Halloween Special: Secure Erase
Wednesday, October 31, 2007 8:00:29 PM
[/IMG]Many people might find themselves slightly hesitating to press the erase button in their trash can. Once they delete it they might never be able to recover it again. Well in Leopard, Apple has made it impossible to recover some deleted files with a new feature called Secure Erase. So what’s the different between this type of erase and a normal erase? Well, a Secure Erase performs a 35-pass overwrite erase (using something called the Gutmann algorithm). This kind of erase is extremely secure. In fact, it’s even more secure than what the US National Government deems adequate enough to erase data concerning top-secret information about the US Government.
If you choose to erase by this means than expect to never be able to recover the data deleted unless you have it backed up using something like Time Machine.
So why is something this secure needed, and who is it targeted for? Well, to be blunt about it, this type of erase is needed by almost everyone. In a computer’s lifespan the average user will have one file or another that lists either their social security number, credit card information, or perhaps even a scanned copy of their birth certificate. So, with this kind of erase, no one on the planet can retrieve those files and steal your identity.
Now there are some obvious drawbacks to this. First and foremost, your data can never be retrieved again, as I have stated. Second off is that the erase may take many times longer to erase data than a normal erase. So this type of erase isn’t recommended for deleting average file, only use it when you have to. And the benefits are fairly obvious.
So, the next time you need to empty the trash can you’ll have two poisons to pick from versus the one found in previous versions of Mac OS X as well as most alternative operating systems on the planet.
Well that concludes this blog post. If you liked this post please consider subscribing to the RSS feed or, if you use the Opera web browser, using the widget button located in the address bar to make a widget out of this blog.