How do you get rid of or hide such files? Ah, that’s the challenge. First, there are half a dozen inexpensive apps that help to clean up Mac caches (browser history, downloads, etc.).
You can also use the Mac’s built-in FileVault option to encrypt you files and prevent them from being discovered or seen by prying eyes.
Or, you can take those files you worry about the most and simply delete them.
Here’s the problem with deleting files on your Mac. They’re not deleted. Those files may hang around, unseen, hidden, but available, for days, weeks, months.
Why? On your Mac, delete doesn’t mean delete. All files have a little digital flag that says, “Here I Am.” When you delete a file, the flag changes to, “I’m not here,” even though the file may still be there. If it gets overwritten, great. File. Now. Gone.
The best way to delete files you don’t want others to see can be done one of two ways.
First, in the Mac’s Finder menu there are two basic options. Empty Trash (which deletes files in the Trash). Or, Secure Empty Trash. That’s the more secure option because it deletes, slices, dices, and overwrites Trashed files seven times, making them virtually impossible to recover.
Second, there’s Permanent Eraser. This free Mac app also securely deletes files you don’t want to be seen by others.
Permanent Eraser uses an even stronger erasure method, overwriting old data 35 times, scrambling the original file name, truncating the file size, and then unlinking from the Mac’s file system.
Again, it’s nearly impossible to recover a file or files erased by Permanent Erase. Not bad for an app that’s free, right?
It won’t help clean your browser tracks (unless you have a Mac app that moves those files to the Trash), but it works quickly and efficiently. Think of it as a shredder for digital files.