CCleaner - Secure File Deletion and Work Session Wiping

CCleaner is an easy-to-use and efficient program, essential to protecting your digital privacy and security. By permanently deleting (or wiping) your browser history, cookies, other temporary files created during your work session, as well as free disk space, CCleaner limits the ways in which hostile or malicious parties can monitor your work habits and preferences or infect your system.

Installing CCleaner

  • Read the brief Hands-on Guide Introduction
  • Click the CCleaner icon below to open www.piriform.com/ccleaner/builds download page.
  • In the 'CCleaner - Slim' section click the 'Download' button
  • Save the 'ccsetup_slim.exe' to your computer, then find it and Double click on it to launch the installation program.
  • Read the 'Installation instructions' in the next section before you continue
  • After you have successfully installed CCleaner you may delete the installation program from your computer

CCleaner:

Installing CCleaner

  • Read the brief Hands-on Guide Introduction
  • Click the CCleaner icon below and 'Open' or 'Run' the installer. If necessary, save the installer first, then find it and double click it
  • Read the 'Installation instructions' in the next section before you continue
  • If you saved the installer to your computer, you may delete it after installation

CCleaner:

Homepage

www.ccleaner.com

Computer Requirements

  • All Windows Versions

Version used in this guide

  • 4.03

License

  • Freeware

Last revision of this chapter

  • July 2013

Required Reading

How-to Booklet chapter 6. How to Destroy Sensitive Information

Level: 1: Beginner, 2: Average, 3: Intermediate, 4: Experienced, 5: Advanced

Time required to start using this tool: 15 minutes

What you will get in return:

  • The ability to permanently delete traces of your activities and temporary files stored on your computer.
  • The ability to wipe the free space on disks connected to your computer
  • The ability to clean up the Windows Registry
  • The ability to control what programs are run when your computer starts

GNU Linux, Mac OS and other Microsoft Windows Compatible Programs

Another excellent temporary file removal and shredder tool compatible with GNU Linux and Microsoft Windows is BleachBit. BleachBit lets you wipe temporary files in 70 of the most popular applications, operating system temporary files and free hard disk space. An open-source program with a portable version, BleachBit is available in 32 languages. Ubuntu Linux users can also refer to the Cleaning up all those unnecessary junk files… guide to learn about cleaning your system.

Mac OS users will appreciate free tools from Titanium’s Software, OnyX and Maintenance to erase traces of your work session. To securely wipe your Trash, open the Finder menu and then select Finder > Secure Empty Trash.... To always securely wipe your Trash, select Finder > Preferences and then click the Advanced tab. Next, check the Empty Trash securely option. To wipe free space on the disk, run the Disk Utility system application, select the disk partition, choose Erase tab, and then click the Erase Free Space.. button.

1.1 Things you should know about this tool before you start

The default settings on your computer system or an Internet browser automatically collect and create a data trail that a knowledgeable hostile or malicious party can follow - not unlike a hunter tracking its prey. Every time you use an Internet browser or word processor, or program, temporary data and files are generated and stored on your computer system. It could also generate lists of recently viewed documents or web pages. For example, whenever you type a web address into your Internet browser, a list of those addresses beginning with that/those letter(s) may be displayed as follows:

Figure 1: An Internet browser address bar displaying different URLs.

Although browser histories may be convenient, they also let someone identify the web sites you have visited. Moreover, your recent activities may be exposed by temporary data collected from images that appear on those web sites, including email messages or information typed into Internet forms.

To remove temporary data created every time you use a program, you would have to open each individual program directory, identify and then manually delete its temporary program files from there. CCleaner simply displays a list of programs and lets you choose the program(s) from which all temporary files should be deleted.

Important: Although CCleaner only erases temporary files, and not the actual documents saved on your computer, it is strongly recommended that you keep an up-to-date backup of your documents (please refer to the How-to Booklet chapter 5. How to Recover from Information Loss for more information on how to perform a backup).

After running CCleaner you may lose your all browser and recent document histories, and saved passwords. However, this is precisely the point of this tool - to minimize the different ways of infecting or monitoring your computer system.