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#1 jerseydevil168

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 10:06 PM

I don't like the fact that my pc stores so much useless info. I don't like the fact that nosey family members can track my surfing :p . what is the best thing to do? I regularly clear everything under tools and keep history set at 0. I would like to get as much info on this as possible, thanks.
Here is an example. A guy I work with realized the weekend guy was using the pc by viewing the temp internet files. I wouldn't wan't to be foud out like that.
I run 98 but recently upgraded to xp.
I have been using the "classic" start menu, and when I open the documents It lists some of the pics i view. can this be stopped? :p :p :p :p

#2 Bobbi Flekman

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 04:44 AM

You can download CCleaner and MRU Blaster. That will take care of a lot of your tracking troubles.

#3 ErikAlbert

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 06:48 AM

jerseydevil168,
So you don't like other people to watch your 'CLEAN' pictures, especially the rest of your family.
I understand. I was young too. I had alot of secrets. :D

Don't forget to clean your history and cache like you did before and also clean the "Recycle Bin".
In other words : remove all the tracks of your secret activities.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Let us try to solve this problem without additional software.
1. Open "My Documents"
2. Click right, click New, click Folder and choose a name for the folder.
I call this folder "MySecrets", because it's easier for my explanation.
In the future you have to keep all your 'clean' pictures or any other secret file in the folder "MySecrets"

Then you do this, only one time :
1. Put your mousepointer on the folder "MySecrets" and click right with your mouse.
2. Click properties and mark the box "Hidden"
3. Click the Apply button
4. Click the OK button
5. Click the OK button
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Each time you want to see the folder "MySecrets" you do this :
1. Open "My Documents"
2. Click Tools
3. Click Folder Options
4. Click View
5. Look for "Hidden files and folders"
6. Click the radio button "Show hidden files and folders"
7. Click the Apply button
8. Click the OK button.
You will see that the folder "MySecrets" is back.

Each time you want to hide the folder "MySecrets" you do the same thing, except line #6
1. Open "My Documents"
2. Click Tools
3. Click Folder Options
4. Click View
5. Look for "Hidden files and folders"
6. Click the radio button "Do not show hidden files and folders"
7. Click the Apply button
8. Click the OK button.
You will see that the folder "MySecrets" is hidden again.

It seems to be much work but it isn't, only 6 mouse clicks. Try it a few times and you will see how easy it is.

IMPORTANT !!!
If the rest of the family DON'T KNOW this trick, you will be safe. Alot of users don't know this trick.

If the rest of the family KNOWS this trick, you won't be safe.
In that case we have to find another method, called "Plan B", but I have to think about this. I'm not very familiar with this, because I don't have this problem.

Watch your topic at least one week, because other members might have better solutions.
Meanwhile you can use this trick until you have a better solution.

Let me know if it works and don't tell your parents about me. This is a secret between you and me. :)

Edited by ErikAlbert, 03 February 2005 - 10:16 AM.

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#4 ErikAlbert

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 07:41 AM

jerseydevil168,
As you can see, Bobbi Flekman has solved your problem to remove all your tracks.
Now you have a complete solution for your problems. :D

Bobbi Flekman,
CCleaner was easy and a good replacement for my CookieWall.
A very simple solution for cookies, better than CookieWall.
Thanks :)

Edited by ErikAlbert, 03 February 2005 - 08:44 AM.

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#5 Paranoid

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 11:38 AM

jerseydevil168,
As you can see, Bobbi Flekman has solved your problem to remove all your tracks.
Now you have a complete solution for your problems.  :D

Bobbi Flekman,
CCleaner was easy and a good replacement for my CookieWall.
A very simple solution for cookies, better than CookieWall.
Thanks  :)

View Post


Hmm ccleaner is good, but it doesn't selectively keep cookies does it? Some people like to keep a few cookies while killing the rest.
Please note that the software I recommend above is entirely based on only my own experience and testing. In no way should my comments,opinions and endorsements be construed as an endorsement by the forum, nor do they reflect the advise or recommendations by the experts or helpers at spywareinfo.


#6 Paranoid

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 11:44 AM

If I were truly paranoid I would not only clear the mrus, cookies, index.dat and temporary internet folder, I would ensure that some form of secure deletion was used during the process,so they can not be easily recovered.

Mrublaster is good and does secure deletion .
Spybot S&D does so too.
Ccleaner is I think good but does not do secure deletion yet.

I would run them in the following order

Spybot S&D
Mrublaster
Bat file on startup using a command line secure eraser on temporary internet files, index.dat files (mrublaster does not get the history one).

Then finish up with ccleaner.
Please note that the software I recommend above is entirely based on only my own experience and testing. In no way should my comments,opinions and endorsements be construed as an endorsement by the forum, nor do they reflect the advise or recommendations by the experts or helpers at spywareinfo.


#7 ErikAlbert

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 12:16 PM

Paranoid,
I use CCleaner from today. So I don't have much experience yet.

I think it works like this :
CCleaner has two columns
1. Cookies to delete
2. Cookies to keep

If you want to keep a cookie, you have to move a cookie from the first column to the second column.
These cookies will remain in your cookie directory.

If you run CCleaner and cookies is marked, all the cookies of the first column will be deleted. except the cookies in the second column of course.

If it works like this, I'm satisfied.

Edited by ErikAlbert, 03 February 2005 - 12:19 PM.

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#8 JRosenfeld

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 01:09 PM

Spybot also allows you to selectively keep cookies; then you can let it scan and delete any other cookies.

#9 jerseydevil168

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 03:16 PM

I don't think I can use hidden folders because the can be found.

[/QUOTE]Bat file on startup using a command line secure eraser on temporary internet files, index.dat files (mrublaster does not get the history one).[QUOTE]
What does this mean?
I am concerned about stuff that stays in the harddrive even when I clear all the known storage areas. Am I missing anything?

Does Ghostsurf really work? Where can I learn more?
Anyone know of a good place to learn about this stuff? Other than here . Any tutorials? :)

Edited by jerseydevil168, 03 February 2005 - 03:18 PM.


#10 ErikAlbert

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 04:51 PM

jerseydevil168,
Sorry for the misunderstanding. I thought you needed a solution for hiding your pics in a folder as well. That's what I thought, after reading the last sentence of your original post.

I have been using the "classic" start menu, and when I open the documents It lists some of the pics i view. can this be stopped?

No problem. I never tried this before, so I learned something today.

In that case I consider the first post of Bobbi Flekman as a possible solution to clear all the tracks of your activities on the internet.

Reading your last post, it seems to me, you have a TOTAL NEW problem : Ghostsurf ?
I couldn't find an user manual of Ghostsurf on the internet, unless you like to pay for it.
Normally a good software has a Help function, which looks like an user manual.

Unfortunately, I have no experience at all with Ghostsurf. So you need somebody else to help you with that ... :)

Edited by ErikAlbert, 03 February 2005 - 04:56 PM.

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#11 Paranoid

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 11:29 AM

I don't think I can use hidden folders because the can be found.

Bat file on startup using a command line secure eraser on temporary internet files, index.dat files (mrublaster does not get the history one).


What does this mean?
I am concerned about stuff that stays in the harddrive even when I clear all the known storage areas. Am I missing anything?


Here's an explaination about secure deletion versus normal deleting.
http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/

Your first thought may be that when you delete the file, the data is gone. Not quite, when you delete a file, the operating system does not really remove the file from the disk; it only removes the reference of the file from the file system table. The file remains on the disk until another file is created over it, and even after that, it might be possible to recover data by studying the magnetic fields on the disk platter surface.

Before the file is overwritten, anyone can easily retrieve it with a disk maintenance or an undelete utility.


Secure deletion or erasing would involve overwriting the data several times, and it makes it harder but not impossible depending on the attacker's resources to recover the deleted file and the number of "passes" you make.

So when you use a program that claims to clean tracks, you should check if it uses some form of secure deletion - Normally Gutmann's od DOD standards. Many freeware "erasers" exist that allow you do this. They work exactly like the normal delete you are used to, but it takes slightly longer to delete a file.

MRUS and cleaners

Many cleaners automate the cleaning of common file directories that store temp files.

In addition, they also clear MRU lists (most recently used lists) . Typically these are windows related, for example the last file opened. the last program run by explorer etc.

In additon, many programs have similar features, they remember the last files you opened, or for unzippers, the last directory you extracted to etc. These are also MRUs that can be cleared, if the cleaner you are using knows where to look.

MRUblaster is perhaps best at this, since it has a large database of MRUs from lots of applications. Crapcleaner I think is a rising star, and it's more verstile in some ways.


About index.dat

Three index.dat files reside in the following locations: Cookies\index.dat, History\History.IE5\index.dat, and Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat. Therefore, each of Internet Explorer's primary folders (or directories) - Cache, Cookies and History - uses an indexing technique to maintain information. Basically, a copy of the contents of the folders remains in that folder. The software continues to keep those records even after you have deleted the contents of those folders. These files can be very difficult to find and erase. If you are in the Windows folder, even with Show hidden files and folders active, these files are not visible and cannot be found if you do a search for these files. The reason that these files are so invisible is that they are not just hidden, but they also have been designated as "system" files. System files and folders are treated differently in DOS and Windows and are effectively cloaked from casual searches.


http://www.smartprot...deleteindex.htm

I might also add that the index.dat in history, keeps a list of every url you visit, even if you clear history, and with various software like index suit, Spider, you can access them and see the urls.

They are also extremely hard to remove, because the windows UI- explorer.exe locks the file in memory

There are several ways to remove it.

1) Set up a batch file to run at startup to delete them before explorer.exe starts, or to move the file elsewhere so they can be deleted at your lesuire.

2) Boot to DOS and delete them (Not for XP)

3) Run as another user, allows you to delete the index.dat of other users.

Many automated software like SSS , Crapcleaner etc all do a variant of 1), they set themselves to run at startup so they have a chance to remove the index.dat file.

But no (freeware anyway) cleaner I'm aware of uses secure deletion (see above) to remove these index.dat files.http://www.buttuglysoftware.com/ claims to but there was a flaw.

MRUblaster comes closest since it uses secure deletion to remove the index.dat in cookies and TIF. But for some reason javacool has not extended this for the index.dat in history folders.

My personal solution is to do 1) but instead of using the common dos command to delete, I use a command line version of Eraser.

Paranoid? You betcha. but if i figure someone knows how to look in my index.dat, I bet he knows how to recover deleted files using a tool.



Does Ghostsurf really work? Where can I learn more?
Anyone know of a good place to learn about this stuff? Other than here . Any tutorials? :)

View Post


Ghostsurf is a completely different issue
Please note that the software I recommend above is entirely based on only my own experience and testing. In no way should my comments,opinions and endorsements be construed as an endorsement by the forum, nor do they reflect the advise or recommendations by the experts or helpers at spywareinfo.


#12 jerseydevil168

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 05:38 PM

Thanks for the info everybody. I downloaded cc and mru. I am rereading all posts to absorb everything. Any advice on how to set them up? I noticed alot of checking boxes. Can I damage anything by using these programs? Should I use them at boot? How will it effect boot time?
Here are some points to consider.

I don't really need to hide folders. I was refering to the list of viewed files under My Documents in the start menu in classic view (win 98 style). It is there before you actually click documents. I do from time to time temperarily save pics or even text that I don't really want others to view, I usually delete them after a few hours. I doubt anyone around here has recovery capabilities I think the programs should be ok.

Imagine my surprise the first time I clicked Media library on media player and a bunch of movie clips were listed. I didn't know they were being saved. I must have viewed them using the m player and it saved them???

I am curious about Ghost Surf. Any info

What is left of win 98 after xp upgrade? Can files be viewed? Should I uninstall xp and run these programs with 98?

This is all I can think of now.I know this is alot of questions and I thank everyone who reads and or replies. I know others are learning from this too. :lol: :lol:

Edited by jerseydevil168, 04 February 2005 - 05:41 PM.


#13 lonewolf

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Posted 05 February 2005 - 09:05 AM

I am curious about Ghost Surf. Any info




I've been looking into that program myself as of late. It seems to be ok as far as providing general anonymity.

While they say it will not only hide your activities from your isp, by encrypting the data leaving your computer, but will also hide your true ip from the sites your visiting. I'm not totally convinced it would work quite as well as they claim though.

Also they would probably keep logs of all your internet activity, that could be passed on to any third party. So there goes your privacy.

Though I have used anonymizer services, I'm still not convinced this is one of the better ones available. But for general privacy, I suppose it would fit the bill.

Edited by lonewolf, 05 February 2005 - 09:06 AM.


#14 Lord of The Rings

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 03:32 PM

Dear Jersey Devil, :alarm:

With ref to Paranoids advice i.r.o. Cookies\index.dat, History\History.IE5\index.dat, and Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat. Please be very careful if you decide to remove/delete any of these three files. As Paranoid says there are ways to do so, but even the most successful "Paid For Programs" (and I have tried a number) usually piss M$ off in the end. When this happens, and after your "program" has deleted one of these files, you will start to get error messages on start up. The only cure for this, that I have found, is in the end to stop your program deleting either the file or its contents. :scratchhead:

These "Paid For" programs delete the complete.dat file, and on reboot (before Windows can detect this) replace the deleted .dat file with one that just has innocuous entries. :eek: When/if you open the .dat file, you will find that all your nasty little secrets have been removed. :evilgrin: Unfortunately, and I have tried this a few times, even though the PF programs guarantee that their deletions will not cause problems, after a while they still seem to do so, and the start up error messages become more and more regular. :techsupport: Basically M$ doesn't seem to like anyone deleting their system files on a regular basis. :grrr: I did find that doing so approx once a month did not trigger any response from Windows. :rolleyes:

Perhaps someone with more experience in these programs that offer to clean your .dat files, can advise one that works without annoying M$. :rofl: So far I have not.

However, for a guaranteed encrypted file program you should contact: :wave:

http://www.authenex.com

They supply at a cost of approx $49 a USB key that allows you to encrypt any file that you consider to be confidential. With the key inserted and a password, you can run an encrypted file system, that no one, and I mean no one, can enter without your key and password. You may of course not want this amount of confidentiality, or expense, but that is up to you. :!:

Best Wishes,
Lord of The Rings
aka Mike Werner
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