I am sure all of us have documents on our Macs that are private and perhaps very personal. There comes a time when you need to Delete those documents. How do you do that securely? Enter Shredo a neat little App from mymixapps. But, why do you need to “shred” documents in the first place. Can’t you just throw them away in the Trash?
When you move a file or folder to the Trash the operating system removes the “File Header” so the file does not appear on your system any longer. However, only the “File Header” is removed, the actual file is still present in a Sector on your hard drive. I used to recover accidentally deleted files for people all the time when I was doing Mac Tech Support for a living. There are some excellent software Apps on the Mac that do this type of recovery.
The moral to the story is, if you want to really remove a file from your Mac you have to use an App that wipes the space where the file is located on your hard drive several times. That type of file removal is called “shredding” like running a piece of paper through a shredder in your office environment. This is where the excellent App Shredo comes into play.
The Shredo App from mymixapps is really versatile and easy to use. You can activate Shredo in two ways, by just opening the App outright or right-clicking on a document and choosing it from the Services Menu. Here is the main window of Shredo:
Once the App is open, just drag a file, files or folder onto one of the three erase methods:
With the file in the App, click the “Start Shredding Files” bar in the bottom of the window and Shredo does its thing. For my needs, I think the 7 – Pass is sufficient security, but if you wish you can use the 35 – Pass setting. The more passes, the slower the process.
The other perhaps easier way to activate Shredo is to right-click on a document and select Erase with Shredo from the Services Menu:
When you open a file to be shredded using the Services Menu Shredo presents this automatic drop down:
I wondered about the note in this drop down, “If shredding method is currently busy, its button will show as disabled.” I guess if you shred huge files it may take a while. To test this I shredded a 9 MB folder of stuff:
It took about a minute and a half to complete at the 7- pass setting. That is no big deal. If you are shredding large amounts of data, just set Shredo going and let it work in the background while you do other things.
If you have some files in Shredo and you change your mind you can click the “X” and remove them:
If you just want to check on a file in the Finder while it is sitting in Shredo, click on the magnifying glass symbol. Shredo takes you to the exact file in the Mac OS Finder.
There is a Secure Empty Trash button in the main window of Shredo:
Click on the Trash can and then click again on the desired shred level. Shredo will shred whatever is in the Trash automatically.
Shredo does have a few Preferences:
I set my Shredo to quit after shredding, but you could just leave it open if you were doing a lot of shredding on your Mac.
Also, you can set the Default shredding method:
I do not have this activated preferring to set the shred level manually. Again, if you were doing a bunch of shredding you might use this setting for convenience.
I want to mention one more thing here. If you click on the little screen icon in the top toolbar area of the App it transforms from a horizontal form factor to a vertical one:
I suppose this might come in handy depending on how much screen real estate you have on your Mac.
Last, but not least, because Shredo accesses low level stuff on your Mac, you need to go into System Preferences/Security & Privacy/Privacy Tab and activate Full Disk Access:
That is the first thing you should do after installing the App.
Shredo does one thing and it does it well; it shreds sensitive data that you throw at it. If you have any sensitive data you wish to shred or you think you may in the future, head on over to the Mac App Store and buy Shredo for the very reasonable price of $4.99. It may not be an App you use everyday, but when you need to do some shredding it will be ready in your Applications Folder to go to work.