Do NOT complete this section or install the Secure Delete utility on a Client owned computer. If you use a Client owned computer as your primary work computer, abide by the Client’s internal procedures for secure deletion of PHI and Confidential Information from that computer.
What is a Secure Delete Utility, and why do we need to use one?
Great question that I’m sure most of you are wondering. When you put a file in the Recycle Bin, then Empty the Recycle Bin, nothing has really happened to that file on the hard drive. All that really happened was the sectors on the hard drive where that file is stored became available for re-use. Eventually, as you save new files, the old file gets overwritten bit by bit. For someone with even modest skills and modest tools, however, the old file we thought we deleted by emptying the recycle bin can be recovered in part or even in whole depending on how long ago you emptied the recycle bin, how much free hard drive space you have, and how many files you saved since you last emptied the recycle bin.
A secure delete utility – ‘Eraser’ in our case - not only deletes the file, but it also overwrites the sectors on the disk with random characters so that file cannot be recovered under any circumstances. It’s the electronic equivalent of shredding. Using Eraser ensures that the files containing Confidential info or PHI are completely removed from our hard drives and can’t be recovered.
If Eraser was not installed for you when you received your Company issued Computer, or if you’re using a personally owned Computer for re|solution business, go to the last part of this section for installation instructions.
Once Eraser is installed and configured, you may use it to securely delete files in several ways. Note that whether you take specific action or not, your Recycle Bin will be securely deleted every time you restart your computer or, if you don’t restart, at 2am every morning. Also note that once the secure delete process completes, there is no recovery. No ‘undo’. No ‘Ctrl X’. Those files are gone.
Option 1: Simply put your file in your recycle bin. This results in a secure delete either the next time you restart your computer, or at 2am the next morning. Or if you want to securely delete all files in your Recycle Bin immediately, right click on your Recycle Bin and select Eraser, then ‘Erase’.
Option 2: Right-click on the file in question, and from the pop up menu, select Eraser, then ‘Erase’. As soon as you do, the file you selected will be securely deleted and unrecoverable. If you select ‘Erase on Restart’, it has the same effect as putting the file in the Recycle Bin – it will be securely deleted the next time you restart your computer.
Other Aspects of Eraser You should understand
Cleaning Unused Disk Space – part of the configuration we have provided includes a weekly overwrite (every Sunday at 2am) of unused disk space. This is an additional precaution for files that were emptied from the Recycle Bin without using Eraser.
Using the Erase Scheduler – as a user, you have access to the Erase Scheduler. We discourage you from setting up your own tasks, as there is significant opportunity here for accidentally securely deleting more than you intend. If you feel a new Task should be created, please contact Support so we can assist.
Before you begin installation, open your Recycle Bin and make certain that you are prepared to completely delete all of its contents. If there are files currently in your Recycle Bin you think you may still want that do NOT include Confidential info or PHI, then remove them from the Recycle Bin now. At the end of the Eraser installation you’ll be securely deleting all the Recycle Bin’s contents. After that, individual files or the Recycle Bin may be securely deleted on demand, and will be automatically deleted each time you restart your computer and at 2am each morning (presuming your computer is still running). In addition, all free space on your hard drive will be securely overwritten every Sunday morning at 3am.
Go to the Eraser download site, and download the installer from the link under the ‘Stable Builds’ section. Don’t use the newest release on the right side – that one may not be mature yet.
Once downloaded, open the installer and walk thru the Wizard.
Importing the re|solution Eraser Task List (do not import on personal PCs)
Importing the task list will automate your recycle bin to clear. If you frequently retrieve accidental deleted documents from your recycle bin then do NOT proceed.
STEP 1: Download the file called ‘Secure Delete Task List to Import into Eraser <<date>>’ from Egnyte at Shared> Resolution (All) > IT Applications > Eraser > Task List and put it on your desktop or somewhere else where you can find it quickly.
STEP 2: Open Eraser, go to Erase Schedule, and select ‘Import Task List’
STEP 4: Look at your Erase main screen. The tasks should display as shown below. If they do, delete the downloaded task list and you’re done. If they don’t look like the list below, contact re|solution Support.