Remove Incriminating Evidence from your Work Computer Before You Quit Your Job
- There's more to deleting files more than just dropping them into the recycle bin
- How to permanently erase all sensitive data from the hard disk, leaving no readable trace
Whenever you are away from your desk, you are leaving behind a potential information timebomb. The hard disk and memory of your personal computer contain multiple traces of your day-to-day activities.
Here's just one example: visiting web sites leaves behind a complex trail of cookies, temporary internet files (images, text and audio), records of which pages were visited on a particular day, remnants of chat room conversations, instant messages and your favourites (or bookmarks) folder.
Each of these morsels of personal information speaks volumes about your browsing habits, contacts and interests. They could easily be compiled and used to construct a case against you. Your severance payment, prospects for promotion may all suffer as a direct result - you might even be fired for gross misconduct.
Most people are well aware of this threat to privacy and security and so take measures to cover their tracks by regularly deleting files and folders. Unfortunately, dragging and dropping sensitive material into the Recycle Bin or deleting email does not irretrievably destroy files . A determined snooper can retrieve 'deleted' files using disk utility software. Norton Utilities, for example, includes such retrieval tools and they are used routinely by many organisations to analyse the hard disks of computers used by their employees.
Worried about any of these scenarios? If so, you'll need a utility that erases all evidence from your hard disk in an absolutely thorough and secure manner. We recommend using Cyberscrub, the Military Grade file deletion and Internet cleaning utility . This software is a very powerful and reasonably priced means of covering your tracks. It's widely recognised as the best on the market (both ZDNet and Tucows give it their maximum ratings).
Of course, if you're really paranoid, there is always the option of rendering hardware recovery impossible by going to work on the hard disk with a hammer - but remember, your office PC usually isn't your property and you could face prosecution...