Known for its comprehensive security solutions, Avira now has a new solution that can help erase your digital signature on the web. Avira Privacy Pal is a free tool designed for Windows users to clean up the digital traces that are commonly left behind. A Pay version, Privacy Pal Pro, also provides a quick and easy fix for more than 200 Windows privacy issues including the blocking of operating system data collection and expanding to protection for the most popular apps.
Privacy is under constant attack online as trackers follow each internet activity, devices monitor their owner’s geo-location, and social media remembers far more than it should. The accumulation of private data is a big concern for many people – but is something most do little about.
“With so many devices and apps knowing so much about us, we wanted to provide an easy method for users to put a stop, once and for all, to allowing personal data to wander off to third parties,” said Travis Witteveen, CEO of Avira.
“It’s time for users to take back their internet experience, stay as private as they desire and stop letting the apps and software companies constantly take their personal information and use it without asking.”
This discrepancy fuels the digital trust deficit. While people still like to have personal data used to better shape their online experience; they are constantly sceptical of any company’s desire to collect so much personal data – and ability to safely use this information. The solution is for companies to let customers have full control over their data. But from the customer side, if companies are not willing to release this data, what can they do about it?
Your own privacy assistant
Avira developed Privacy Pal to help users know how they are being tracked while providing them with the tools needed to clean up the digital traces they have previously left behind.
“We find that people want to be more private online, they want to know what data is being collected, but they simply get bogged down in the details. Our goal with Privacy Pal is to make these privacy steps easy,” said Stephan Brenner, Director of the Optimization Unit for Avira. “We’re giving a privacy assistant to each and every user.”
Studies show that users do only the easy steps, skipping the more complicated ones. Statista’s survey showed that the most common user activity was simply deleting the browser history (71 percent of respondents) followed by deleting cookies (67 percent) and then browser cache (61 percent). Those are good, but just the tip of a larger iceberg. What about location tracking or the chat logs from PC-based apps?
Privacy Pal gives users three easy privacy profiles:
- Basic – prevents the operating system from sharing basic private data;
- Enhanced – adds privacy protection that prevents apps and OS to collect sensitive information;
- Personalized – gives users the information and the ability to customize their privacy protection with the most important privacy settings combined into one dashboard.
By choosing a profile, users can fine-tune their online privacy in the way that suits them – this could be simply keeping Microsoft from experimenting with the Windows installation, stopping apps running in the background from sending information, or letting users make their own advanced privacy decisions.
Privacy is Your Personal Decision
Within these three profiles, Privacy Pal takes a thorough look at more than 200 separate privacy issues, including the following features:
OS: Stop Microsoft from experimenting with your Windows installation to study user preferences
User: Keep Windows from tracking your app launches and deny Cortana access to your location
Apps: Disable Windows Store apps running in the background from receiving or sending information
Browser: Disable web tracking and the ability for the current user to be identified over the internet
Network: Hide your computer from other devices in the network