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.
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.
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.