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Best Privacy Software

Privacy Software

Reading time: 6 – 9 minutes

There are hundreds of great privacy software programs that  protect you from hackers, spammers, phishers, identity thieves, corporate espionage, human rights violations, and oppressive governments.  Old software gets outdated and newer and better privacy software gets released constantly, but this is our best effort to guide you to some of the best privacy software at the best value.  Every single piece of privacy software mentioned here might not be necessary, but using a smart combination of a few of them can increase your computer privacy significantly.  You should always conduct some independent research and review before purchasing, installing or using any software.

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Internet History Privacy Software

When you surf the web, your computer stores tons of data about where you have been on the internet, what you have been doing and what information you have entered when surfing the web.  Over time, this information builds up on your computer.  If someone gains access to your computer, something that is common and easy to do, they will have a treasure trove of personal data that could cause you serious problems.  Things like credit card information, bank account information, passwords, social security numbers, all are likely to be accessed by these kinds of hackers.

To prevent this, you need to regularly remove this information from your computer so that it does not pile up like a digital fire hazard.  Here are some of the top rated privacy software products to help with this.

Webroot Window Washer – $18.99 (all prices are estimated) – Removes unnecessary files, cleans up internet use, overwrites files to truly delete them, frees up computer space.

Cyber Scrub Privacy Suite – $59.95 – Frees up disk space, cleans up internet history, erases Vista shadow copies, uses 256 bit encryption, protects emails and chats, overwrites deleted files.

Portable Firefox – Free – Keep your browser on a flash drive.  Minimizes information stored and shared, doesn’t put information on the PC at the same risk, portable for use on multiple computers.

AntiVirus Privacy Software

Sometimes just removing information from your PC isn’t enough.  Often times a computer virus will cause your computer to collect and transmit data surreptitiously.  To prevent the most common viruses, use a good anti virus software like these.

Norton – $44.99 – Standard anti-virus PC protection from one of the most trusted names in anti-virus.

McAfee – $54.99 – Standard anti-virus PC protection from one of the most trusted names in anti-virus.

AVG – Free – Standard anti-virus protection, although less robust than the paid version, from a trusted name in free anti-virus protection.

Email Privacy

Email is one of the most notoriously unprotected forms of communication.  Not only is it possible to collect and analyze all plain text emails (that is emails that you have not taken steps to encrypt), but it is extremely easy for oppressive governments, identity thieves and hackers to get the contents of emails.  To prevent intrusion by oppressive governments and unscrupulous identity thieves, use email encryption services.

PGP – $164 (Lifetime) – Protect the security of your emails.

Hushmail – Free – Encrypt your emails as they bounce around the internet, or, if emailing another Hushmail user, completely protect messages from just about all but warrant searches.

Encryption

Whether it is business data that needs to be protected from competitors, or private communications with your attorney, or just keeping files on your laptop, like banking information, tax information, or other files that you don’t want compromised in case your laptop gets lost or stolen, you need to encrypt at least some of your files. Here is some great privacy software for doing that.

GnuPG – Free (Requires some skill to use) – Allows you to encrypt your data and your communications.

TrueCrypt – Free (Extremely easy to use)  – Allows you to encrypt your data.

KeyScrambler Personal – Free – Keeps your keystrokes from being logged by keyloggers.

Internet Use Itself

Your IP address says a lot about you, your location, etc. and can be used to identify you personally.  It can also be used to track you around the internet to figure out what you are doing, even if you have used other software to prevent your internet history from popping up.  Plus, oppressive governments can just ask your ISP where you have been on the internet.  If you don’t want this to happen, you should turn your web surfing into anonymous browsing with these tools.

DropBox – Free – Cloud based file storage. No need to access files from any particular computer that might be compromised to track you.  It is encrypted and you can upload files encrypted yourself for double the pleasure and double the fun of encryption.  Paid services offer more storage.

IdentityCloaker – $110 per year – Makes anonymous browsing automatic and easy.  Allows you to choose from several countries to base your anonymous browsing so you can watch the BBC from outside of England or watch Hulu from outside of the US.

Cryptohippie – $275 per year – Gives you access to their secure encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) to do anonymous browsing, even from public WiFi hotspots, hotels and other public places.

Proxify – Free – Anonymous web proxy.  Free but can be slow and limited functionality of some sites.

Tor – Free – Onion router which bounces your web traffic around through different servers to make it very difficult to trace your internet use to your IP address.

Password Management Privacy Software

No matter how secure your networks, encryption, anti-virus and computer habits, the weakest point of all security systems is the password.  Good password habits go a long way, but with increasing computing power, it is becoming increasingly easy to break simple passwords by brute force.  Using password generators helps you keep track of more passwords and make those passwords more complex to prevent brute force attacks.

KeePass – Free – Keeps track of all of your passwords.  You only have to remember one password to unlock the secure database where they are stored.

RoboForm – $26.99 – A lot like KeePass except it enters your passwords automatically.  This can be very helpful when your strong passwords are long, complicated and easy to misspell.

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15 comments

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bill Rounds, Esq. is a California attorney. He holds a degree in Accounting from the University of Utah and a law degree from California Western School of Law. He practices civil litigation, domestic and foreign business entity formation and transactions, criminal defense and privacy law. He is a strong advocate of personal and financial freedom and civil liberties. This is merely one article of 123 by .
Free HowToVanish Privacy Guide

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Computer Security Services May 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Legal proceedings regarding Evidence Eliminator:

“In a 2005 DirecTV, Inc. v. Borow the court ruled that the use of Evidence Eliminator in and of itself constituted evidence of a deliberate attempt to destroy evidence of criminal actions.[9]

The MGA v. Mattel suit is an example of such a case, where an ex-employee (Carter Bryant) used it to hide information he was accused of giving to MGA while employed at Mattel.”

That is why I did not include Evidence eliminator and I wanted to but could not out of concern for the people who may buy it and use it and get into trouble from their use of it. I could have made money from it but the safety and security of people is more important than money even though I do not have much myself.

Computer Security Services

2 blob456 June 3, 2011 at 5:14 am

If you are using secure deletion software to shred evidence in a crime then it is considered shredding evidence. But there is nothing illegal about secure deletion software itself (it’s a feature in commercial AV software and open-source OSs) or using it outside of a criminal situation – for example, it’s strongly recommended to shred your disk before selling a laptop. IIRC Evidence Eliminator was a shareware history cleaner, not a secure deletion software. I recommend the open-source Heidi Eraser, previous version 5.8.8.

3 Zulu January 28, 2012 at 11:18 pm

What’s a good keystroke scrambler for Mac OS X?

4 Kerry Chhim March 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm

HushMail is not as secure as you think. You still have to encrypt of emails locally before emailing them.

5 lux October 4, 2012 at 7:28 am

Dropbox gives your data to the feds when ever the feds ask for it, according to security now, and there is this http://paranoia.dubfire.net/2011/04/how-dropbox-sacrifices-user-privacy-for.html

6 lux October 4, 2012 at 7:32 am

Also I like the idea of Proxify, There is a facebook group for people to talk about this, http://www.facebook.com/groups/240021309453324/ not that any one on this site is using facebook, well at least not with a real name ;)

7 lux October 4, 2012 at 8:36 am

McAfee is linked to internet censorshiop, as for hushmail I am a real fan of hushmail :)

8 Trace Mayer, J.D. October 4, 2012 at 8:26 pm

lux, Yes, those issues do exist. There are other tools like Spideroak and Retroshare for distributed data storage. But Dropbox and TrueCrypt do a pretty good job at cheap, private and secure redundant storage of items.

9 peaser0712 March 31, 2014 at 12:03 am

With respect to evidence eliminator, the only time that use of such an act would be illegal would be if the user is employing the software to destroy data after it is subject to search and seizure in a criminal case. I am free to use it on my computer as much as I want as long as my computer is not material evidence of a pending criminal investigation.

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