Here's How to Sanitize Your PC With PrivaZer
PrivaZer is a computer clean-up utility on steroids. It gets rid of junk files and wipes away traces of activity that could compromise your privacy. Maybe you think that sounds like some other program you've been using, but trust me, PrivaZer does MUCH more. Read on to learn how it works, and why you should try it...
What is PrivaZer?
I admit I get a bit jaded after reviewing many free software utilities each year. Many are only marginal improvements upon dozens of programs that do essentially the same thing. An increasing number are of the irritating “foistware” genre that attempt to trick me into “agreeing” to installation of unwanted software, monitoring of my online activity, and so on. It’s gotten to the point where you can’t just click on “Express install” and go for coffee; you have to watch what an installation program is doing every second.
So I get excited when a program doesn’t make me yawn, and doesn’t try to scam or scare me. I really pay attention when it does things that no other program I’ve seen does, and does old-hat stuff better than anything I’ve ever seen. When I find that it’s truly free, with only a humble request for unspecified donations via Paypal, I pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming!
The "clean and optimize your PC" field has been crowded for years with things like CCleaner, Advanced System Care, and many others. Even some popular anti-virus tools are offering to optimize your computer. But PrivaZer leaves them all gasping in its dust. I first reviewed PrivaZer back in 2013, and I'm pleased that it remains a useful and free tool that has kept up with changing technology and emerging privacy threats.
The first time you run PrivaZer, you may be dazzled by the number of clean-up options. But you won’t be confused, because they are clearly and cogently explained. A recommended option doesn’t just have the word “recommended” next to it; it includes a brief explanation of why it’s recommended and what it will do that’s different from other options. It even has options for Basic and Advanced users, and will adapt to your needs and skill level. Wow! What a concept: treating users as if they have brain cells!
During everyday use of your home or office PC, you may create, modify, delete or download files, install software, browse the Web, watch online videos, and communicate with others in a variety of ways. All of those activities can leave traces, even if you're privacy conscious. This normal computer usage can also make your PC slower, cluttered, and low on hard disk space.
You probably already know that when you delete a file, it's not really gone. Your operating system just removes the link to it, and the file remains on your hard drive until it eventually gets overwritten by other data. You probably didn't know that when you insert and then remove a USB flash drive, some traces of the data on the USB drive (file names and dates) remain on your computer.
Delete, Expunge, Eliminate, Obliterate, Sanitize
PrivaZer permanently and irreversibly gets rid of your old deleted files and removes residual traces from the file access tables and free space on your hard drive. The PrivaZer documentation says that after a cleanup operation, no recovery is possible, even with dedicated data recovery software such as TestDisk, Recuva, Glary Undelete, Easeus Data Recovery, or Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery.
Your personal documents are preserved, but useless temp files, log files, Internet browsing history and image thumbnails are deleted. PrivaZer does a "smart cleanup" of cookies and jumplists so you won't need to enter your saved logins, passwords and shipping address again. Items that you have pinned or bookmarked are preserved.
The first scan and clean-up of my PC's 250 GB SSD hard drive took about ten minutes, not because PrivaZer is slow but because it does an enormous amount of work. After the scan portion, I had three options for the cleanup phase. I chose the middle one, which promised "medium privacy" with a much quicker cleanup. I have run CCleaner and other manual optimizations on this machine, but PrivaZer still found over 20,000 files and about 9 gigabytes of stuff it could trash or fix.
The fixes are good, too. My computer's performance does seem snappier than when it first came out of the box. The disk space recovered is unimportant because I had plenty of free space to begin with. But all my disk sectors – including free space - are now squeaky-clean of file fragments and other “smudges” that can corrupt data, make data difficult to read, and otherwise slow system performance.
But Wait... There's More (or maybe I shhould say LESS)
PrivaZer does more than C: drives. It cleans and speeds up external drives, network drives, USB flash drives, SD memory cards, iPods, MP3 players, and just about anything that you can plug into a computer. Duplicate files, temporary files, log files, and unneeded Windows update files are zapped. Even old, festering Windows installs left over from a system upgrade are detected and removed.
In addition to cleaning files and filesystems, PrivaZer does a thorough (but careful) scrubbing of your Windows registry. But just to be safe, I recommend that you check the "Create a restore point" and "Save registry" boxes before running the scan and clean.
Optionally, you can remove web browsing history, saved passwords, and cookies. If you don't use the Hibernation feature, PrivaZer can disable it and remove the hibernation file, which can be huge. If there's anything there that's unnecessary, or a potential privacy risk, PrivaZer can and will nuke it on demand. It even comes in a portable version, so you can keep it handy on a USB drive and help out friends who need a good PC cleanup.
The only thing I don’t like about PrivaZer is that capital “Z” in its name. Oh, and it doesn't come with a free set of steak knives. I highly recommend PrivaZer. You’re going to like the way it works. I guarantee it. If you want to free up some space on your hard drive, improve your privacy, or erase your Internet history, give it a try and let me know how it works for you.
Your thoughts are welcome! Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 14 Nov 2019
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Here's How to Sanitize Your PC With PrivaZer (Posted: 14 Nov 2019)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved