Stealth Surfer Provides Privacy, Security Online

Whether you conduct business in cyberspace or just do the occasional armchair surf, guarding your privacy and identity are most essential in an age of phishing, pharming, malware infections and other on-line perils. While many ISPs such as AOL and NetZero try to entice customers with such things as spam filters and virus detecting software, they don’t offer anything substantial enough to actually disguise your web browser, probably the most sensitive and vulnerable component in regards to surfing safely and securely.

Fortunately, there is a computer peripheral called the Stealth Surfer which will cover your Internet tracks by directing cookies, cached files and downloaded images into a wafer thin, portable device which conveniently plugs into any available USB port. Stealth Surfer directs virtually all of the evidence of your Internet activity into this welcome device, thus keeping your net habits completely off of your computer and far away from the prying eyes of bosses, vengeful employees, or perhaps even suspicious spouses as well. Included with Stealth surfer is a special version of the Mozilla Firefox Browser, a surfing proxy called the Anonymizer and encryption software which is needed to insure overall Internet privacy. Also included in the package is Thunderbird e-mail which allows you to encrypt your e-mails so that they cannot be read if intercepted. Stealth Surfer also offers you a free Hushmail account in their attractive package as well.

One of the nicest features of Stealth Surfer is the Roboform which automatically copies passwords, credit card numbers and addresses needed to sign into websites. Once the data is initially recorded by this handy device, one only has to click on, let’s say, Amazon.Com or Travelocity.Com and Roboform will not only automatically guide the user to the appropriate website, but will fill in all the required info.needed to make a purchase or book a flight. This feature, of course, is also password protected, so only the user/owner of Stealth Surfer can have access to it. Go to: www.stealthsurfer.com for more information.

Prior to using the Stealth Surfer myself, I subscribed for one year, to the Metropipe Tunneler which also provides browser anonymity for web surfers. The Tunneler was convenient to use as no peripheral device was required for its operation. One simply signed on-line, clicked on the Metropipe icon and the browser would then be automatically disguised for as long as one surfed. However, Metropipe’s customer service was hardly up to par compared to Stealth Surfer, in this reviewer’s opinion. When I originally wanted to sign up, I had to do so by going to the Metropipe website and then IM with an anonymous someone using a screen name. I didn’t want to give them my credit card information and asked them for a phone number which they would not give to me, stating that they did all of their business on-line. Based on the scant information on their website, they were in the Midwestern time zone, although no specific address indicating their physical location was offered. In light of this fact, I could have been chatting with an identity thief in or for all I knew (they did turn out to be legitimate however). I believe that the kind of paranoia exhibited by the Metropipe folks in regards to the way in which they choose to interface with customers, will drastically curtail sales overall.

Another important aspect of computer security that is often over looked, can be found in the invisible realm of deep registry files, files that cannot be removed through the usual delete commands. Many a computer user have been fired from their jobs by company hired P.I.s accessing these hard to find files, hidden windows locations and ‘temporary’ records. If you are worried about what is lurking in the substratum of your hard drive, I recommend an easily downloadable version of Privacy Guardian developed by PC Tools Software, which will not only permanently get rid of these files but will ‘bleach’ your hard drive as well so that virtually no evidence of your past computer usage will remain. The Shredder feature is most convenient because you can drag files to it and have them permanently removed. But be careful of what you choose to dispose of, because there will be no way to recover it at all afterwards

Another recommended program put out by PC Tools is the Spyware Doctor. Spyware can be underhandedly downloaded into your computer via certain websites and then track your every on-line move, IM conversations and even banking transactions. There is even some rather sinister keylogging spyware that can record virtually every single key stroke you make on your computer and send them back to someone or something that wants to know more about you. Removing all traces of your computer usage on a regular basis is most recommended and Spyware Doctor certainly can help you along these lines in an easy to use way. The Popup Blocking feature greatly reduces the incidence of unsolicited and highly annoying ad windows appearing on your monitor. Check out: www.pctools.com for more information on these and other security products offered.

The number one menace, above all else, in regards to protecting your computer is the infamous virus in its myriads of forms. I find that Norton Internet Security is one of the best means to detect, quarantine and delete viruses, worms, and other noxious digital critters before they do serious, if not permanent damage to your computer and your files. The live automatic update feature, which occasionally runs while you surf the net is most helpful considering that dozens of new viruses pop up every day. Norton also will run automated virus check ups on your computer files and offer a feature where you can determine when and how often these checks are conducted. Norton’s firewall protection also is a very welcome feature when it comes to on-line safety. If a hacker is searching for a vulnerable port on your computer, a warning message will instantly come up to inform you of the intrusion. You can even locate the source of the server the hacker is using in attempts to attack you. So far I’ve had hackers from California even attempt to access my files. Thanks to Norton Internet Security, they all failed to bring my system down and I continue to surf with confidence that my system is fully protected.

Internet surfing should be relaxing, enjoyable and entertaining. Having the security programs and peripherals mentioned above on/in your computer will certainly help reduce the likelihood that you will fall victim to the malicious attacks of ever present hackers, spammers and other assorted on-line cranks and con artists.

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