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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.4 - Just How Secure Are the 'Reset Safari' & 'Erase Free Space' Facility?


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scoot

 
Member Since: May 30, 2007
Posts: 3
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Evening all,

Brand spanking new on here, so please go easy (and please talk in a language I can understand... I'm pretty much IT illiterate!).

I like to think of myself as a fairly 'security concious' person as I'm not the sole user of this Mac, so would appreciate your views on the following.

After every period on the net, I always 'Reset Safari'', and once a week I do a 7-Pass 'Erase Free Space'.

Are these precautions truly effective at destroying deleted files?

Also, I notice when I wake in the morning after starting the 'Erase Free Space' facility that there is a message present warning me that my 'Start-Up Disc is Almost Full'. I normally just acknowledge this - is this the right thing to do? Has the 'Erase' actually completed?
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trpnmonkey41

 
Member Since: Jul 22, 2003
Location: Hamilton College
Posts: 7,003
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Mac Specs: 20" iMac C2D 2.16ghz, 13" MacBook 2.0ghz, 60gb iPod vid, 1gb nano

trpnmonkey41 is offline
Rather than reset safari just use the Private Browsing, and when emptying the trash use the Secure Empty Trash

Don't forget to use the new User Reputation System
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Brown Study

 
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Member Since: Mar 11, 2004
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 1,964
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Mac Specs: G4 Tiger and OS 9

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This is my Safari-quit script saved as an application. I don't use Safari's quit command when the paranoids are after me. (You must make and wear a tinfoil hat before running it, or it won't work.) Private Browsing is OK, but it can't delete a lot of stuff created by other apps that could make Safari's deletions moot.

At the bottom of the script, I set up the trash to open so I can see that the script ran properly. The trash closes when it securely deletes the files. "Enable GUI Scripting" must be turned on in the AppleScript Utility. A couple or three files and pathways are different in Intel Macs, and some, of course, wouldn't exist in any Mac if it doesn't have the same apps or has others I don't use.

Safari, though, creates a ton of junk to be trashed, and securely deleting it all after a long session is like watching paint dry. But I hardly ever run Safari.

Whenever I discover another app that leaves a trail, I add it to the script. I have another script for Firefox to take care of its unique properties, but it includes all the other apps this one does. Those, though, are a simple copy-and-paste job.

These scripts need constant updating, however. When I installed the newest Adobe Reader, for example, the pathway to the cookies changed. And Flash's " #SharedObjects" is tricky. It starts with a space.
Code:
tell application "Safari"
    quit
end tell
delay 2
tell application "Finder"
    activate
    if every item of folder "Safari" of folder "Caches" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete every item of folder "Safari" of folder "Caches" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if file "History.plist" of folder "Safari" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete file "History.plist" of folder "Safari" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if file "Cookies.plist" of folder "Cookies" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete file "Cookies.plist" of folder "Cookies" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if file "Acrobat WebCapture Cookies" of folder "8.0_ppc" of folder "Acrobat" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete file "Acrobat WebCapture Cookies" of folder "8.0_ppc" of folder "Acrobat" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if every item of folder "TemporaryItems" of folder "Caches" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete every item of folder "TemporaryItems" of folder "Caches" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if every item of folder "Recent Applications" of folder "Apple Menu Items" of folder "Classic" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete every item of folder "Recent Applications" of folder "Apple Menu Items" of folder "Classic" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if every item of folder "Stuffit Deluxe Recent Items" of folder "Allume" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete every item of folder "Stuffit Deluxe Recent Items" of folder "Allume" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if folder "#SharedObjects" of folder "Flash Player" of folder "Macromedia" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete folder "#SharedObjects" of folder "Flash Player" of folder "Macromedia" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if folder "macromedia.com" of folder "Flash Player" of folder "Macromedia" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete folder "macromedia.com" of folder "Flash Player" of folder "Macromedia" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if file "com.apple.Preview.bookmarks.plist" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete file "com.apple.Preview.bookmarks.plist" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if file "com.apple.Preview.plist" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete file "com.apple.Preview.plist" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if file "com.apple.quicktimeplayer.plist" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete file "com.apple.quicktimeplayer.plist" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if file "org.videolan.vlc.plist" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete file "org.videolan.vlc.plist" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if every item of folder "downloads" of folder "QuickTime" of folder "Caches" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete every item of folder "downloads" of folder "QuickTime" of folder "Caches" of folder "Library" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    if file "com.RealNetworks.RealPlayer.plist" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Library" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists then
        delete file "com.RealNetworks.RealPlayer.plist" of folder "Preferences" of folder "Brown Study" of folder "Library" of folder "Users" of startup disk
    end if
    delay 2
    make new Finder window to trash
    set current view of Finder window 1 to list view
    set toolbar visible of Finder window 1 to false
    set bounds of Finder window 1 to {234, 587, 797, 768}
end tell
delay 1
tell application "System Events" to tell application process "Finder"
    set frontmost to true
    (* to get the exact menu item number
get name of every menu item of menu "Finder" of menu bar item "Finder" of menu bar 1
get name of menu item 7 of menu "Finder" of menu bar item "Finder" of menu bar 1
*)
    click menu item 7 of menu "Finder" of menu bar item "Finder" of menu bar 1
    keystroke return
end tell
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scoot

 
Member Since: May 30, 2007
Posts: 3
scoot is on a distinguished road

scoot is offline
Thanks for the replies guys, but I was really just looking for straightforward answers to my questions.

Hope that doesn't sound ungrateful, as it's not intended that way - I just need laymans answers.
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