Securely File Shredder is a freeware utility for Windows that will securely delete any files or folders you throw at it. It’s simple and easy to use interface is why it’s my favorite file shredder. Here’s how it works.
Background Info on Securely File Shredder
The software utility was first launched in 2013 by Reason Software Company, Inc. Securely File Shredder works on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10. However, the software itself has not received any updates for several years. This kind of utility doesn’t need to be updated too often anyway.
Why do I need a file shredder?
You might be wondering what’s wrong with using the recycle bin on your computer for deleting files. The truth for most operating systems is when you “erase” something, those files are not truly gone. The OS changes the file as deleted in the file allocation table, but the data of the file is still on your hard drive. That’s why using a third-party utility or an OS with a “secure erase” option is recommended for erasing sensitive data.
I recommend storing sensitive data using encryption software such as Veracrypt or Cryptomator. However, there are times when you just want to get rid of data that’s in a download folder or already on the machine in a non encrypted form.
The main interface
I found with many other file shredders out there that they have clunky interfaces or tedious step-by-step wizards. With Securely File Shredder, what you see is what you get. The big trash can icon encourages you to drag and drop folders onto it for easy, secure file deletion.
If you’re not the drag and drop type and prefer to click a button, there are three main options: delete everything in the recycle bin, choose a folder to delete, or choose a single file to erase. While I mostly use the drag and drop functionality, I have sometimes just clicked the tiny trash can icon to securely wipe my recycle bin.
By clicking the cogwheel, you have a few options you can configure. You can have the file shredder run when Windows starts, enable a notification icon, and the type of deletion method you prefer.
Securely File Shredder has four different deletion methods to erase your data securely. Here’s the breakdown of what they are and how they perform. When erasing a file, data must be written over it to get rid of any trace. The following methods use different rounds and techniques to write over deleted files.
Pass 1: Writes a one
Pass 2: Writes a zero
Pass 3: Writes a stream of random characters
Pass 4: Writes a stream of random characters
Pass 5: Writes a stream of random characters
Pass 6: Writes a stream of random characters
Pass 7: Writes a stream of random characters
DOD 5220.22 method
Pass 1: Writes a zero and verifies the write.
Pass 2: Writes a one and verifies the write.
Pass 3: Writes a random character and verifies the write.
Pass 1 – 35: Writes a random character
The paranoid method is the developers’ name for their ultimate deletion method, and I couldn’t find any information on it. I would imagine that it has the same amount or even greater passes than the Gutmann method. This method probably isn’t necessary, and I recommend sticking to the other ones since they have better documentation on the web.
Final Thoughts on Securely File Shredder
There are a lot of utilities out there that try to be the ultimate all-in-one software utility. I’m not too big a fan of these types, so having a minimal utility that stays out of my way and does one job well is always appreciated. Securely File Shredder may not get used often, but I have it in my start menu should I ever need to erase sensitive files securely. I highly recommend this file eraser tool to anyone out there that wants to make sure that their deleted files cannot be recovered.
Link: Download it!