Blank and Secure: Delete sensitive data permanently

Cezar Renta

If you’re looking for a simple way to make sure that the data you delete cannot be recovered, Blank And Secure is a free program that lets you easily do that. The Delete function available in Windows does not make data recovery impossible. To ensure that no one can recover deleted data, a specialized program such as Blank And Secure is needed.

Installation & Requirements

Blank And Secure is a portable application, so running it is resumed to launching the executable file. This tiny program also works on many Windows editions, namely Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, 2003, XP, Server 2008, Vista and 7.

Interface

The program’s UI has just a few straightforward options with a rather primitive design. You can add any files or folders via drag and drop and tweak the provided settings before starting the deletion process.

Hitting the Reset button will clear the list and you can choose to simply delete the data or exit the program once the process is complete. “Overwrite X times” can be set for any number between 1 and 35. Sadly, the higher you go, the longer it will take even though it will make data recovery impossible.

We’ve tested the “Overwrite 1 time” to scrub a collection of files and folders that added up to a total size of 1.3 GB. The process took 1 minute and 21 seconds. Deleting the same data with the “Overwrite 3 times” selected took 4 minutes and 10 seconds. In the last case, the program listed the total size of the data as being 3.9 GB so basically if we’ve chosen the “Overwrite 35 times” options it would have taken approximately 35x longer to complete than the initial test, which probably seems like forever.

The good news is that choosing smaller numbers for the overwrite function will provide more than decent security, but the higher numbers are there for anyone that has plenty of time on his hands. The Delete Delay function can be set to 0, but keeping it to a few seconds wouldn’t hurt in case you would change your mind and want to abort the process before it begins.

Last but not least, Blank and Secure can overwrite all blank space on the disk so nothing you’ve previously deleted using the default function would be recoverable.

Pros

– Small, portable application.
– Can fill free disk space with NULL.
– Data deletion can be performed by overwriting it 1-35 times with NULL.
– Data can be added using drag and drop.

Cons

– The GUI has several grammatical errors.
– You cannot remove individual items from the deletion list.

Conclusion

Blank And Secure is not a complicated tool, but it does include all the features one could need to permanently erase data, beyond any possibility of recovery. The straightforward UI is not perfect, but it does make deletion and setup as simple as they can get.