What Is BleachBit?
In 2016, South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy stated on Fox News that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s IT team deployed software called BleachBit to permanently delete emails “so even God couldn’t read them.”
BleachBit holds the capability to permanently erase files and data, preventing adversaries like thieves and digital forensic examiners from recovering the data successfully. Furthermore, BleachBit does not solely delete files but also may shred files to hinder recovery, eliminating free disk space to conceal traces of files obliterated by other software.
BleachBit is designed for Linux and Windows systems, but also has a version for Mac OS X.
How Does BleachBit Work?
BleachBit’s obliteration technique essentially incorporates writing to every unallocated part of the file system.
BleachBit Is Free To Use
What makes BleachBit extremely viable is that is free to deploy in any environment and the cleaning method utilized is irreversible.
The fact that BleachBit is also incredibly easy to use makes it enticing for users who are not tech-savvy.
Open Source Software vs. Closed-Source Software
Open source software such as BleachBit is advantageous compared to proprietary software because open source software permits inspection of backdoors.
Intelligence agencies need to put in more effort to backdoor open-source applications in contrast closed-source applications.
How To Use BleachBit to Permanently Wipe Data From Your Computer’s Hard Drive
1. Download BleachBit for your system’s operating system from the official site.
In this tutorial, we will choose the version for Windows.
Best Way To Use BleachBit
BleachBit’s installation on a system may leave merely a negligible footprint.
To exclude any traces, it is ideal to use portable media to run the BleachBit application.
However, our tutorial will illustrate running BleachBit with installation since that is recommended for most users.
2. Save The BleachBit Installation (Setup) File To Your PC
Save the new installation file to your computer.
3. Choose The Appropriate Installation Location For BleachBit
For illustration purposes, we’ll go ahead and install into “C:\Program Files (x86)\BleachBit”.
As we can see, this will be a light installation.
4. Run The BleachBit Application
Once the software has been installed, run it.
5. Choose What You Would Like to Delete Permanently On Your Computer
BleachBit permits you to select what you would like to wipe from your PC’s hard drive irreversibly.
You may also select the “Preview” option to see how many files will be deleted and how much disk space will be recovered.
6. Confirm What You Would Like To Delete, Press “Clean”, And Select “Delete”
Once you are certain that you want to wipe, select the “Clean” option and click on “Delete” to confirm.
Ensure that you have read the Delete confirmation message before proceeding to the subsequent step.
7. Confirm That The Files Have Been Deleted And Disk Space Has Been Recovered
Once the files have been successfully wiped and that the disk space has been recovered, we will see a green indicator above with the message “Done.”
Moreover, we will see the number of files that have been erased by the software and the exact amount of disk space that was recovered.
8. Explore The Various Options In The File Menu And Edit Menu Of BleachBit
There is a feature within the BleachBit software that allows a user to shred BleachBit’s configuration.
Notably, such function deletes the settings that were used. This feature may be found in the file menu.
It’s a good idea to look at the various options available when deploying this software.
While it appears that the feature was not applied, the apparent thing is that the application is installed.
Also, make sure to check out the preferences section of the application and adjust accordingly.
By the end of this tutorial, you have learned that one does not necessarily have to spend thousands of dollars on software to achieve a similar effect.