Looking for encryption software and browser security

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by book guy, Mar 10, 2006.

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  1. genius


    There has been a good (for the layman) treatment of this subject by Lou Dolinar (of Newsday), one of the few tech writiers that can write for the layman and the tech savy person in the same article. Particularly helpful is his "Hacking for Dummies" series.

  2. Bandaid


    Dowloading bootleg software is dangerous as hell, because you don't know what you're getting. Suppose you downloaded a copy of Evidence Eliminator, installed it, and it turns out to have embedded Trojan horses, worms, keyloggers, or something that sends the sites you visit somewhere you don't want them to go? Privacy/security software is the last thing you want to download as warez.
  3. book_guy


    Thanks to all!
  4. beadman



    Try any peer to peer software and u can find a free copy.
  5. fortydog


    You can also try gpg from http://www.gnupg.org/
    which is free.

    As for your browser...Mozilla, Firefox, or Opera are probably the best, but all browsers are pretty open to snooping if someone is trying to get you. Also, erase your history, cookies, etc. religiously and you will keep the amateurs at bay.

    Some great quotes about security and privacy...
  6. argleby


    This is kind of a different approach, but a Macintosh will do all that stuff right out of the box.
  7. BillyBonker


  8. Bandaid


    I mean that Evidence Eliminator has been used by some people who have material no one ought to have, stuff that I would cheerfully cut the nuts off of people for having. Norton Security Suite is easy to explain.
  9. book guy

    book guy

    "Owning it looks guilty by itself." Hrm. I think I'll go throw out my condoms now ... heh.

    No, seriously, thanks for the comments.
  10. Bandaid


    Norton Security Suite does most of the things you need done. If you have
    Windows XP *Professional,* (not Home) you can create an encrypted folder to hold sensitive files. Here's what the Windows Help says:
    To encrypt a file or folder
    Open Windows Explorer.
    Right-click the file or folder that you want to encrypt, and then click Properties.
    On the General tab, click Advanced.
    Select the Encrypt contents to secure data check box.

    To open Windows Explorer, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Windows Explorer.
    You can only encrypt files and folders on NTFS file system volumes.
    Files or folders that are compressed cannot also be encrypted. If you encrypt a compressed file or folder, that file or folder will be uncompressed.

    There's other packages like Window Washer that are designed to shread files and other privacy cleanups.

    Even with all this stuff, there's a problem: you have this big hole in your storage space and a large encrypted folder or folders that may create curiosity about what's in them. I use what I think is a better alternative for storing private stuff: an external hard drive.

    All your private material lives on that drive, and when you take it away, it's totally unreadable because it's not there. You can get a Western Digital Passport 80GB hard drive at Costco for $130. It's about twice the size of a pack of cards and has a mini-B connector that will hook it up to your computer's USB port and even power the drive most of the time. Put the thing in your bag and all your guilty pleasures go with you. You can even encrypt the files on that drive and be as safe as it's possible to be.

    You can't keep your workplace from knowing where you've been, since the traffic passes through their servers and firewalls before it gets to you. I don't even think an anonymous websurfing service like Anonymizer will work for this, but I could be wrong on this one.

    Finally there's Evidence Eliminator. It purports to absolutely protect you from every means of recovering stuff from your computer, including edge reads of previously ereased tracks. The downside is it's $250 or so and owning it looks guilty by itself.
  11. book guy

    book guy

    I'm wondering if anyone knows how I might go about "securing" some files on my home computer, and generally how to secure the tracks and trails of my web browser so that others can't figure out what I've done or where I've been, computer-wise.

    First there's the issue of securing some of the files I'm keeping. I have, for example, a good collection of DVD-quality porno files that I want to keep, but want to keep secret. In addition, I might want to put my money accounts in a similar "lock box." Is there good software for taking a folder and "locking it up" so that only users with a password can get at it?

    Second there's the issue of erasing my steps off of a computer after I've been browsing. I know how to manually clear cookies or erase the history. But I'd like a more complete solution.

    Finally there's the issue of NOT RECORDING my steps when I'm browsing the web at all in the first place. Is there a way to do this? For example, to keep my workplace from knowing where I'm browsing to? Or is that a foolish plan ... heh ...

    Anyway, advice appreciated. I currently use an old version of CyberScrub, and I find it pretty good. It will automatically wipe your browser traces (not just delete them, but WIPE them so hardware or software can't recover them), and will wipe whatever items you wish to delete. It does any of a number of multi-pass methods that essentially clear your hard drive to the extent that not even the CSI folks could figure out what used to be on it. But as you see from discussion above, clearing out past traces isn't all I'm interested in.

    Looking forward to wise and intelligent repartee!