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Wipe Out Files For Good With A File Shredder

Feb 2, 2008
A computer file shredder has the same function as with a paper file shredder. It was created to get rid of not just the file - it also erases whatever reference that may be associated to the file in its directory and history as well. A lot of computer users fail to see that a just because a file has been erased does not mean that it has already been completely eliminated. The file is still present on the disc or the hard drive, only that it no longer has a name so it cannot be easily accessed anymore.

Anyone who is knowledgeable in searching computer files can fairly be able to determine where the data is located on the drive and retrieve the information as well. This basically works until the data is overwritten with other files. Remember that this may not happen for a long period of time. Even if the information may have been written over once, more often than not, information found beneath the top layer may still be accessed with the use of sophisticated equipment.

Essentially, a primary function of a file shredder is to overwrite a file. A file can be overwritten up to three times even if it is highly sensitive. Then, file reference is eliminated from the directory still by overwriting.

There are some instances when defragmentation is applied on areas where sensitive information was saved. This means that it is even more complicated to use a file shredder. When this happens, you can no longer retrieve the information.

The use of a file shredder is very helpful when erasing computer files with sensitive information, whether business or personal, especially when the computer is for sale or to be given away. A recent study shows that a huge majority of used donated computers contain sensitive personal files and information, even when these have already been erased prior to donation.

Also called as file wiping, shredding is typically used for purposes of confidentiality. In activities that deal that are hard pressed on trade item piracy and copyright, file shredding is just a part of the big whole. File wiping is also an important part of the security program in trade espionage, which mainly depends on fishing for secrets about competitors to gain profit from these information.

File shredding is also useful in preventing computer file theft, that of which constitutes the illegal retrieval of documents, files and other electronic information. Moreover, to make sure that file security is intact, make sure that highly sensitive and important information is saved in encrypted files and include the security maintenance of the encryption key as well.

If you really want to be completely sure that the information will, by any means, never be retrieved again, you may consider destroying the disc or files with acid or incinerate them. Degaussing is also another method of totally wiping out files in which you decrease or completely eliminate an unnecessary magnetic field using an electromagnetic coil. This method is commonly used to protect military ships from military mines.

In many cases, overwriting three times to wipe out file information can be overkill for a typical computer user. Overwriting a huge file like a 100MB file can eat up a lot of time and is usually not warranted in many instances.
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