Originally posted by JLJ The Icon If you use a windows washer to do a govt wipe on your computer to blank out all incriminating files is this a good enough practice to keep safe?
or can they go around this?
Make sure that you use a product that writes certain patterns of data to the disk multiple times.
This will prevent reading of the disk normally. They have methods where they pull the disk out of the machine and are able to look at the disk via high powered microscope. This is very tedious and expensive and still may not work or will have limited ability of the disk was continually cleaned.
Use encrypted email for all correspondence. Hushmail or cyber-rights. Remove old emails and paper trail when they are no longer needed.
No data is truly safe unless you physically destroy the harddrive.
Many of the so-called evidence elimination programs available are known pieces of . "Eraser" is the only one that gets unanimous approval, but even it may not work if you have SCSI drives or other drive-level caching mechanisms in place. Those will only perform the last physical write while ignoring all of the others.
Do not ever store anything as plaintext if you are worried about it being recovered. Rubberhose encryption is one possible solution.
I've always thought that if someone has a truly large amount of incriminating information on their computer, it is just better to toss it and get a new one. Hell, I can get a new Dell system for $499. That is a small price to pay every once a year or so, then to risk wondering whether or not some $20 "computer cleaner" got rid of all the incriminating evidence against me on my computer.
I also suggest using a laptop instead of a regular-sized computer. It is much easier to destroy the laptop in case of a raid. Drowning your laptop in water (especially salt water) will completely ruin your computer and make it impossible for LE to read your files. Soda also will work miracles.