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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    What is stored on my computer?

    Hi,

    I am a little confused about what is stored on my computer. If I go on-line and check out the balance of an account but do not specifically save the information, is that search/information or some reference thereto still recored on my hard drive? If I download and play internet music but do not save that music, is that music or some reference to it still recorded to my hard drive?

    Thank you for any information you can give me to clear up my confusion.

    Moon1130

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Some of this information may be stored as temp internet files. If you try to open some of these temp html files you may see a stored page with your info on it. Because we can not examine your system we can not conclusively prove this, but most likely these temp files do contain some info that others could see if they had your PC to examine.

    To be totally safe you would need to delete these files, then wipe the free space created by that deletion. Remember when you delete a file it is still on your PC, the pointer to that file is removed (this is somewhat simplistic, but it generally allows the file to be overwritten) but the file remains until it is overwritten. Wiping software actually overwrites this designated free space with ones and zeros (binary) so that in essence the data is destroyed.

    This is one reason that I have my browser set to delete all cookies and history when I close the browser. No I do not wipe the free space, but when I delete the file it does make it harder to recover this info, not impossible, just harder.
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  3. #3
    4 Star Lounger
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    Ted,

    Thanks for clearing this up for me. I always had a feeling that something was saved during internet browsing even if the act of saving was not executed.

    Have a wonderful day,

    Moon

  4. #4
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Moon,
    You didn't say what your OS is, or what browser you use, but in general terms,,,,,

    Most browsers have options that you can manually set. One should be to delete Temporary Internet Files on closure of the browser.
    Every MS OS that I've ever worked with, has had some form of "Disk Cleanup" and defrag programs.
    If you set Disk Cleanup to delete temp files and Temporary Internet Files and run that often following that with a defrag, you should be pretty safe.

    You are correctly concerned about your safety on the PC, but I've made a career out of it.
    I set up one customer of mine, to keep his own PC clean of any incriminating data, to the point that even a computer forensics expert could not find any traces of internet activity. The expert stated in his report that the HD appeared as if it had just been formatted and Windows installed. That's what I call CLEAN!

    Good Luck!
    O.T.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

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