Using Secure Erase



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The Secure Erase feature described here allows you to specify how thoroughly the System Optimizer deletes files when it runs. You can also use this feature to enable a Secure Erase option on the Windows Explorer right-click menu, as described below.

Normally, when you delete a file, you are moving it to the Recycle Bin, where anyone can access it. Even when you empty the Recycle Bin, you are not actually deleting the files; you are only deleting the operating system's pointers to the files. The actual data still exists on your hard drive and, unless it is overwritten by other data, it could be resurrected using special recovery tools.

The setting on the Secure Erase panel can tell the System Optimizer and the Windows Explorer right-click menu option to permanently remove files in a shredding process, which overwrites the data with random characters. This shredding feature is a convenient way to make sure no one can ever access your files with a recovery tool.

This topic includes proceedures for the following:

  • How to specify Secure Erase settings
  • How to use Secure Erase in Windows Explorer

To specify Secure Erase settings:

  1. From the system tray, double-click the Webroot icon. 



    The main interface displays.



  2. In the upper right corner, click the Advanced Settings button.



    The Settings pane displays with the Install Settings sub-pane active.

     

  3. Select Secure Erase.



    The Secure Erase pane displays.

  4. Move the slider to the right to select any of the following options:
    • Normal — Deletes the files without overwriting them.
    • Medium — Overwrites the data with three passes.
    • Maximum — Overwrites the data with seven passes.
    Note: These settings may have a significant impact on the amount of time it takes to run a system optimization.
  5. When you're done, click the Save button.

To use Secure Erase in Windows Explorer:

  1. In the Advanced Settings > Secure Erase panel, select the Enable Windows Explorer right click secure file erasing checkbox.
  2. Open Windows Explorer.
  3. Right-click on the file or folder you want to permanently erase.
  4. From the drop-down menu, select Permanently erase with Webroot.



    The system uses one of the following configuration options erase the selected file or folder:
    • Normal
    • Medium
    • Maximum