Most people are careful to shred their financial documents and keep a careful hold on their personal paperwork, but what about online and on their PCs? With the ever-present threat of spyware and identity theft, ensuring that personal details remain safe should be a top priority for all computer users. The latest version of ParetoLogic’s Privacy Controls software aims to make this task easier, and a lot more thorough.
Every action taken on a PC is recorded. Downloaded programs, visited websites, opened files, entered passwords and even instant messages are locked deep in a computer’s memory. A clever hacker who infiltrates a computer may copy online banking information for illegal transactions, steal personal data for identity theft, hijack email accounts for spamming, or snoop on the user’s private life.
Norman Eldridge, Technical Product Manager at ParetoLogic, said that “even with security software protecting against malware, people need to consider other methods that their personal data may be compromised: selling their used PC, having their computer stolen, or even being spied on by people who share their system.”
The latest web browsers have responded to this threat with new privacy options and ‘stealth’ modes. Internet Explorer 8’s InPrivate mode, for example, stores only the cookies and temporarily internet files required to browse normally, and then deletes these files automatically. However, Mr. Eldridge explained that this is not enough. “To fully erase your private details and history, you need to overwrite the data. Otherwise it is recoverable.” Privacy Control’s shred functionality does just that, overwriting browsing history, application history, and user-selected files. This permanently destroys the data, which cannot be restored, even with highly developed data recovery tools.
The most recent version of Privacy Controls upgrades these shred features, enhancing the scanning process to clean personal information from the latest programs. The expansion also adds support for the new 32-bit Windows 7 operating system. “A new operating system does not necessarily provide new security for personal information. If anything, the latest OS has more ways for your data to be recorded,” said Mr. Eldridge. Along with support for Windows 7 32-bit, Privacy Controls also supports Windows Vista and XP.