Con­fi­den­tially YOURS

ES­SEN­TIAL ANTI-SPY­ING FREE­WARE THAT WILL STOP A NOSY PARKER FROM PRY­ING INTO YOUR DATA CACHE.

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - COMPUTING - BY ASHISH BHA­TIA

1 My Lock­box

http://fspro.net/my-lock­box This tidy lit­tle tool helps you cre­ate a folder safe that you can keep locked and barred from snoop­ers on the prowl. You won’t growl at the setup. Easy-to-use, My Lock­box lets you as­sign a pass­word dur­ing the in­stal­la­tion process. The app hides the folder as well as its con­tents. A short­cut opens the pro­gram and a click on a tray icon locks the folder and closes the util­ity. There is no size lim­i­ta­tion and you can store an un­lim­ited num­ber of files in it. You can trig­ger it us­ing a user-de­fined hotkey combo. Best of all, short­cuts and “re­cently opened” file-trails won’t open any of the filed locked in­side Lock­box.

2 QFX Keyscram­bler Per­sonal

www.qfx­soft­ware.com/down­load.htm Maybe you know this, maybe you don’t. Key­log­gers are sneaky ma­li­cious spy pro­grams that cap­ture a com­puter user’s key­strokes—user­names, pass­words, credit card num­bers and other in­for­ma­tion—and send all this data to a third party via mail. And they can of­ten fool an­tivirus pro­grams too. Keyscram­bler clev­erly works to en­crypt your key­strokes at the key­board driver level and de­crypt them when they reach your browser so they’re vis­i­ble to you. KSP doesn’t en­crypt all your ac­tiv­i­ties. But any­thing you type—lo­gins, pass­words, e-mails, in-browser chats—are all en­crypted. You can set a hot key for en­abling and dis­abling the util­ity.

3 Privacy Mantra

www.codeode.com/pri­va­cy­mantra.html Even when no one is spy­ing on you, your PC is. Like it it or not, your com­puter knows, not only what you did last sum­mer but also what you were up to in the dead of the night last night! The pro­grams you run, the movies you watch, the files you open—ev­ery­thing is logged in the un­deletable in­dex.dat file—even af­ter the In­ter­net his­tory and cache has been scrubbed! PM is quite ef­fec­tive in safe­guard­ing the privacy of your ac­tiv­i­ties on your PC. This in­cludes white­wash­ing the ma­chine’s In­ter­net his­tory, cache, cook­ies, in­dex.dat files, au­to­com­plete forms, re­cent doc­u­ments, open and save di­alogs, search and run files. It of­fers 64-bit sup­port, lets you whitelist any en­try, and can be run from the com­mand line as well as pre-sched­uled.

4 Ad­fender

http://www.ad­fender.com Sim­ply put, this is an on­line ad blocker. It works with In­ter­net Ex­plorer, Fire­fox, Chrome, Sa­fari, Opera as well as some of the less pop­u­lar web browser. And this not only puts an end to those dis­tract­ing Flash ads but also saves you valu­able band­width and speeds up brows­ing. No in­tru­sive ads find­ing their way to your PC also means pro­tec­tion of privacy. Now while it doesn’t cut out all the on­line muck com­ing your way, it is does man­age to keep those an­noy­ing blink­ing Flash of­fend­ers off the screen. Ad­fender sits in the sys­tem tray and runs in the back­ground. You can eas­ily tog­gle it off/on and hit reload to see the dif­fer­ence. Oh, by the way, why talk of just browsers, Ad­fender can also block ads in P2P and IM ap­pli­ca­tions.

5 Snoopfree Privacy Shield

www.snoopfree.com/pri­va­cyshield.htm It may look quite ar­chaic and bor­ing but Snoopfree Privacy Shield works pretty well in un­earthing any pro­grams that is try­ing to spy on you. Not only does SFPS tell you the names of the spy tools and the lo­ca­tion of these rogues, it also spec­i­fies the files/data that has been cap­tured. You can then take the ap­pro­pri­ate steps to delete them and re­move the in­tru­sive pro­gram to block fur­ther spy­ing. Un­for­tu­nately, SFPS doesn’t unin­stall spy pro­grams. So you need to ac­tion that part your­self. No li­cence to kill, but other than that it is very good at catch­ing spies.

6 File Shred­der

www.fileshred­der.org When you delete a file, it merely changes its lo­ca­tion to the re­cy­cle bin. And even when deleted from the thrash can, it can still be re­trieved via an Un­delete util­ity. How­ever, File Shred­der can per­ma­nently, ir­re­triev­ably and ev­er­last­ingly an­ni­hi­late files for you. It’s be­cause in­stead of merely delet­ing file ref­er­ences, it ac­tu­ally nukes the data it­self by rewrit­ing the files with ran­dom se­ries of bi­nary data mul­ti­ple times. The pro­gram of­fers five shred­ding op­tions, rang­ing from a sim­ple one pass right up to some­thing known as the Guttman algorithm with 35 passes.

7 Hotspot Shield

http://hotspot­shield.com If you use public Wifi net­works, you just have to in­stall Hotspot shield. As the moniker sug­gests, this safety net util­ity pre­vents ne­far­i­ous el­e­ments from in­fil­trat­ing your con­nec­tion to a public hotspot and spy­ing on you. The pro­gram es­tab­lishes an en­crypted con­nec­tion to the Hotspot Shield servers and con­verts your HTTP traf­fic to the far safer HTTPS mode. Hotspot Shield is browser-in­de­pen­dent and ap­pears as a tog­gle-off/on sys­tem tray icon. It also de­tects and blocks known mal­ware sites. Setup can be a tad complicated though. Re­mem­ber, se­cu­rity is mor­tal’s chiefest en­emy so don’t be com­pla­cent and in­stall this to keep your pri­vate data from fall­ing into the wrong hands.

8 Iden­tity Finder Free Edi­tion

www.iden­ti­tyfinder.com/us/home/iden­ti­tyfinder/free The prime source of in­spi­ra­tion and in­for­ma­tion for iden­tity theft is of­ten your own PC. IFF is de­signed to scan your PC and and un­earth un­se­cured pass­words, credit card num­bers and other per­sonal data. Fur­ther, it gives you an op­tion to se­cure, delete, se­cure, re­cy­cle or ig­nore the find­ings of its scan re­port. Oddly (and stupidly), the re­cy­cle func­tion merely dumps the in­se­cure item in the Re­cy­cle Bin. How point­less is that! IFF comes with a Pass­word Vault, File Vault, File Shred­der, Sys­tem Cleanup, and Browser Se­cu­rity. It’s Sys­tem Cleanup tool delves into the his­tory, cache, as well as tem­po­rary file repos­i­to­ries to dig out any tell­tale iden­ti­fiers.

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