Keep Your Browsing Habits Private

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A recent Wall Street Journal article about how web users are tracked and snooped on caught our attention. The article starts by looking at how cookies track your web browsing to help advertisers know what ads to display. (Cookies also have legitimate usages, to record your user name on a site, keep track of site-specific display options, etc.) The article offers a number of suggestions for controlling cookies, blocking ads, and more. Intego has two programs that can help with this type of privacy control. Here’s a quick overview of some of these privacy features.

First, VirusBarrier X6, which is much more than just an antivirus, comes with a powerful suite of surf and privacy tools. The program lets you block cookies, and lets you make a whitelist of cookies for sites that you visit regularly; it has a powerful ad-banner filter, which can keep web sites cleaner, and especially get rid of those annoying flashing ads; and it can hide information that your computer provides to web sites about what platform and web browser it uses, and which web site you visited last. Together, these features can help cut down that amount of information web sites collect about you.

The second program, Washing Machine 2, cleans up what your surfing leaves behind on your Mac. Washing Machine 2 cleans out cookies, browser caches, download histories and more. You can clean these items manually, or set a schedule and have them cleaned automatically.

Intego Washing Machine

It’s worth noting that the Wall Street Journal article mentions the use of private browsing, but recent research has shown that private browsing isn’t that private. For example, if you visit sites that use Flash, that plug-in saves its own cookies that your browser won’t delete. (Washing Machine 2 will delete Flash cookies.) But it turns out that, overall, private browsing isn’t absolute.

If you’re concerned about your privacy when surfing, you need to be aware of which programs can help you manage such issues easily and automatically. Using Intego VirusBarrier X6 together with Washing Machine 2 can keep your Mac clean and reduce the number of tracks you leave behind on the web.

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