5 Jul 2017

       Temporarily Securing Your Disk, Shredding Free Space

Like the previous section, this section applies ONLY IF there is some risk that sensitive data has ever been stored or accessed on this computer. If you are 100% sure that sensitive information has never been accessed using this computer, then you can safely skip this and the previous step.
 
If you are not prepared to take the actions in the previous step yet, then you should follow the steps in this section until you can. However, you MUST eventually take the actions in step six above. Do not assume you can find/delete all sensitive content. Lists of filenames, image thumbnails, random
data, and more *ARE* sitting on your hard disk. Someone who knows how to find it, WILL. That will render all of your other precautions totally futile.
 
As soon as you can, follow the instructions in step six.
 
Meanwhile, here is how you can temporarily safeguard yourself until you are able to follow those instructions.
 
1. Go through your hard disk folder by folder, deleting (or moving to a truecrypt hidden volume) any files that you believe are sensitive/risky.
 
2. When you are totally sure that you have deleted all such files, go to the following URL: http://www.fileshredder.org
 
3. Scroll down and look for the button called "Download File Shredder" -- do NOT click any other button, as the page may have ads on it that appear to be download links.
 
4. Save the file.
 
5. Run the file, most likely titled: file_shredder_setup.exe
 
6. "Welcome to the File Shredder Setup Wizard", Click "Next"
 
7. Select "I accept the agreement" and click "Next"
 
8. It will choose where to install it, click "Next"
 
9. Click "Next" again when prompted for the Start Menu folder.
 
10. "Select Additional Tasks", Click "Next" again
 
11. Click "Install"
 
12. Ensuring that "Launch File Shredder" is checked, click "Finish"
 
13. You should now notice that "File Shredder" is running. You should see the program in your task bar. Click on it to bring up the control panel if it is not up already.
 
14. On the left is a link that says "Shred Free Disk Space", click it.
 
15. Choose the drive letter for your hard disk, typically C:, as well as any other drives you wish to shred the free space.
 
16. under "Select Secure Algorithm", select "Secure Erasing Algorithm with 7 passes" and click "Next"
 
17. Click "Start"
 
This will take some time to finish. Once you have finished shredding your free disk space, it will be impossible or nearly impossible for someone to find one of your deleted files and piece it back together to see what it once was. However, this is NOT enough.
 
Keep in mind that there may still be records of the filenames that were deleted, partial data from those files, image thumbnails, and more that may be enough to incriminate you. This is only a temporary step you have taken, and you absolutely must take the actions in step 6 above in order to be truly safe.

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