RSSCategory: guest post

Securely Delete Files from Your Mac Easily

August 1, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

How to ensure that your confidential data is securely erased from your Mac? It is not good enough to just delete files and empty trash. When you delete a file in your Mac hard drive, only the file reference deleted. The file remains intact on the drive. You will not be able to find a deleted file using Finder, because Mac OS X cannot locate and access the deleted file since file’s reference is missing.

For extremely sensitive data, you need to use tools that will ensure, beyond any doubt, that your data has been completely erased and is beyond any possible hope of recovery.

How To Permanently Shred Mac Files?

The only way to ensure that your file can never be recovered again is to shred the file. File shredder Mac does not refer to tearing up your file into tiny pieces, though that is the metaphoric reference we are using here.

File shredder Mac refers to overwriting the traces of your deleted file, or your entire hard drive, repeatedly until no trace of the original data remains.
Note that before you shred your files, you must be very sure that you will not need any of that data ever again.

Shred Selected Files Using Secure Empty Trash Option

If you want to permanently erase selected files, use the Secure Empty Trash option. To do this:
1. Move the files you want to permanently erase on your computer to the Trash.
2. From the Finder menu, click Secure Empty Trash.
3. Click OK if you want to continue with the deletion(s). This method erases all your data.

Data that has been shred using this method is not easily recoverable, and if recovered, only delivers a lot of garbage. However, there are some truly sophisticated and therefore frighteningly expensive tools out there that can retrieve data that has been wiped out using the Secure Empty Trash method.
It is best to follow up this method with a permanent eraser action, which might be a little time-consuming, but worthwhile.

Using Mac OS X Disk Utility To Shred Mac Files

To completely erase a Macintosh hard drive that runs OS X 10.3.x or above (not just individual files, but the whole drive) use the Disk Utility that is built into the Macintosh operating system.

Note: Erasing a hard drive deletes all the volumes and files on the drive. Therefore, before you erase the hard drive, if you want to keep files on the drive, copy them to a form of external media.

To permanently shred files in your Mac OSX:
1. Reboot your computer using the OS X system CD that came with your Mac, as follows:
a. Insert the CD into the CD drive.
b. Hold down the C key during the startup process.
2. Select your preferred language; you will see the Welcome to the Mac OS X Installer window.
3. From the Installer Menu Bar, click Open Disk Utility. The Disk Utility window opens.
4. From the left pane of the Disk Utility window, select the drive you want to erase.
5. In the right pane of the Disk Utility window, open the Erase tab.
6. From the Volume Format drop-down menu, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
7. In the Name field, highlight the existing text and type the name you want to call the hard drive after it is formatted.
8. In the Erase tab, select one of the following security options:
• Do not Erase Data: This option only rewrites the headers on the disk and is NOT secure. Note that your files can be recovered by forensics, disk utilities, and other advanced recovery software.
• Zero Out Data: This option is secure for most commercial use. Note that data can still be recovered by sophisticated forensics utilities. There is no documented evidence to this fact, however.
• 7-Pass Erase: This option is considered secure enough, going by Government standards. It writes random data over the disk seven times, taking several hours to complete the process.
• 35-Pass Erase: This is the most secure option available on your Mac to shred data permanently. Using this option ensures that it is absolutely impossible to regain any data off the drive. This option takes an extremely long time, possibly more than one day.
9. Click the radio button in front of 7-Pass Erase
10. Click OK.
11. Click Erase.
Confirm your action; the program will unmount the volume, partition the drive, and rename the volume to the name you provided. Once this is done, leave the machine to do its work. Do not close the lid of your laptop.

This article for the MacKeeper is a guest post by Callins. The above software is not duly tested by The Editor.

Download Fast PDF Creator by PDFConverter.com

June 3, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Every day we read or print PDF documents while surfing the Internet, at work or school. They are the standard for e-documents. But many of us are not aware that creating PDFs out of any Windows printable format is free and at everyone’s fingertips.

Being able to create PDF files is very useful because of all advantages the PDF format is famous for.

PDFs are standard, cross-platform, portable, easy to print and look the same on every computer no matter how viewed. One fast way of creating PDF documents out of any Windows printable format is by using the FreePDF Creator.

FreePDF Creator is easy to use. After installation, it appears in the list of available printers.FreePDF Creator

Therefore, a simple click on the Print button is the first step in PDF creation. Before the final click on “Create PDF,” it is possible to set up more advanced printing options: output quality, document properties and security.

The whole process lasts less than 2 minutes. Try PDFconverter.com’s free PDF Creator here: http://www.pdfconverter.com/freePDFCreator/ and let me know what you think.

This is a guest post by Dani from pdfconverter.com.

Is Newer Really Better – Why You Should Consider Using Old Software

December 9, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

While many people rush out to buy the latest and greatest computer hardware and software packages, many savvy computer owners know that newer is not always better. Computers that are four and five years old or even older can still provide trouble free service, all without the cost or hassle of upgrading. The same goes for computer software – just because a software title is a couple years old does not mean it is ready for the trash heap.

Apple Keys

This is true of all kinds of software packages, from operating systems and office productivity suites to accounting software and computer games. If you are thinking about buying or downloading a new software package just because there is a new version available you may want to take a step back and ask yourself a couple of questions.

Can My Computer Handle the New Version?

The newest version of software won’t always work for every computer. Most people don’t purchase new computers every year; except that new software is designed for the newest and fastest computers. Furthermore, because new software is designed for faster computers the developers load more features into it, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as Bloatware. This means that your computer may not be up to the task of running the new software and it may give you more headaches than you expected, which leads to the next question:

Does My Current Software Do What I Need it To?

If your current software package does what you need it to do there may be no reason to upgrade. If you enjoy playing that great computer game the mere fact that it is a couple of years old does not mean you need to plunk down money for a new version. If you still enjoy playing it save your money and keep on playing.

The same is true of expensive software products like office productivity suites. If your old word processor, spreadsheet package and database program are giving you what you want there is simply not a reason to upgrade to a newer – and more expensive – version of that same software package. Chances are your old version will continue to work just fine for many years to come.

What About the Learning Curve?

In addition to the obvious cost savings there are a number of other considerations when thinking about buying or downloading new software versus staying with the tried and true. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that a new version of a familiar software package will come with its own learning curve. If the software upgrade is not a significant one the learning curve may not be very steep, but if the program is mostly unchanged there may be no compelling reason to upgrade.

If the software changes are significant enough that you would want to upgrade it is important to keep in mind that it will take some time to learn the new features of the upgrade. If you do choose to upgrade your once familiar software package may be difficult to use, and that could cost you a lot of time and trouble.

Before you decide to upgrade be sure that an upgrade is really the best decision. Ask yourself these important questions and do some research. If you’ve already made the upgrade and regret it, or if you just miss the simplicity of that old interface, you may always ‘downgrade’ away your frustrations.

Craig writes for the blog at VersionDownload.com, a site for finding old versions of popular software. He can be reached at versiondownloadsupport[at]gmail[dot]com.

Windows 7: Laptop Battery Test

October 10, 2009 | By | 11 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

In 2006, Microsoft prematurely released Windows Vista into the world. The OS met strong criticism after being released with numerous software kinks and high hardware requirements which made it buggy for many older systems. Among laptop users, Windows Vista became infamous for sucking laptop battery power at an alarming rate.

Fast forward to 2009, Microsoft is looking to redeem its former operating system glory with the coming launch of Windows 7. In an effort to avoid a repeat of the Vista debacle, Microsoft has made claims of comprehensive testing and improved energy efficiency for the latest version of the Windows 7 operating system. By using a proprietary technique called coalescing Windows 7 is able to execute a number of regular tasks that require the CPU and allows a laptop to spend more time in low-power mode.

Initial testing of the Windows 7 battery life results have been good, but not great. According to testing performed by Microsoft, users should expect to see a 10 percent to 20 percent improvement in battery life when watching a DVD on Windows 7 instead of Vista. This adds an additional 10 – 20 minutes of movie watching on average.

What does this mean to the casual laptop owner?

If you decide to make the switch to Windows 7, expect to receive a few extra minutes of run time for your laptop. For most users the improved battery efficiency alone won’t warrant a purchase. But if you’re considering the purchase of Windows 7 for any of the other updates this enhancement will be a nice bonus.

Whether Microsoft is serious about energy efficiency or if this is mostly a public-relations move has yet to be seen. But by addressing Vistas’ blunders, Microsoft has at least shown they can learn from past mistakes. Windows 7 is available in stores October, 22nd 2009.

This article is a guest post by David Sterik. He is a fulltime blogger for Priority Electronics. You can contact him at david [dot] sterik [at] gmail [dot] com.