file wipe

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file wipe

A security measure when selling, giving away or retiring a computer. A file wipe completely erases the data from the hard disk.

Deleting Does Not Erase
When a file is deleted in an application or file manager, only the file name in the directory is marked as deleted. The data still reside in the disk sectors until overwritten by new data by the same or some other application. In the meantime, if somebody wanted the file badly enough, it can be reconstructed from the sector data.

Wipe Means Write
Wiping the hard disk means actually erasing the data in the disk sectors. For maximum security, experts claim that random data should be written into the sectors several times, because forensic analysis can detect the previous magnetic residue if the magnetic bits are overwritten only once. In addition, caches such as the recycle bin and trash can are also cleared. See wipe.
References in periodicals archive ?
While the attack can wipe files on the device, a victim can quickly restore operation from a backup without losing anything of value.
Defense Community for over 10 years - widely accepted as the de-facto standard to wipe files (https://www.jetico.com/products/personal-privacy/bcwipe) beyond forensic recovery.
When asked how they wipe files from company-owned laptops and desktop computers, 3 I percent reported dragging individual files to the Recycle Bin and 22 percent said they reformat the entire drive.
Eraser at www.heidi.ie is a free program that can permanently wipe files, free space, paging files, and the whole hard drive.
Around 120 residents and exiles of the Borders town of Hawick received the message which would wipe files from their machines.
- BCWipe (http://www.jetico.com/products/personal-privacy/bcwipe), a solution to wipe files and folders, removing all traces of unwanted files and keeping computers free of data remanence.