BOOT CAMP 541 (09/09/08)

Freeware Top Tens part 5, Privacy and Security


Welcome to part five of our foray into the wonderful world of free software, or freeware, and, rather confusingly, part two of the Privacy and Security category. Here’s another selection of programs and utilities designed to protect your PC, keep your data safe and safeguard your privacy and identity 


Yes, I know you’ve heard it all before but before we begin can I please remind you that you install these programs at your own risk. If you have any questions please ask the authors or publisher, not us, and if you find any of these applications and utilities useful and want to go on using them please pay the license fee or if asked, make a donation.



EncryptOnClick, XP & Vista, 1.5Mb

This simple but very powerful military-grade encryption utility will ensure that selected files on your PC or USB drive remain safe and inaccessible. The program also includes a compression feature, so as an added bonus your protected files will be even smaller than the originals.



Free Hide Folder, XP & Vista, 0.75Mb,

It won’t take you long to figure out what this one is for. As the name implies Free Hide Folder makes folders stored on your computer completely invisible. Even if someone gains access to your PC they won’t be able to find your personal, private or secret files, simply because they can’t be seen. To access your hidden folders need to run the program then enter your password and hey presto, as if by magic, they reappear.



HijackThis, XP & Vista, 0.8Mb

Use this one with care! HijackThis is a powerful diagnostic program that can help you to identify and remove deep-rooted malware infections that latch on to web browsers. It doesn’t automatically identify malicious files but it does produce a highly detailed log file of what’s using your Internet connection and this can be used to tell friend from foe, or uploaded to the web for more detailed analysis. 



Keiro Personal Firewall v2.5.1, 9X & XP, 2.1Mb,

Now owned by Sunbelt Software this long-running firewall still provides good, basic protection for older PCs running Windows 98, and XP. It’s a two-way design, preventing incoming attacks as well as stopping programs on your PC using your web connection without permission, and for good measure it uses very few resources, so there’s no noticeable impact on performance.



Laptop Alarm, XP & Vista, 0.3Mb

Another program that should need little in the way of explanation, the name says it all. The program protects your laptop against theft by monitoring any changes in the power status, such as someone unplugging the power adaptor, or any unexpected activity, like using the mouse or trying to shut it down without entering the correct password. If triggered it locks down Windows and sounds a siren, and it’s no good trying to turn the volume down or mute the sound because the controls are disabled.



Outpost Firewall Free, XP & Vista, 2.7Mb,

Another fairly basic firewall but for many web users it should provide all of the protection they need, from hack attacks and malicious software. It’s easy to use and there are no complicated configuration settings to worry about.



Rootkit Detective, XP & Vista, 1.6Mb,

Developed by McAfee, the anti-virus people, this neat little program seeks out Rootkits. These are stealthy malware programs that many security programs have trouble identifying, as they can resemble legitimate software. It is not for absolute beginners though, and it is still in beta form, so there may still be unexpected glitches, but if you think you’ve fallen prey to an unexplained infection it’s worth scanning your system to see what it finds.



R- Firewall, XP & Vista, 3.7Mb

This advanced two-way firewall intercepts both incoming and outgoing connections and it has some useful extra features. These include programmable filters, for blocking inappropriate websites or content and it’s ideal for mobile users, with a facility to set up multiple configurations for different types of network connection (office and public networks, wi-fi Hotspots etc.).  


Spybot Search and Destroy, XP & Vista, 14.4Mb,

Spybot is the grand old man of malware cleaners and it remains one of the most effective tools available for combating this ongoing threat. This most recent version is the fastest yet, and like its predecessors, anything suspicious is displayed in a log file, colour coded to show the threat level. Needless to say, anything coloured red demands your immediate attention! Very simple to set up and use but like all malware scanners, it can’t do everything, so run it once a week, more often if you are a heavy web user, in conjunction with one or more of the other cleaners we’ve mentioned.

Zone Alarm Free Firewall, XP & Vista, 3.8Mb,

Another classic piece of software and a perennial favourite, stopping all attempts to hack into your PC, as well as stopping programs on you computer using your Internet connection without your permission. This new and improved version installs easily and requires little in the way of configuration once it is up and running.

Next Week – Freeware Top Tens part 6





Pre-release version of a program or application, made available to testers and volunteers on an at-their-own-risk basis, to help identify any last remaining bugs, glitches and conflicts



Rendering files unreadable by any conventional means; decryption requires specialist software and a unique 'key' or code, used to unlock the data.



Public Wireless Internet access point in and around hotels, airports, coffee bars etc., users are normally required to pay a fee or subscription before they can log on




Password Bird, any web-connected PC,

Have you ever struggled to come up with a safe password? Why not let the Password Bird help. It asks you a few simple questions, such as a memorable name, then enter your date of birth, click Enter and it scrambles the data, producing a strong, non-guessable alphanumeric password, but made up of bits of information that you supplied, which may make it a bit easier to remember



Don't forget, there's a full archive of previous Boot Camp Top Tips at



© R. Maybury 2008, 1308

Search PCTopTips 



Boot Camp Index















Top Tips Index

Windows XP

Windows Vista

Internet & Email

Microsoft Word

Folders & Files

Desktop Mouse & Keyboard

Crash Bang Wallop!

Privacy & Security

Imaging Scanning & Printing

Power, Safety & Comfort

Tools & Utilities

Sound Advice

Display & screen

Fun & Games

Windows 95/98/SE/ME






 Copyright 2006-2009 PCTOPTIPS UK.

All information on this web site is provided as-is without warranty of any kind. Neither PCTOPTIPS nor its employees nor contributors are responsible for any loss, injury, or damage, direct or consequential, resulting from your choosing to use any of the information contained herein.