Secure files deletion is typically overlooked

According to THOMAS J. FITZGERALD article found at globetechnology.com, maintaining privacy in the era of digital information requires work on a number of fronts, from network and applications security to protecting important files with encryption to configuring a Wi-Fi hot spot to keep interlopers off a wireless network.

However, there is one privacy measure that is “easily overlooked”: secure data destruction.

For inividual users, deleting confidential data completely is essential when donating or selling old computers, and it can also help “maintain privacy on computers that may end up lost or stolen”.

And for businesses looking for ways to comply with the security requirements of laws like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a sound policy on data control and destruction is crucial.

When normal Windows deletion methods are used, the computer’s operating system, for the sake of speed, creates an illusion that data has been deleted. In fact, it merely earmarks that region of a disk or drive as being available for new data to overwrite the old data. Until that overwriting occurs, the old data can be retrieved with undelete programs and tools used by data recovery labs and law enforcement agencies.

There are, however, several options for securely eliminating data from hard disks, USB flash drives and other storage media. File wiping utilities overwrite data with meaningless characters to render it unrecoverable with today’s data recovery techniques. Some of the programs can overwrite entire drives, while others can single out individual files or other information saved by a computer’s operating system or programs like Web browsers. Such programs should become an important part of overall information security within an enterprise. Besides, they can also be used by individual users.

This blog is run by the authors of QuickWiper, a Windows security program. QuickWiper allows you to delete files with simplicity and ease. When deleting files with QuickWiper, you can choose a fast single pass, or the most secure NSA erasure algorithm.

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