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Importance of Privacy Protection

Posted on May 10, 2011
Privacy protection is an important modern security feature. It doesn't matter whether you are a stay at home mom, a small business owner, or the CEO of a multi-national company, because we all need it to some extent.

Online Activity Is Easily Tracked

It is an unfortunate fact of life that the activity of modern computer users can easily be tracked by those who are curious enough to do so. Understandably, many people are not comfortable with this, and it is for this reason that almost every browser now comes with a private browsing feature. By default this feature is not turned on, but a few quick clicks can make your surfing invisible to others on Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome and more. When browsing the Internet privately, no sites you visit will be added to your browser's history, passwords will not be saved or automatically entered, web addresses will not auto-complete in the address bar, cookies will not be stored, and temporary Internet pages will not be cached on your computer.

Protecting Your Privacy

With all these features disabled, the ability to track a user's Internet habits is greatly decreased. However, privacy like this comes at a cost. Private browsing will undoubtedly help ensure your anonymity online, but it will also mean a good deal of inconvenience. You will have to sign in with usernames and passwords at all your favorite social network and retail websites, you won't be able to save any bookmarks, and the ability to find that website you were on last week, but have now forgotten, is gone. In short, private browsing really restricts your online experience, so it is often used very selectively.

Thankfully there are products available that allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds. Using privacy protection software, you can browse the Internet with all its inherent conveniences and clear your tracks later. Most of the time, this can be set up to work automatically on a schedule. With this feature, you won't have to worry about remembering to clean up after yourself as the software does it for you. Just set it and forget it. Look for products like Webroot's Window Washer, Cyberscrub's Privacy Suite or PC Tools' Privacy Guardian if you truly want the best solutions for online privacy.

Offline Habits: Not All Privacy Problems Are Internet-Related

But, what about your offline habits? Did you know that files that you delete from your computer can still be recovered at a later date? Remnants of these deleted files remain on your hard drive even after deletion, and can often be easily retrieved with data recovery software.

To protect your privacy offline, you need secure deletion software that can permanently erase all traces of deleted files on your computer. This technology is increasingly available to consumers, and it is not hard to find software that will complete this task with the same tools used by the military and government agencies. Dedicated software like Heidi Computers' Eraser is a great choice to make sure that your data is gone for good.

Don't Be a Target for Identity Thieves

The importance of privacy protection should not be underestimated. Identity theft is increasing, and the need for a worthy defense is higher than ever. If you haven't been taking computer privacy issues seriously in the past, then now is the time to start. A small investment now can save you a world of hurt later.

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