Most people believe that to delete the Internet Explorer history is a simple process.
They drop down the tools section and the first page appears.
They click "clear history " and believe that is the end of the story.
Unfortunately, all your history is still on your computer, you just can`t see it through the browser any more . This is because some generally inaccessible files one of which is the index dat file.
It resides in C:\DocumentsandSettings\User name\Cookies
I have worked in I.T for many years now. When I began there were things I didn't know. Back then, I thought you clear the history and that is the end of the story.
Perhaps this is what you are thinking right now.
I remember a chap was accused of viewing certain material on the internet - which he denied. A senior I.T.Manager gave me the poor chaps hard drive one day and asked me to set it up for testing - which I did. To my absolute amazement, he recovered every single page viewed, from the internet history. As I was new at the time, this manager showed me some software on his own personal laptop, which prevented data recovery.
He went on to explain, that the index file had to be overwritten, not once, but many times. This is because when a file is deleted, the operating system (e.g Windows XP) doesn't remove the information from the hard drive. All it does, is make it disappear from one application, namely, Internet Explorer. The memory allocated to this "space" on the hard drive is still very real and has not gone away. It is rather like taking an audio cassette out of the player and saying that the music on the tape has gone. Sure, if you play the machine with no cassette in it, it certainly "sounds" as if the music has gone. The cassette itself has to be erased, either with silence, or some other music to replace it. This is what has to happen to the index dat file.
If your laptop were to be stolen, what information could be recovered from your internet history? The modern day laptop thief is armed with data recovery software - freely available on the web. It is no longer just the Police or Government Bodies, that have access to forensic software. From a business perspective, a thief would potentially have access to your business contacts,competitors and even financial data.
Doctors and Lawyers invariably have confidential and sensitive data about clients stored on web pages. It would not take a thief long to retrieve this data from the web, now they know where to look. So what is the answer?
I believe that the general public are in the dark about so many aspects of computers and the way they work You need to get some privacy software which overwrites any file you desire.
This could be a deleted file form the recycle bin, internet explorer history - in fact any file you see fit. This type of software is not expensive.
Sure there are free ones out there - but why run the risk? This article was written not to alarm - but to inform.