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Monday, July 28, 2014

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One Step Ahead: Almanac Security Tips - 2014

In each issue, Penn's Journal of Record, The Almanac publishes helpful tips and hints for dealing with information security and privacy matters. This page is a collection of all those published thus far.
New! You can now receive new One-Step-Ahead Security and Privacy Tips automatically!
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Table of Contents (view all)

Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability
Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Filing Taxes Online This Year? Take Steps to Protect Your Information!
If your computer runs Windows XP, you must update it now!
Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Year’s Holiday Shopping Season
Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box

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Tagged with delete , security

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - Almanac Vol. 54, No. 30

Secure Deletion of Sensitive Information

No matter which operating system you use, it actually takes some thought and effort to make certain that a sensitive file you no longer need is completely deleted from your system. (And then, you’ll need to think about where backup copies may exist, and how to securely dispose of them as well.)

Simply dragging a file to the Recycle or Trash folder on your desktop is very much analogous to crumpling up a piece of paper and tossing it into the wastebasket—it’s a trivial matter to retrieve and restore the information.

Even if you “empty” the Trash, with most operating systems the space containing the file data is simply marked as unused and the data itself remains in place until the system overwrites it with new file data. Should your system be stolen or compromised, there are readily available forensic tools that can retrieve data from deleted files with minimal time and effort.

Windows and Mac OS X come with built-in capability to “shred” unneeded yet sensitive files in such a way that the data cannot be recovered, even by forensic professionals. Many Unix and Linux versions also come with comparable utilities, and there are many commercial products that are available either as stand-alone products such as Digg or as part of larger software suites such as PGP. If the file is stored on removable read-only media such as CDs or DVDs, many shredders for home and office use can physically destroy them in a secure fashion.

For help with secure file deletion, please contact your LSP. For a detailed discussion of secure file deletion, visit


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