Software

Protect your privacy with these five applications

There are a number of different utilities that you can use to mitigate risk and help protect your privacy.

The Internet is not a riskless place. It is filled with sites that are bent on compromising your privacy. Many general retail sites track your shopping habits and Web browsing history. More questionable sites may attempt to install key loggers or other types of Trojans. Fortunately, there are a number of different utilities that you can use to help protect your privacy. This article outlines five such applications.

This blog post is also available as a TechRepublic Screenshot Gallery.

Five Apps

1. R-Wipe&Clean

R-Wipe&Clean is designed to protect your privacy by removing some of the most commonly exploited data. The simple act of using your computer generates data files that can be exploited. This includes things like temporary files, the Internet Explorer cache, recently used document lists, and even the Windows Pagefile. R-Wipe&Clean is designed to protect your privacy by securely deleting unnecessary data files that could potentially be used to compromise your privacy.

R-Wipe&Clean goes far beyond the normal Internet cleaners. It recognizes dozens of different data types and lets you choose which of these data types you wish to remove. You can even perform scheduled wipes.

R-Wipe&Clean sells for $28.99, but a free 15-day trial is available for download.

2. KeyScrambler Personal

KeyScrambler Personal is a free tool that is designed to combat key loggers. The utility acts as a driver that encrypts keystrokes so that they cannot be interpreted by a key logger. The utility is designed to load when Windows starts up and is enabled using a simple hot key.

3. Wise Folder Hider

Wise Folder Hider is a free tool that is designed to hide the existence of folders containing sensitive data.

The application is simple, easy to use, and it works surprisingly well. You must simply drag files and folders to the Wise Folder Hider interface. Upon doing so, the files and folders disappear from File Explorer. The Wise Folder Hider application is password protected, but it is possible to add an additional password to data that is extra sensitive. That way, the data is only accessible to those who know both passwords.

4. File Shredder

File Shredder is a free tool that is designed to securely erase files from your computer. In addition to its ability to shred files and folders, you can also securely erase any data that might be lurking within supposedly free disk space.

The File Shredder interface is relatively simplistic, but the application does allow you to choose between several different algorithms for securely deleting data.

5. ChrisPC Free Anonymous Proxy

ChrisPC Free Anonymous Proxy is a free tool for anonymously surfing the Web. Although there are countless utilities that do the same thing, there is one thing makes ChrisPC Free Anonymous Proxy unique.

ChrisPC Free Anonymous proxy allows you to access Web sites that have been blocked. This ability could be especially useful to those who travel a lot (like me). Many hotels block Web sites such as Netflix and Hulu in an effort to get guests to purchase pay per view movies. Likewise, some American Web sites are blocked when visiting foreign countries. ChrisPC Free Anonymous Proxy can help you to access the blocked content.

Also read:

About

Brien Posey is a seven-time Microsoft MVP. He has written thousands of articles and written or contributed to dozens of books on a variety of IT subjects.

8 comments
downtoearthman
downtoearthman

I'd like to know if there is a Wise Folder HIder alternative.

Britisch
Britisch

I agree with Cynyster - in fact, I'm surprised that TrueCrypt didn't make the 'A' list. It fully encrypts any storage medium, including free space (which means eraser/wiper/secure deleters are redundant and unnecessary). Hard drives on PCs and Laptops cannot be accessed by thieves or clandestine investigators. I use it to encrypt the system (boot) hard drives of all of my systems and have never experienced trouble with it.

KJackson50
KJackson50

Thanks for the list, looks amazing

osama_
osama_

Is it safe to allow an external software to access your keystrokes? I think using the On-Screen keyboard of Microsoft is safer than KeyScrambler Personal.

Cynyster
Cynyster

There are a number of programs that are great for security. I use the following (some are free some are not but worth the cost) 1: Truecrypt ( I use it to encrypt thumb drives) http://www.truecrypt.org/ 2: Roboform (password manager and form filler) http://www.roboform.com 3: Ccleaner (temp file hunter / delete... the only registry cleaner I will use is part of this) http://www.piriform.com/ 4: Eraser (secure file delete) http://sourceforge.net/projects/eraser/ 5: Use a VPN service. Much more stable than a "Proxy service"

ahanse
ahanse

Individual privacy went very early and further fuelled by everyone clamouring to expose their details to all corners of the internet. Businesses/Enterprises are slowly becoming an open book. The only saving grace we have is our personal data will be as a grain of sand on the beach unless of course we expose ourselves as a person of interest. The momentum is such that going back will be nah impossible. I am saving my pennies to buy a backhoe but even that will only solve part of the problem.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you worry about your individual privacy? Do you worry about the privacy of your enterprise? What steps do you take to ensure privacy?

gmichaels
gmichaels

I tried out a VPN (actually paid for the service,) but I was disappointed by how many times that my connection was dropped. I decided that it wasn't worth the hassle.

Editor's Picks