School of Computer and Information Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia
This paper examined three erasure software tools aimed at removing evidence of online and other activity, and was investigated using the Windows 7 operating system as the test platform. The tools in question were Anti- Tracks, Free Internet Eraser and Free Internet Window Washer. The findings included each of the tested software’s ability to completely erase target data on the drive. It also included examined whether the data was erased or merely the link to the data was deleted, making the file recoverable. It was found that the Anti-Tracks program did not erase any of the information targeted by the researchers. The Free Internet Window Washer software was able to erase Internet Explorer browser history, and recent document activity for the operating system, but not any other activity or information was erased. The last tool, Free Internet Eraser was able to erase all information apart from MSN Messenger chat history, and the temporary internet files. The conclusion is that end users should be careful in selecting or using such erasure tools as they may behave differently under different operating systems, and may not always remove beyond recovery all information.