Category Archives: Delete Internet Traces

PrivaZer, the complete free data eraser

With a multilingual interface and a very complete and thorough data cleanser that includes file and folder wiping, registry cleaner and Internet tracks eraser supporting all major browsers, PrivaZer will fulfil all of your secure data erasing needs. Each one of the cleaning sections has configurable options and the data wiping methods include a variety of different international standards.

The drop-down menu interface is easy to use, advanced options are hidden by default to avoid overwhelming beginners, users with data wiping software experience will love exploring what the options hide and being able to customize it to their own needs. Data erasing is not limited to your desktop computer, there is a list of supported devices that can be selected for a data scan, computer, internal storage device, external device, USB thumbdrive, MP3 player, SD memory card and Network Attached Storage. I specially liked the erasing of the USB devices history traces in Windows, the scan showed me what memory sticks I had plugged in a few months back, USB thumbdrives have a unique serial number that is stored in the registry when you plug it in, this number identifies the memory stick brand and anything else the manufacturer wants to include in the code.

PrivaZer smart cookie eraser
PrivaZer smart cookie eraser

PrivaZer is also one of the few freeware Internet erasing programs that will securely erase Windows pagefile, pagefile.sys. A registry cleaner with optional backup of registry keys is included too. You can set up PrivaZer so that your favourites settings cookies will be kept, e.g. Bing, Amazon, Yahoo, during the internet traces erasing and everything else will be securely erased (cache, history, thumbnails, flash player objects, searched words, etc).

This is the only eraser software I review that comes with instructions on its homepage on how a user can check that wiped data can not be recovered, including a manual with links to data recovery software and how to carry out data recovery tests on the wiped data to see for yourself that it is impossible to revert the data shredding process.

Secure data eraser PrivaZer
Secure data eraser PrivaZer

Data viewers come with the sotware, before erasing the data you can use PrivaZer to look into the contents of the hybernation file, hyberfil.sys, page file, pagefile.sys, IE index.dat and image thumbcache Thumbs.db. It is impossible for the average user to ever see the content of those files without special software and those are the first locations where a trained computer forensics expert will look into when a computer is taken in for analysis. Something to note is that the first clean up can take a couple of hours, the next hard drive sanitisation will be much quicker.

If you travel, a portable version can be generated during installation, a privaZer.exe that can be copied to a USB thumbdrive will be placed on the desktop.

PrivaZer main data wiping methods

  • British HMG IS5 Enhanced Standard (3 passes)
  •  Russian Gost P50739-95 (2 passes)
  • German Federal Office for Information Security (3 passes)
  •  USA Navy NAVSO P-5239-26 (3 passes)
  •  USA DoD 5220.22-M Department of Defense (3 passes)
  •  German VSITR (7 passes)
  •  Bruce Schneier’s Algorithm (7 passes)
  • Peter Gutmann’s Algorithm (35 passes)

 If you do not know what data wiping algorithm to use do not worry, PrivaZer provides factual and useful information when you select one of the methods by warning the user that overwritting data more than 4 times is useless and a waste of time.

This tool is without a doubt far better than many paid for data erasing software, I was taken aback by its all-round data erasing approach, deep scanning, complete information on what is being erased, where data is being stored and extreme configuration. I don’t think you will find anything better for free, PrivaZer is superior to BleachBit and probably as good CyberScrub, ProtectStar or Window Washer.

Visit PrivaZer homepage

Erase Internet tracks with Web Browsers Traces

If you use more than one web browser in your computer and are looking for a free application that will erase all of your visited websites history, Internet browser cache and cookies, look no further than Web Browsers Traces eraser.

This privacy cleaner specially tailored to get rid of Internet tracks left by the browser will delete find to hard temporary data stored in Windows temporary folders, the Java cache and notoriously difficult to erase Flash cookies. Web Browsers Tracers supports history cleaning for over a dozen Internet browsers, from the most well known Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera to the little used Flock, K-Meleon, SeaMonkey and QtWeb browser.

Anyone who has erased his browser cookies before will know that one big annoyance is that you will have to reconfigure again some sites settings once the cookie is gone, you can instruct Web Browsers Traces to never delete cookies from sites you trust, like for example your webmail provider.

 

Web Browsers Traces eraser
Web Browsers Traces eraser

Web Browsers Traces is a very tiny download of 350Kb, a portable version is available too, ideal for those wanting to get rid of their Internet tracks and browsing from an Internet cafe or library, you can carry this Internet privacy cleaner inside a USB thumbdrive and run it after you have finished your session.

If you want an easy to use Internet privacy cleaner this freeware will do a good job, it has on its side that supports an incredible number of browsers and it erases files that are hard to reach manually, on the downside, the erased files will not be securely wiped, specialist undelete software should be able to uncover your Internet browsing history, Web Browsers Traces provides enough privacy level for a home user worried about a snooping wife or friends sharing the same computer, if you want serious privacy look into a paid for solution that will securely overwrite the erased data, if just want to stop the casual snooper, this tool will get the job done.

Web Browsers Traces eraser homepage

Update 2013: Product no longer exists, link erased.

How do I erase my Internet browsing history?

Clear your Internet browser cache

Every time a new browser version comes out settings change the instructions given here are guaranteed to help you clear your Internet browser history if you are using the specified browser brand and version.

You must be aware that erasing your Internet browsing traces using the following methods will not fool specialist data recovery software, but it will stop anyone sharing the same computer as you from looking into your Internet browsing traces.

If you want to make sure your browsing history can not be recovered by anyone ever, including computer experts, then download specialist data wiping software that will overwrite the Internet cache files and browser history.

How to delete the Internet Explorer history on a PC

1) Erasing IE 9 browsing history using a short cut:
Click on CTRL+SHIFT+DEL

Internet Explorer erase browsing history
Internet Explorer erase browsing history

2) Erasing IE browsing history manually: In Internet Explorer 9 go to Internet Options (wheel icon), choose Internet Settings, make sure you are in the General Tab, look at where it says Delete right below where it says Browsing history, click on the Delete button and a new window will open granting you some choices to remove your browsing traces.

Internet Explorer erase browsing history
Internet Explorer erase browsing history

How to delete Opera browser history using a single click

To erase all of your Opera 11 internet browser traces go to:
Menu
>Settings>Delete private data

Opera erase Internet browser history
Opera erase Internet browser history

How to delete Firefox browser history using a single click

To erase all of your Firefox 4 internet browser traces go to:
Firefox
>History>Clear recent history

Firefox clear Internet browser history
Firefox clear Internet browser history

How to delete Chrome browser history using a single click

To erase all of your Chrome 11 internet browser traces in Windows go to:
Options
>Under the Hood>Clear Browsing Data
To ease Chrome internet browser history in a MAC computer go to: 
Chrome
>Click Clear Browsing Data

Chrome browser erase history
Chrome browser erase history

Clean Temporary Places erases Windows temporary files

Erase Windows temporary files

Windows stores temporary files in unsuspecting places, even after wiping data safely it is perfectly possible that if you opened a file with a text editor or viewed it with Windows Media player a temporary back up copy could have been stored by Windows somewhere in your hard disk.

There are thousand of Windows system files that the user never gets to see, typical places where Windows and other programs store temporary files are the prefetch folder, Windows temp folder, Internet Explorer cache, etc. You can customize Clean Temporary Places to erase data from specific folders, this is as easy as checking a box, Microsoft Updates uninstall files that normally remain behind can also be erased. Its tab navigation system makes this junk files cleaner easy to navigate and configure, Clean Temporary Places will show you a graph of the data being cleared out and the hard disk size space you have regained.

Windows cleaner Clean Temporary Places
Windows cleaner Clean Temporary Places

This open source program is an easy to use simple junk files cleaner, not amazing, but good value for money (i.e. it’s free). The only problem is that it only covers Windows, this software will not erase temporary files created by non system applications you have downloaded off the Internet, like WinAmp, WinRar or ACDSee, Clean Temporary Places capabilities are limited to mostly erasing Windows temporary files, you can configure it to remove other applications temporary files, but only if you know folders they are using, no easy feat.

NOTE: Clean Temporary Places will not overwrite your files, this is a junk files cleaner not a secure wiper.

Visit Clean Temporary Places homepage

Erase Internet browsing traces with WIPE

This privacy software called Wipe will protect your computer privacy clearing your Internet browser history (support for Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer and Firefox), cache, cookies, autocomplete data, temporary files and index.dat files, the later being hidden Windows files thatcontain URLs of visited  websites and impossible to delete manually.

Wipe main features

  • Removal of Internet browsing traces
  • Wiping of Windows temporary files
  • Clears tracks in +100 applications
  • Detailed preview before erasing data
  • Automatic shut down of running programs if necessary
  • Verifies that data has been properly erased
  • Choice of algorithm for data wiping
Internet trace destructor WIPE
Internet trace destructor WIPE

WIPE can use the US DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann and Russian GOST algorithms to completely erase your personal and private data, any of those data wiping methods are more than enough to make your data irrecoverable by experts, what algorithm to use is up to each individual, the result will be about the same, your temporary computer data will be gone for good with no possibility of recovery.

The US Department of Defense 5220.22-M algorithm (overwrites the data 3 times) is probably the best one for speed and as secure as the Guttmann method, the later one being more suitable for a tin foil paranoid kind of person who has time on his hands and doesn’t care care about shortening the hard drive lifespan .

Visit WIPE homepage