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Thread: how to erase the evidence on computer?

  1. #1

    how to erase the evidence on computer?

    Please bear with my computer illiteracy~

    On my computer at work I periodically delete my internet files and my cookies. Does this erase the evidence of where I've been on the internet or is it "somewhere" else in the computer also? Mostly, this is the only site I visit while at work, except for a few of the hardcore porn sites...just kidding...that's a joke! Reason I ask is the point was made about no longer posting pics on this site that might not be suitable for someone to open at work. Well, in the past I have a opened a few things from this site that were not workplace appropriate. And although not amused by these pics, I'd never worried about it. I thought that all that would show up on my computer was the fact that I'd visited THIS site, not necessarily that it would show a picture I'd seen ON this site. I always thought that if I deleted the internet files and cookies it would not even show that I'd been ON the internet at all.

    Am I:

    A) Correct
    B) Semi-correct, but need to do ______ to completely erase this from my computer.
    C) So stupid I should not even touch a computer, much less have a job that involves using one.

    Can someone help me? Thanks!

  2. #2
    bump, bump, bump

    Where are all the computer wizards when you need one?

    Or is everyone just too embarrassed for me to call further attention to me by answering?!

    It's okay, I embarrass myself on a daily basis, so a little more humiliation can't hurt me!

    If anyone can answer the above post I'd appreciate it! I'll owe you one! Thanks!

  3. #3
    Sorry for the delay "X"... deleting the Temporary Internet Files and Cookies should remove all evidence, so I would say the correct answer is A.

    Unless, of course, your workplace connects you to the Internet through a LAN or other network and caches all incoming data, but I doubt that would be the case.


  4. #4
    Thanks Steven! I really appreciate it and I especially appreciate your not choosing answer C!

    But we ARE on a network! I have to use a "network password" just to get into the system! And I think that may be how we connect to the internet because we've gotten memo's before saying that there were "technical difficulties and the internet was unavailable"! I am so computer-stupid! I had no idea!

    Thank goodness for co-workers! If it ever comes up, I'll blame it on someone else! Hey, it's a dog-eat-dog world! That will teach them to keep stealing my pens!

    Thank you for answering Steven, but I think you are wrong afterall...

    The correct answer IS C!

  5. #5
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Deleting files does not totally eliminate them - files can be undeleted until the area of hard drive they occupied is overwritten with new files. Maybe even after that?


    "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

  6. #6
    Yes, the only sure way to get rid of the files would be to take a sledgehammer to the hard drive.


  7. #7
    Senior Member mattblan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    N. California
    "Unless, of course, your workplace connects you to the Internet through a LAN or other network and caches all incoming data, but I doubt that would be the case."

    If you connect to the internet through a proxy server then you are screwed. If not, delete all your cookies and temp files and you should be in the clear.

  8. #8
    what about deleting history.

  9. #9
    At the risk of contradicting people who know far more about computers than I do, I want to chime in with two opinions:

    1. You can erase the evidence on your disk so that people cannot get to it. There are programs that you can use that will replace the erased space on your disk with random numbers. The new Mac OS Panther system has this built in as an option in the system.

    2. Erasing your disk will not eliminate evidence that you have visited internet. Every server keeps a log of their visitors and many of these servers keep the log for many years. Thus, for example, this site keeps a log of all visitors (this is how it calculates the traffic) with their IP addresses. Normally, the servers just track users by their IP (Internet Protocol) addresses that can be traced back to the server that links you to internet. Incidentally, those servers also keep logs and a determined investigator can get to your individual computer. In addition, if you are registered anywhere, websites will track you separately. So, everywhere you go on internet, you are likely to leave a trail of internet footprints. This is how investigators trace down computer viruses. Hackers go to great lengths to hide the source of virus releases, including logging in under bogus names onto servers in Hong Kong or other remote places, going through multiple servers, and not registering any place.

    The best way not to be traced is not to go into internet or go to an internet cafe far from your work or home, pay cash, and use the computers anonymously.


  10. #10
    Wow! Thanks everyone! This is a real learning experience for me! I certainly appreciate all the input!

    So, what it sounds like at this point, my best bet, if questioned, would be to...

    Blame it on a co-worker! And since I share a computer with someone, it will be easy! ...(sorry dude! it's me or you and if I have to pick, I pick me! ) Just kidding!...or am I?

    Thanks again everyone and if you see me wearing something like this:

    "Will do non-computer related work for food"

    you'll know I got busted!

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