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First of all, the basics: I'm on a linux system (Crunchbang, a Debian-based distro), 64-bit, ext4 filesystem.
I'm already somewhat familiar with Truecrypt. To my understanding, 256-bit AES is supposed to be pretty good. Thoughts/opinions on this versus other encryption schemes?
I'm also curious about properly removing files. I know in Windows there are some programs made special for "secure deletion," none of which I can recall off the top of my head. In linux, the methods I'm using currently are "wipe" (less frequently) or "shred," specifically shred -zuvn 100 file.
There are some (maybe) problems with these, though. First, in linux, is shred a good program to use on a journaling filesystem like ext4? Currently, for "secure files," I'll copy the file into the truecrypt file (filesystem?) and then "securely delete" it from its original location. However, I'm not sure that this is quite enough. Even if that one named file is removed, might there be other nameless copies of it in some temporary, obscure location in the filesystem?
There's also the issue of RAM. Do utilities exist for flushing the ram of any data written on it, like a bootdisc or something? This is going on the assumption that such a thing would be impossible to do without rebooting the PC, but if that's not the case, then I'm happy to hear of any non-bootdisc solutions as well.
Essentially, the best ways to encrypt files, and also, to make them disappear as if they never existed; completely unrecoverable by any organization on the planet. Thoughts?
And hey, Windows guys, feel free to chime in as well. If for nothing else, then for posterity's sake.