How to delete file(s) in secure manner?


Many Mac users have noticed that the Secure Empty Trash feature has been removed in OS X El Capitan (10.11 or later), the reason the feature was removed is basically because it did not work all the time, but more on that in a moment. First, let’s cover how you can perform the equivalent of “Secure Empty Trash” on any Mac running OS X 10.11 or later.

For those with a knowledgable command line background, you’ll likely recognize this alternative approach of secured file removal as using the srm command, which performs a secure delete from the command line in OS X and linux.

This is intended for advanced users with a thorough understanding of the command line, and those who understand risks associated with using srm command, which is entirely unforgiving and irreversible with permanent removal of files. If you delete a file or folder with this command, it’s gone for good, you will never get it back unless you had made a backup elsewhere. Do not use this...

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There are various reasons why one might want to securely delete files on a hard drive, including sale of the hard drive and/or computer, or for privacy. While there are free and commercially available tools to recover deleted files from hard drives (even from formatted drives), we can only assume there are more powerful tools not readily available that can perform advanced forensics and recover even more files and data.

We will discuss how you can delete files on Linux using secure-delete tools to such a degree that these files cannot be recovered with any known tools and methods. Secure-delete contains tools that can be used to securely delete files from a hard drive in different ways.

On Ubuntu, secure-delete is available in the Ubuntu repositories and can be installed using apt-get like so:

sudo apt-get install secure-delete

This would install three commands on your system. These are:

srm – This command is used to delete files and directories from your...
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As we all know, deleting files/folders by pressing SHIFT+DELETE or emptying Trash doesn’t mean that we permanently deleted them. The files/folders will reside somewhere in our computer. Data thieves or low enforcement may use data recovery programs to retrieve all our personal and sensitive data’s if they want them.

There are so many methods and tools available to delete and wipe your hdd data’s permanently. In this handy tutorial let us discuss about secure-delete tools and how to use them to delete our data’s effectively.

The secure-delete tools are set of programs that can be used to delete the data’s stored in your hard drive, SWAP, RAM and free disk space.

Install ‘Secure-Delete’ Tools On Ubuntu/Debian/Linux Mint

$ sudo apt-get install secure-delete

The secure-delete package comes with following tools.

1. srm – Secure remove

srm is designed to delete data on mediums in a secure manner which can not be recovered by thieves, law...

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You should consider using sessions to handle this sort of scenario.

Sessions generally work by generating a unique GUID for the user's authentication and saving it in a cookie on the user's local machine or passing it around, from page to page, through the URL.

This session GUID points to a file or database entry on the server that can then be read and written to by your source code, by associating the GUID in the user's cookie/URL with the GUID of the file or database entry that holds your data.

It's generally safe to put more sensitive data (such as the user ID) in sessions as nothing is visible to the end user except the session GUID.

Most web-based languages will have some sort of session management built...

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How To Share and Use Public AMIs in A Secure Manner

When using Amazon Machine Images (AMI's) it is important to remember to use proper precautions to ensure that private information is not inadvertently left on AMI's when shared publicly. This tutorial is provided to help customers share public Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) in a secure manner.

This tutorial expands upon the basic instructions within the "Sharing AMIs Safely" section of the EC2 User's Guide, which can be found at The EC2 User's Guide and this tutorial cover the most common security concerns with sharing public AMI. They should not be used as a complete security assessment guide.

For information on hardening and clean-up requirements, go to Public AMI Publishing: Hardening and Clean-up Requirements, which is available at

Additional security guidance...

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Any computer user with normal level skill set knows that any data removed from computer system can be recovered later with little bit of efforts. This is a good thing in the scenario when you have accidentally deleted your critical data. But in most cases, you don't want your private data to be recovered easily. Whenever we remove anything, the operating system deletes just the index of the particular data. It means that data is still there somewhere on the disk, this method is insecure, as any smart computer hacker can use any good data recovery tool to easily recover your deleted data. Linux users utilizes the well know “rm” command to remove data from their operating system, but “rm” command works in the conventional fashion. Data removed using this command can be recovered by special file recovery tools.

Let’s see how we can safely and completely remove files/folders from our Linux system. The methods mentioned below remove data completely so it becomes very hard for...

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Windows won’t allow you to modify files that open programs have locked. if you try to delete a file and see a message that it’s open in a program, you’ll have to unlock the file (or close the program).

In some cases, it may not be clear which program has locked a file – or a background process may have locked a file and not terminated correctly. You must unlock the stubborn file or folder to modify it.

Note: Unlocking certain files and deleting them may cause problems with open programs. Don’t unlock and delete files that should remain locked, including Windows system files.

Process Explorer

You can also unlock a file in the excellent Process Explorer task manager. First, launch Process Explorer as Administrator – you can do this from within Process Explorer by clicking File and selecting Show Details for All Processes.

Next, click the Find menu and select Find Handle or DLL. (Or press Ctrl+F.)

Search for the name...

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Sometimes, for whatever reason, Windows will become convinced a given file is in use by a program and prevent it from being deleted, moved or renamed. This locking up of files is incredibly frustrating, especially when you know the file is not, in fact, being used. Here are two ways to get around that issue.

1. Force delete using Windows

Enter the command prompt (Start-> Run-> Cmd) and enter ‘del /f filename’, where ‘filename’ is the name of the file or files (you can specify multiple files using commas) you want to delete. There are more details on advanced deletion methods here.

2. Use Unlocker

Unlocker is a free program that simplifies the deletion of locked files. It adds a context menu item to Internet Explorer, and can be activated by right-click. It also allows the user to rename or move a locked file.

There you have it, two simple methods for fixing a stubborn...

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There isn't one command that you can run which will easily clean up all the already-deleted files for you. However, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your vulnerability to this sort of attack in future.

As others have said, using tools like shred or srm allows you to delete a specific file by actually overwriting it, rather than just removing it from the filesystem. If you're feeling bold, you can replace the rm command with shred or srm to securely delete files going forward. That means that whenever you (or another program) tries to delete something using rm, the secure delete command will run instead.

However, if you're using a solid state disk, or even some newer mechanical disks, shred and other overwriting-based methods may not be effective, since the disk may not actually write where you think it's writing (source).

Full-Disk Encryption

A more convenient option is full-disk encryption. If you use the alternate installer, Ubuntu...

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How do I convert a file by email ? To convert a file via email with Zamzar just:

Attach the files you want to convert to a new email, or forward an existing email.
(You can attach as many files as you want, provided they are each below our size limits). Send the email to
(Where format is the name of the file format you want to convert to)

For example to convert a PDF file into a Word Document (doc file) email your PDF file to
What formats are supported for email conversion ?

Any format which is listed as a


format on our

Conversion Types page

is supported.

Do you have limits on the size of the file I can send for email conversion ?


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Windows Explorer thinks the file you’re trying to delete is still open, but it’s not? This commonly happens with video files that were played back in Windows Media Player but it can happen with any other file, too. The file is either running in the background or it wasn’t closed properly. You can even run into this issue with files you haven’t opened in years! Fortunately, this can be resolved in a few different ways.

Did You Close The Program?

Let’s start with the obvious. Did you just open the file and not close it? If the file is closed, but the program is still running, close it too, then try again.

Have You Tried Rebooting?

Rebooting solves most issues Why Does Rebooting Your Computer Fix So Many Issues? and it will most certainly solve this one. While it can be inconvenient, it requires zero skills or fiddling with stuff like the Task Manager or third party tools. Rebooting also clears...

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When you hit the delete button, where does that file go? Does it just evaporate and leave a blank space on your drive? If you’ve been around computers long enough, you know that’s not what happens. But if you’re mostly an email and Facebook type of computer user, you might not know, or not even thought about it.

You should think about it though, for a couple reasons. The first reason is so that you know you might be able to recover an accidentally deleted file Turn Back Time: 4 Tools & Tips To Restore Deleted Files In Windows . The second reason is so you know that, if you can recover a file you deleted, so can someone else.

What Happens To A File When It is Deleted

Hard Disk Drives (HDDs)

When you delete a file it goes to the Recycle Bin. That gives you a chance to recover it in case you accidentally deleted it and need it back. But what happens when you delete it from the Recycle Bin? Actually, not...

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Deleting a file or reformatting a disk does not destroy your sensitive data. The data can easily be undeleted. That's a good thing if you accidentally throw something away, but what if your trying to destroy financial data, bank account passwords, or classified company information. In this article you will learn number of tools to delete files securely in ubuntu Linux

1) Shred

Although it has some important limitations, the shred command can be useful for destroying files so that their contents are very difficult or impossible to recover. shred accomplishes its destruction by repeatedly overwriting files with data patterns designed to do maximum damage so that it becomes difficult to recover data even using high-sensitivity data recovery equipment1.

Deleting a file with the rm command does not actually destroy the data; it merely destroys an index listing the location of the file and makes the file's data blocks available for reuse. Thus, a...

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Security related links

Review: the most popular file shredders. Read the comparative review of the most popular file wiping utilities.

I don't want to be security guru...

Security isn't something that is easy to do with simple firewall. Pay attention to "Computer network defense course", pass self evaluation security pretest and you will see that there are a lot of aspects that might affect computer security.
If your sensitive files can be recovered then you are ignoring one of the most important security aspect.

Are there any other security tools that I might need?

Sure, you might need software to find and destroy spyware, ad-aware. You will need software to scan your ports and internet traffic. Read more about security tools.

Identity theft

Important reason to use file shredders is identity theft. Unfortunately, most file shredders will not wipe credit card information that some of your software might require. So, it's a...

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