As you know, Windows saves a copy of more or less everything on your computer. Every Web site you visit, every picture, every video; it's all cached or saved or logged somewhere inside your PC. Apart from the security and privacy issues, all that stuff consumes storage and performance resources. A lot of tools promise to clean it all out, but few do. We looked at East-Tec Eraser 2011 from East Technologies, and found it to be a tool that can do the job. It cleans deeply, even files stored as Shadow Volume Copies; thoroughly wipes deleted files; alerts … Read more
If you are like me, you have terabytes' worth of photographs on many drives, taking up valuable space. Of course, even if you aren't a professional photographer you may still have a lot of photographs on your machine and wish you had more space for other media like videos or music.
One tip that could get much of your valuable space back is simple, but not entirely obvious. Most Mac programs will delete files fully from your machine when you delete them from the program (or at least ask you if you want to delete the program completely, as … Read more
Regular system backups are a matter of emphasis for us, and we like them thorough and often. Windows' built-in system recovery and backup utilities do a pretty decent job, but like many built-in features, they have their limitations, and they can be confusing and even daunting for many users, especially those who need them the most. There are more third-party backup utilities than you can shake a Registry at, however, each offering a different combination of power, flexibility, and ease of use. MagiCure Professional 9 from AdvantEDGE Solutions is aimed at less-experienced users, since its goal is to simplify the … Read more
Internet privacy is a major concern these days, and we're definitely interested in any tools that make it easier to keep private information private. Unfortunately, 1-abc.net Surf Trail Washer is not an Internet privacy tool that we would recommend.
The program starts off promisingly enough, with what at first glance appears to be a pretty intuitive interface. There are three buttons: Start Automatic Washer, Start Manual Washer, and Options. We started with the Manual Washer to see what would happen. The program, which is compatible with both Firefox and Internet Explorer (we were using the former), scanned our … Read more
Are you confused by the myriad changes Facebook keeps making to its privacy settings? Are you angry about your data being exposed without your express consent? Are you just fed up and not going to take it anymore?
You're not alone. A recent poll from Sophos found that an estimated 60 percent of users are considering quitting Facebook over privacy issues. More than 11,000 people have committed to ditching the social-networking site on May 31, according to QuitFacebookDay.com. And more people are searching Google for ways to delete their Facebook accounts than ever, according to the Search Engine Land blog. … Read more
Let's say you're getting rid of your game console. Maybe you think you're too grown up. Maybe you bought a better one. Or maybe you just need to make rent. Whatever the case, you need to wipe your data off of it. Game consoles these days carry sensitive information like addresses, passwords, and even credit card information.
Here's how to secure each of the three major game consoles before you sell them.
Let's start with the Xbox 360. If you're upgrading to a new Xbox 360, you'll need to get the Hard Drive Transfer Kit, which is included with some newer Xboxes or available for around $50. Using it is an involved process of moving your data, then moving your data licenses. In the end, though, you will erase all the data on the original drive.
If you don't care about transferring content, it's much easier. Go to the 360 dashboard, go to system settings, choose memory, press Y for device options. Select format the drive. And confirm it with yes. The drive will reformat, and you'll see the default setup screen.
On to the Nintendo Wii.… Read more
When it's time to get rid of old computers, many people think erasing and reformatting a hard drive is sufficient to keep private information out of others' hands. But to keep your private data safe from others, you really need a more thorough tool and EAST-Tec's DisposeSecure fits the bill. This hard-disk and network sanitizing utility can completely eliminate data beyond the possibility of recovery. It uses Department of Defense standards for data destruction, but users can configure custom security levels too.
DisposeSecure is a powerful and competent tool, and its interface and features reflect that, once you … Read more
Are you an ex-Windows user that misses having an uninstaller or just want a better way to get rid of unwanted apps completely? AppZapper makes it easy to uninstall apps along with all their related files in Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Simply drag-and-drop the unwanted software into program's interface, and AppZapper will gather and list all the related files so you can eradicate them from your hard drive in one fell swoop. The developer of this app calls it the "uninstaller Apple forgot" and we agree that it is both extremely useful and easy-to-use. One important … Read more
Recently, I removed my iPhone e-mail accounts so I could troubleshoot a problem with the Mail app. But when I reinstalled the accounts, I found that I wasn't able to delete messages from one account's in-box.
The account in question was a POP3 account used to retrieve messages from my spam e-mail filtering service. It was sending and receiving e-mail just fine, but whenever I tried to delete a message from the in-box, my iPhone would present the following error:
Unable to move message to folder "Trash" because the folder does not exist.
Luckily, I was … Read more
Hermetic Systems' Data Destroyer is a disk-wiping utility that can render data unrecoverable by overwriting it multiple times. It will scrub your hard disks, floppies, and ZIP disks clean. It will delete individual files, whole directories, or entire disks full of data. You can select the type and number of purges, or overwrites. Data Destroyer will even estimate how long it will take to perform the selected number of purges. It meets stringent U.S. Department of Defense standards for data disk sanitization, too. If it's good enough for the Pentagon, it'll probably meet your needs, too.
Data … Read more