What are the Key Requirements for Privacy Control Software?

by: Chet Childers

Are you concerned about protecting your privacy regarding your computer activities? With today’s personal computers and operating systems insuring your privacy on your personal computer requires much more than simply performing the history deletion functions.

Today’s computers and operating systems are powerful recorders that trace, track and record everything you do down to the single keystroke from your Internet search and browsing activity to the files you access and modify. If you want to insure your privacy from other individual’s snooping then you should consider getting a privacy control software application.

Privacy control software applications focus on eliminating all traces of your computer activity and insuring deleted files are destroyed and unrecoverable by data recovery software. A complete privacy control application should satisfy four key functional requirements.

The first key functional requirement is the privacy control application should be easy to install, easy to use and not disturb normal computer operation. The software application’s install program should be driven by an installation wizard with limited configuration questions presented to the user. Once installed, the program should be easy to use with a simple and intuitive interface that steps the user through the actions required to operate the program. In addition, there should be only one screen for any configuration settings that are required to operate the program. The configuration settings should be explained in a straight forward, easy to understand description. Operation of the privacy control program should not disturb the operation of other application programs that are currently running.

The second key functional requirement is the privacy control application should have a comprehensive list of computer activities to scan for possible cleaning and deletion. Typical areas to include for scanning are:

* Temporary internet files
* Search and browse history files
* Internet cache files
* Internet cookies files
* Peer to Peer (P2P) activity files
* Media player activity files
* Instant messaging and chat history files
* Online shopping and financial transaction history files
* File access and retrieval history files

In conjunction with the multiple scanning categories, the privacy control software should provide multiple inclusion and exclusion options for scanning and cleaning at the scan category, sub-category and individual item level.

The third key functional requirement is the privacy control software should provide multiple file deleting and shredding options that meet government and military standards. Typically, these standards involve the number of passes performed in the overwriting process to insure the file is unrecoverable by file recovery software applications. A complete privacy control application will provide one, three or seven overwriting passes, one of which meets DOD 5220.22-M standards.

The fourth and final key functional requirement is the software must include “help” information and 24/7 customer support. Despite how easy the software may be to use, there will come a time when you have a question that needs to be answered for proper operation of the software. The privacy control software should provide one key access to help information and troubleshooting tips. If the help information is not sufficient to resolve your problem, the software developer should provide 24 hour, seven day support in the form of Internet access for frequently asked questions (FAQ), searchable knowledge bases and email communication. Email communication should be responded to in less than 48 hours.

There are many privacy control applications available for your selection and purchase. As you make your evaluation look for how well the privacy control software supports these four key requirements. If your selected privacy control program meets these key requirements, you can feel confident that your privacy and confidentiality will be secure after the purchase and use of your chosen privacy control software.

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