Top Five Free Secure Erase Utilities
A Secure Erase Utility is an application that overwrites data in order to completely destroy the electronic data residing on a digital media or a hard disk drive. Sensitive data such as bank account details, credit card numbers or medical history are often stored on hard drives and are capable of unintentionally making their way into other digital media. In order to securely delete sensitive information, use of a Secure Erase Utility is recommended. The following are the best five free secure erase utilities:
You can assign multiple tasks in Eraser at one go. You can securely erase desired files, folders, cluster tips, the recycle bin and unused disk space. The data is overwritten with different data patterns (there are 14 patterns by default and one custom pattern). Following are the reasons why you should opt for Eraser:
- Eraser works with almost any type of drive such as RAID, IDE, CD-RWs and SCSI.
- Eraser provides rich features such as scheduling and secure deletion of data; not to mention a good forum support as well.
- A report is displayed whenever it is unable to erase any file/cluster
File Shredder has both file shredding and free space cleaning capabilities. It is small in size and has a simple user interface, which anyone can easily operate. The special features of File Shredder include:
- Lighter use of memory resources.
- Availability of five shredding algorithms which increase in strength gradually.
- Provision of a special feature known as 'Disk Wiper' which wipes the unused disk space using the shredding algorithm.
CCleaner is a file shredder which is capable of cleaning many places where data is secretly stored. It helps to get rid of junk data left behind by applications and web browsers. It also helps in deleting the junk left by temporary files of the system, windows explorer and other junk files generated by windows/ utilities. Below are some of the strong points of CCleaner:
- CCleaner is capable of searching and erasing files lurking in secret locations.
- A portable version is available.
- Cleans junk files with one click when customized to do so.
SDelete is a tool based on command line which is capable of securely erasing data using a special pattern. It erases free space of a drive or the specified files/folders. SDelete stands out for the following reasons:
- Unlike other erasers, SDelete doesn’t erase filenames. Instead, the files are renamed 26 times.
- It uses very low memory and resources during operation.
Darik's Boot and Nuke
Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) is an absolute boot disk that can securely erase the hard disks of many computers. If any content is detected, DBAN will automatically erase it from the hard disk thus making it an appropriate utility for emergency or bulk data erasure. The advantages of using DBAN are:
- It is a great utility for bulk and emergency cleaning.
- Secure deletion of data, and eradication of viruses.
You can make use of any of the above utilities to keep your system clear of unwanted things that may pose a security hazard or bog down your system's performance.