is gone for good. You can integrate Eraser with Windows Explorer and quickly overwrite files by right-clicking them and selecting “erase” from the Eraser menu. You can even use Eraser to overwrite your Windows pagefile, which can sometimes contain sensitive data. Eraser removes all traces of files, and their filenames, so they don’t give anything away. To avoid suspicion, you can use Eraser’s “plausible deniability” option to replace overwritten files with random files of the same size, so it appears as if nothing has been erased.
Tips for New Users
Read Eraser’s user manual for tips on how to best ensure that personal information is safe, like when to use Eraser, and when to simply destroy the media in question. For example, a floppy can easily be overwritten using Eraser, but the user manual recommends another method: burn it.
Areas of Improvement
Currently Eraser will not work for encrypted files, or compressed files, and its success with network files is not guaranteed. It will also not work for “bad sectors,” or areas of your hard drive which are damaged. If you try to overwrite any of these types of files, Eraser will simply return an error, and you are out of luck.
When you want to keep your personal information safe, simply clicking “delete” isn’t good enough. Even if you empty your recycle bin the remains of those deleted files and folders still hang around. To make sure your sensitive data is really gone forever, use Eraser. Eraser’s simple interface and easy way to overwrite files on a schedule make it the perfect way to keep your data secure. Whether you’re selling your computer, lending your flash drive to a friend or leaving a job and passing your workstation on to a new recruit, Eraser will wipe your drive clean so your sensitive files can never be recovered.
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