Best file shredder?

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by Draft, Jan 31, 2003.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #1
    I've been looking at these types of programs more an more lately to safely deletey sensitive files from my computer. Which one is the best? Nearly all of these programs got mediocre reviews, at best, on versiontracker. Does this mean that none of them are worth downloading? Is there one that you like best?

    Draft
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    mc68k

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    #2
    Nothing will completely erase a file. Your best bet, depending on how serious you are, is to get something that overwrites the file(s) in question multiple times.

    HDDs use electromegnetism to encode information. Simple erasure just deallocates the space, but leaves the information intact. By overwriting the file multiple times before deallocating the space, you make the electromagnetic signal fainter and fainter on the HDD. The 0s and 1s eventually become very faint or and hard to distinguish.

    I use rm with the switch -P. This should be available on every OS X install:
    Code:
    rm -P [i]filename1...filename2..[/i]
    The hex 0s and Fs basically turn the questioned space into all 1s, 0s, then 1s again.
     
  3. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #3
    A proper DSE (Data Security Erase) uses six or 8 different patterns. Ithe first four or 0x00, 0xFF, 0x55, 0xAA, I don't remember what the others are.

    It actually takes at least 6 overwrites before the data can't be gotten from the disk. However, if someone who can recover the data after a couple of overwrites wants your data, you probably have other problems. :rolleyes:
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    UT
    #4
    Yeah, I would be interested in something like this too. Coming from the windows world, there are many utilities out there that overwrite data to securely erase it. I used this one before I switched (it's for windows, but just an example) It overwrites files 35 times, as specified by the Department of Defense. I used it every time I deleted a file, just to be safe. It would be nice if there was a Mac version of this somewhere!

    Federal Government strength eraser
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    I was wondering about the same thing, as I've user Eraser and CyberScrub in Windows, and this would be a requirement for me should I make the move to Mac.

    Here is a program I found. Notice that I don't have OS X, so I haven't used it and can't vouch for it...just a site I bookmarked a few days ago.

    Shredit X

     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    #6
    I have not used this yet, but this is another and only ten bucks.

    TrashX
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    FattyMembrane

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    bat country
    #7
    if you have the dev tools installed (or just cc) you can download and compile the source for srm (Secure rm) which will overwrite the files before deleting them.

    http://srm.sourceforge.net/
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #8
    Perfect! Thanks. This is not the type of utility that I was looking for, but it looks like it may even work better then a gui-based app.

    Thanks again,
    Draft
     
  9. macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #9
    If you're worried enough about sensitive data to overwrite it 35 times, you may as well just get a solid state device for those files. there's a USB based HD that uses biometric thumbscans to allow access to it, and theoretically once a file is gone, it's gone. No EM signals to worry about...

    edit: http://www.thumbdrive.com/

    on the plus side, it's totally cool. i wish they would make one that's just a thumbscanner, instead of using passwords with OS X. i know 9 had support for alternative authentications, don't know about X...

    pnw
     
  10. macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Location:
    1 Block away from NYC.
    #10
    Tell me...

    WHAT THE HELL WAS ON YOUR COMPUTER?

    I mean there is rarily stuff that I would need to delete that is that sensitive... I mean...

    What the hell are you people doing with your computers?? :hugs iMac:
     

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