Cover your tracks

The Web sites you visit and the programs you use say a lot about you, but some folks prefer anonymity. Privacy Shield provides most necessary tools for making sure you leave no trace.

Although we have a couple of minor quibbles about this privacy-protection application, it's by and large a very solid pick. Privacy Shield's tabbed interface is simple to navigate, letting you check or uncheck boxes depending on what areas of your system you want to clean. Similar to most apps in this class, this one can wipe away Web-surfing traces from Internet Explorer. And while it also supports Netscape and AOL, it can't clean up other browsers such as Opera and Firefox. Besides the ability to wipe tracks from common Windows system areas, Privacy Shield supports nearly 40 third-party programs, including popular toolbars, IM apps, media players, and file-sharing clients. You can schedule cleaning sessions and shred files or folders, though the latter feature doesn't let you eradicate data using government-sanctioned algorithms. We'd also wish for a longer trial period than 15 days. But in the final analysis, this utility offers enough protection for the vast majority of everyday users.
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