Perhaps you already know that over a period of time you leave the traces of your computer activity behind in various places like Windows registry, hard disk etc. You may think that you can clean it all by clearing your internet browser history and few Windows items in the registry, but there are other traces that are buried deep inside your hard disk and are hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there is a free program called PrivaZer that can help you reveal you the many traces of your activity left on your PC and also help you to clear them up.
PrivaZer is an advanced privacy cleaner tool for Windows. It can scrub the traces of your internet history, old files (files that you have deleted but traces are present in hard disk), software use, registry entries and USB history (list of USB devices ever connected to your computer) on a multitude of devices. It can scan and clean your local hard disks, secondary internal storage devices, external storage devices, USB keys, iPod, MP3 players, SD cards and network storage devices.
You can download PrivaZer from its website. The download is around 3 megabytes in size. The downloaded file is both an installer and a portable application. When you run the downloaded file privazer.exe, it gives you options to install PrivaZer on your system or run it as a portable application without installing anything on your computer. I personally prefer using applications in portable mode. PrivaZer gives you an option to preserve your browser cookies so that you do not have to log on again to services like Gmail, Youtube, Hotmail etc. after cleaning is complete.
In the next step you are asked to choose a device that you would want to scan for traces of history. By default your local hard disk is selected but you can also choose other storage devices including iPod, MP3 players, USB keys etc. You can also choose a scanning method from the drop-down menu shown above the devices list. By default, the Scan in-depth method is selected which includes all other scanning methods. But you can also selectively scan for only internet activities, old files, software use, registry, USB history etc. You can also choose options for securely deleting sensitive files or folders without trace from this drop-down menu. Click on the OK button to go ahead with your selected options.
In the next window, you would be shown a long list of areas on your computer that you can choose to scan. I suggest that you leave them all selected. Then click on the Scan button to start the scanning button. The scanning process may take a long time if you have a large hard disk. On my 160 gigabyte Western Digital hard disk, it took only 6 minutes, 48 seconds and found thousands of entries in various places. For any category, you can click on the Traces link or the Scans Performed to see what traces are found and what areas were scanned for those traces respectively. In the end, you can select which areas you would like to clean by placing a checkmark in the respective checkboxes. Finally click on the Clean button to start cleaning the found traces.
The cleaning process is opened in a new window which shows the cleaning step by step. The files are deleted securely so they cannot be recovered by programs like Recuva. It shows an information window that first time cleaning might take a long time (even a few hours) but consecutive cleaning would be faster. The amount of freed space is also shown in the right side. For me, it cleaned and freed up around 14.3 gigabytes of hard disk space.
PrivaZer is an very thorough and powerful privacy cleaning tool. You can use it to get rid of all your computer use history under many different categories. It wipes the found entries using industry standard shredding methods so that deleted data cannot be recovered. You can also schedule scanning and cleaning of various categories if you have installed PrivaZer on your system. Everyone who is conscisous about their privacy should use this free tool once in a while. You can download it from http://www.privazer.com/.