Evidence Eliminator

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Evidence eliminators sound like staples for dirty cops, hitmen, drug dealers, and organized crime bosses, but they actually have a much more mundane application. Evidence eliminators are designed to destroy electronic records of your excursions across the Internet as well as fingerprints left from "offline" operations such as word processing. You don't need to be connected to the Web in order to leave your trace.

If you haven't been committing criminal acts, why on earth would you need an evidence eliminator? Well, it doesn't require your commission of a felony to land you in hot water. No, you may not end up behind bars for buying that "adult" accessory whose advertisement mysteriously popped up in your browser, but you could end up the victim of identity theft or credit card fraud, which is arguably even worse.

Leaving Tracks

The average internet user has no idea just how visible he or she is online. Even behind the safety of a firewall or a virtual privacy network (VPN), your doings are observable, and not just to your network administrator. Your internet service provider (ISP), other users on your network (such as your supervisors), and any hackers who are worth their salt can all watch your every move with the use of spying software.

In some cases, spying software isn't even required for making your website visits, downloads, and transactions completely viewable. As an employee of your company, you either tacitly or contractually agree to abide by its rules. You're using your employer's hardware and software and are being paid, presumably, for conducting business while you're on the clock. Thus, your boss has sufficient reason to listen in on your conversations, track your internet use, and even record your physical movements (within certain guidelines, of course).

How an Evidence Eliminator Can Help

There's not much that an evidence eliminator can do to help you at work, where your business is open to public view. At home, however, you'd be foolish not to cover your footprints after journeying from site to site and entering "sensitive" data. While running hard drive sweeps after every internet session is a bit much, the least you can do is take basic preventive measures.

The first sensible step to take is to erase your browser history. A record of the sites you've visited is kept in your browser, whether you use Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera, or any other product. It doesn't take much for thieves (or just your husband, wife, or kids) to get a close look at this history, especially when you've made it so readily available. Even if you erase these files, your past still exists in the form of "temporary internet files" as well, so cleaning out this box and deleting your "cached" pages is a good step two.

Enter Evidence Eliminator

These basic strategies are great for minimal to moderate protection against thieves and spies. Any relatively savvy internet peeper, however, can make fast work of your hard drive and uncover your "log files" to obtain this same information. An evidence eliminator can wipe that slate clean, even for your network administrator, who has the most justification of anyone for watching your every move. After all, he or she is partly responsible for crimes (such as child pornography or the sale or purchase of firearms) committed on that network.

Lest you think an evidence eliminator is only necessary for gangsters and pedophiles, think again. The majority of problems arise within households, such as instances when husbands and wives suspect their spouses of cheating. Even if you're not the unfaithful sort, you have a right to basic privacy. This is more than just good old Libertarian philosophy; it's a universal belief of all those who purchase some form of evidence eliminator, either online or at their local computer store.

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