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Erase free disk space from the command line
Authored by: ikioi on Apr 24, '08 09:41:02AM

"Do you work for the NSA? Didn't think so. You don't need to 'zero' your unused disk space."

I'm guessing you know the things I'm about to say already and just didn't think about them when you wrote this, but using secure erase means that Finder is configured to do secure erase when it empties the trash. It has no impact on, say Quicken's temporary files in /tmp . File in /tmp are also outside of the user's FileVault (assuming this person is using FileVault). There have also been multiple cases where people have suffered identity theft after their financial information was lifted from old drives despite the fact that it had already been (insecurely) deleted on the old drive.

With that said, FileVault, secure erase, and encrypted VM will cover the vast majority of people's needs. In fact, simple lack of familiarity with HFS+ on the part of thieves will cover a lot. Nonetheless, there are legitimate cases for a non-FBI-employee to want to erase the blank space on a root drive.

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