Privacy Advisor

PRIVACY PRODUCTS: A Few of the Latest Tools from the IT Masterminds

September 24, 2013

By Lindsey Partridge, CIPP/US

Hansel and Gretel had a reason to leave a trail of breadcrumbs, but do you? Cookies and other temporary files can not only lead hackers and data thieves to your information, but these informational breadcrumbs can leave a trail of data that can allow third parties to monitor your personal health, browsing history, online purchases and anything else that has entered the web.

As spying scandals and data breaches continue to ping our radar, IT masterminds continue to develop tools to help us while we continue on our never-ending quest for privacy.

Total Privacy 6.3.2.240

                              

The notions of Spyware and online tracking evoke images of an Orwellian world where there is no true notion of privacy. To pull the curtain over the Orwellian window, programmers and developers at Pointstone Software, LLC, created Total Privacy 6.3.2.240.

The software manages your electronic activity and sanitizes your Windows system, effectively sweeping up the breadcrumbs left behind. WhileTotal Privacywill not prevent your neighbors from looking into your windows or stop the Feds from monitoring your cellphone, it will help protect your privacy in the cyber world.

Hidden Reflex’s Epic Privacy Browser


Epic is touted by developers as a truly private browser. Where other browsers claim to be private—in reality only clearing your history after the browser is closed—Epic utilizes encryption on a user-friendly, open-sourced platform. This free download even claims to effectively block all third-party tracking methods.

Concerned about browsing speed?  Have no fear; by eliminating the tracking scripts, which generally bog down your system, Epic’s browser claims to run 25 percent faster.

CheckMyPrivacy.net


CHECK! No, it’s not chess…  It is your browser. Gaps in your computer’s security can render your data and your system susceptible to attack. “When in doubt, check it out.” To verify the safety and security of the system, Ryan Howard founded CheckMyPrivacy.net, a website dedicated to exposing your computer’s vulnerabilities—allowing you to protect yourself from a devastating malware attack.

PrivacyStar

Turning the Wall—make that Website—of Shame into a useful app: Have you ever gotten one of those annoying spam-texts?  Perhaps it was, “You could save thousands by refinancing your mortgage” or maybe it was “Make your living while working at home.” Whatever message it was, one thing is for certain—it was spam.

While most of us just get frustrated and delete the messages, one website and app developer is working to eliminate these pesky messages. Privacy Star is turning its website into a Worst of the Worst for spammers. The site serves as a database of no-go numbers for app users.

When a number is added to the worst-of list, the application blocks its messages, preventing it from transmitting to the subscriber’s phone.

Privacy Matters: Building Trust in Mobile Apps by MEF

If you look at an app’s privacy policy before you download it, there are three possible reactions:

  1. It looks like some form of hieroglyphics, and your eyes glaze over  or pop out of your head in a cartoonish manner;
  2. You understand exactly what it is saying, or
  3.  There is no privacy policy, which leaves you wondering what exactly they are collecting from you.

The Privacy Matters application fixes this confusion—except for those of you who understand the hieroglyphic— by facilitating the creation of coherent but simpler privacy policies. You no longer have an excuse not to have a policy nor to have an overly complex one.

Aspera Drive: Driving Ms. Data (in Beta)

Having a driver can make things simpler, as Ms. Daisy well knows.  Aspera Drive sets out to simplify all things data. From data transfer to management, it is all possible with Aspera’s unified sharing platform.   It allows you to remotely manage and access everything on your company’s server with the “access control, privacy and security of the company’s technology.”

If you have a product you’d like featured in an upcoming installment of The Privacy Advisor’s Privacy Products feature, e-mail Associate Editor Angelique Carson at acarson@privacyassociation.org.