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Paranoia and deceit

The latest in privacy and security.

One way to keep prying eyes away from the information on your computers comes from StealthDisk.com. Version 2.6 of its StealthDisk program allows Windows users to hide files and folders with the click of a hot-key combination. StealthDisk itself is also undetectable and can remove the names of any secretly installed programs from the “Add/Remove Programs” file in the Control Panel. Additionally, StealthDisk can also automatically clear history lists, temporary Internet files, and cookies from Internet Explorer. The program also has a decoy program that runs in case an unauthorized user accidentally hits the hot-key combination, but does not enter the correct password. An unregistered version is downloadable for free.

Personal files and data should remain secure in the hands of Infoworks Technology Co. and its program, EncryptIt. Using a 448-bit Blowfish and 168-bit 3DES encryption algorithms, the program quickly and securely encrypts files and folders using a key that controls encryption and decryption. The neatest function about EncryptIt is that you have the ability to create a self-decrypting file. This allows you to send an encrypted file to a friend who can decrypt it, even if he doesn’t have the program. You can download a limited free version of the program from Infoworks’ Web site.

Zone Lab’s ZoneAlarm Pro 3 is a program that offers several interlocking security services to help protect your computer. In addition to the firewall to keep hackers at bay, ZoneAlarm Pro 3 has an Application Control that allows you to choose which applications can use the Internet. Program Control will monitor outbound traffic from your computer to prevent unauthorized programs from transferring information to a hacker. Zone’s monitor will notify you when a new application is trying to access the Internet; there is also an Internet lock that can stop Internet traffic when your computer is unattended. In addition to this, ZoneAlarm Pro 3 has an ad blocker, pop-up ad control, e-mail attachment protection, automatic intrusion blocking, and cookie controls. The program is free for individuals and nonprofits.

If you are concerned about the content your child is seeing online, Kintech has a program called QuietEye Suite that can help. Instead of acting as a filter attempting to block out information, QuietEye is a stealth program that remains hidden and can record anything typed into the computer. Along with recording keystrokes, QuietEye has several different options for taking screenshots. For example, you can set up a word list based on four different categories, including violence/hate, explicit language, sexual content, and user-defined. When any of the words in the word list are used, the program will automatically take a snapshot of the current screen. The program can also take screenshots at timed intervals and later display them as a slideshow. The download costs $29.95.

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