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SecureClean/ System Mechanic/ Eraser – 3 data erasers

SecureClean/ System Mechanic/ Eraser –  3 data erasers

AccessData’s SecureClean is a program that preeminently eliminates unwanted PC data. AccessData is a manufacturer of several high-quality programs related to data and password recovery, so it comes as no surprise that it came out with a product that can erase data so well that even its own products cannot recover it! (as this reviewer has had the opportunity to discover). AccessData has produced a very fine product that does what it says it does — no more, no less. It eliminates data in all the locations PCs store files, including RAM stack, file stack, free space, swap files, file names, spool files, and temporary files. It works on any PC magnetic media (hard drives, diskettes, and Zip drives), but not read-only CDs. It allows the user to specify either manual or automated cleaning options. AccessData’s SecureClean should be an integral part of any records storage and disposal policy. In this reviewer’s less-than-humble opinion, if you work with secure and sensitive data, either in the professional setting or at home, SecureClean is an inexpensive tool to keep private what you want private. Information on SecureClean can be found at http://www.accessdata.com/.

Similar software is available as part of System Mechanic at http://www.iolo.com, and as Eraser at http://www.tolvanen.com/eraser/.

DataDot Identifier

In an attempt to deter theft, many pieces of property have serial numbers or other visible property identification numbers. The problem with many of these is that they are easily removable. The idea of a microdot concealed somewhere on the piece of property, in a location known only to the owner, is appealing. The device produced by DataBasix Technologies (http://www.leadcommander.com/index.html) called Asset Commander’s Data Dot Identifier is a good idea, and the software for logging and cataloging offered with the product is good. Ample warning stickers are included, though I would opt for even more stickers as warnings to potential thieves.

This is a good product, but I think it could be better. The concept — concealing a small dot of identifying data (a microdot) on a piece of property — is good. The shortcomings are:

1. The microdots come in a solution/suspension of adhesive and the application brush is stiff and difficult to use. It took several different people who were invited to use the product 10 or more tries to pick up a microdot on the brush and then apply the dot to the piece of properly.

2. The dots are imprinted with a code that is legible only with the assistance of a (really cool) 40X hand-held microscope (which is included). This is good. The problem, however, is that, when applying microdot, it is hard to tell if the numbers are right side up or upside down.

3. The information on the microdot is not easily read on dark backgrounds.

Another potential use for this product is in document copy control. Many of us in the business security field have had documents (reports, professional opinions, etc.) copied, altered, and misused. A microdot placed in a strategic spot on any document could be used to verify the authenticity of the document and to avoid unauthorized use of documents.

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