Soft Aware: Free software to protect identity is worth second look

Everybody wants to ensure that their privacy is protected when they’re online.  Whether using your phone, tablet, or laptop, you want to make sure your personal information is secure.  This is especially important if you use public Wi Fi hotspots. 

So how do you protect your privacy without spending a ton of money on software? 

Tor Browser, for starters, is a special version of Firefox that diverts data to protect your privacy.  With the Tor Browser you can browse the web as usual, but it uses thousands of relays to disguise where your data is coming from.  Tor Browser delivers secure browsing that is only slightly slower than normal and enables anonymous internet browsing provided that you practice safe internet surfing. 

Some software prevents tracking cookies from monitoring your browsing and reporting it back to advertisers.  Ghostery is one of those, and it also has the knack to tell you exactly what each company is looking at and what they are likely to do with your data.

While some software that is free can be a little “too good to be true,” you can’t argue with the price tag. That said, one of the more overlooked means of computer identity and subsequent theft is your password. Hackers are adept at stealing your key strokes, but with Key Scrambler Personal, the aptly titled software makes short work of this.

Key Scrambler Personal encrypts every letter you type and the free version supports 38 different browsers.  However, email, instant messaging, and online gaming do require a paid for version of the product.

For Windows users, you already know that Windows 10 is the most personal version of Windows.  But some feel it’s too personal and that Windows 10  gathers too much personal data.  Anti Spy enables users to disable advertising ID’s, Smart Screen filtering, and apps that can access your camera.

Finally, you have GnuPG or GNU Privacy Guard.  GnuPG is a tool for encrypting files and emails.  It enables users to encrypt and digitally sign documents with technology that is effectively unbreakable.

All of these programs are free software that provide security in a variety of different areas and will help ensure your peace of mind when it comes to protecting your privacy online. They can only do so much (since they’re free, remember?) to protect your identity but certainly is a good place to start if money is an issue.