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07/27/2003 Archived Entry: "Cures for hard-drive detection"

FRIDAY I POSTED ABOUT HARD-DRIVE INVASIONS. Now, from A. Nonymous, comes a pair of preventive measures. (Useful if you have the time to implement them before your computer is snatched.) Click "more" to see 'em.

The following info is courtesy of A. Nonymous.

What happens when you delete files:

"The computer's reference to the file is deleted, but the contents in all their glory are left intact on your hard drive, to be reused piece-meal as space for new files is required."

One solution: disk scrubbing software.

Disk scrubbing software writes over the file before deleting it. The idea is that if the disk blocks (units of data) are read, they will contain gibberish. Not so fast. It's possible, in a lab setting, to read the contents UNDER the gibberish. Reliable rumor has it that a block of data can be over-written 6 TIMES and still be recovered.

A Simple, cheap, effective solution: removable media.

Write your sensitive files ONLY to a floppy or DVD disk that can be removed and smashed with a hammer and defaced.

If smashing a floppy still doesn't make you feel safe, try smearing the surface with nail polish, or some other household solvent. Doing this with DVDs will require more work, as the surface could be re-ground/polished to remove the damaged plastic. I suggest smashing them into little pieces first.

Writing to removable media will slow down the performance of your programs at some stages, but how much is your privacy and security worth?

(Later note from Claire: Well, wait a second now. Before you pick up that hammer, check out the >A HREF="http://www.clairewolfe.com/wolfesblog/archives/00000225.html"> blog entry for July 28, 2003. And maybe you'd better make that a blowtorch, rather than a mallet.)

Posted by Claire @ 05:14 PM CST

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