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Top 10 Internet-privacy tools

PC World

February 29, 2000
Web posted at: 8:34 a.m. EST (1334 GMT)

(IDG) -- Advertisers crave information about how you spend your time on the Internet. They want to know what products you like, where and how much you spend, and how long you visit a particular Web site. If that sounds harmless, think again. Earlier this month, the FTC began inquiries into the practices of DoubleClick, an Internet advertising firm. At issue is the company's use of consumer information acquired from cookies that were located within banner ads placed on Web sites.

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The programs on this week's list will help you protect your privacy by blocking, tracking, and deleting cookies before they can reveal information about you. Evaluate which one works best with your browser by trying out one or all of them.

Top 10 Internet-privacy tools

  1. Cookie Crusher: Protect your privacy by rejecting Web site cookies before they hit your hard disk. The program will tell you whether the cookie is used for ad tracking, online shopping, or site tracking. Supports both Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

  2. AdsOff: This Internet tool accelerates your Web browsing by automatically removing Internet ads from Web pages. AdsOff supports Netscape, Opera, and Internet Explorer Web browsers and offers a fully customizable interface. An optional filter setting disables annoying pop-up windows.

  3. Cookie Cutter: Remove one or all the cookies on your system with this utility. The product has three capabilities: It finds all your cookie files, displays the files so you can decide whether to keep or delete them, and can delete the files automatically or at preset times that you choose. CCPC32 is compatible with Windows 95 and NT; CCPC16 is compatible with Windows 3.x.

      MESSAGE BOARD
     

  4. AdSubtract SE: This free utility prevents Web ads from appearing and selectively blocks cookies. You can turn on a sound feature that will notify you when ads and cookies are being blocked, and you can track intercepted cookies and ads. The program works with Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, and America Online.

  5. Cookie Pal: Control cookie files from all the popular Internet browsers, such as Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, CompuServe, AOL, and others. You decide which cookies to keep and which ones to reject. The program can run on the fly or behind the scenes while you do other things. Note: Check Kookaburra Software's Web site to make sure the browser you are using is compatible with this version of Cookie Pal.

  6. Cookie Cruncher: Cookie Cruncher lets you view and then delete cookie files that have accumulated on your hard drive. This program works with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, and AOL.

  7. Cookie Web Kit: This simple batch file and PIF combination will help you quickly eliminate any cookies, cache files, and even history files from your system, preventing snoops from seeing how and where you spend your time on the Internet.

  8. HistoryKill 2000: This Internet tool protects your privacy by deleting cached files and cookies while you surf the Web and after your browsing session. This version adds an option for auto-clearing at boot-up, auto-configuration capabilities, and support for Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, and AOL 4.0 and 5.0.

  9. NetWatcher 2000: This utility runs in the background while you're connected to the Internet. If it detects queries for information from your PC, it alerts you and immediately closes the connection. NetWatcher 2000 then logs the date and time and the IP address, port number, and host used by anyone trying to access data on your system.

  10. SurfSecret Test: Use this Web privacy utility to cover your surfing tracks. SurfSecret periodically deletes temporary Internet files, cache and cookie files, and Web images and text stored on your hard drive.



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RELATED SITES:
Cookie Crusher
AdSubtract
Cookie Web Kit

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