Saturday, July 08, 2006

Privacy on the Internet Temporary Files

In my previous article, I spoke about cookies stored in web browsers. Today, I will continue my discussion on privacy on the Internet. Deleting cookies is a good place to start but, if you really want to erase your tracks on the Internet, you are going to have to remove more than cookies. Every web browsers records websites visited, search history, download history and temporary Internet files. Those who use a shared computer are especially at risk. Well, thankfully there are many ways to delete these files.

I recommend using a third party utility to remove these files. My recommendation is to use CCleaner (aka Crap Cleaner) I like CCleaner because it supports Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. The user interface is clean and very intuitive. Users can select to remove cookies, temporary Internet files, Internet cache and browsing history. It even allows users to select which cookies to keep. CCleaner can securely delete these items by running multiple passes. For instance, you can run 7 passes on the deleted files, which meets Department of Justice standard. Currently, the makers of CCleaner have bundled their software with Yahoo! toolbar to boost revenue. However, you can select to not install the toolbar during installation.

There are other freewares which perform just as well as CCleaner. IE Privacy Keeper is a good alternative; however, it supports Internet Explorer and Firefox. Opera fans won’t be able to use IE Privacy Keeper. But, who knows, as Opera’s popularity is increasing, the guys at UnH Software might want extend support to the web browser. Another alternative is Eusing’s Free Internet Washer; it is a newcomer. Like CCleaner, Free Internet Washer supports IE, Firefox and Opera. The user interface is clean and intuitive. There are a number of settings to fine tune what you want deleted or keep.

In the next article, I will talk about remaining anonymous on the Internet.

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