It sounds like the makings of an action thriller or detective story. An experienced tracker could locate the country you are from by examining your Internet Protocol address. The expert could even track the state, the town, the street and the exact PC you are working from. Someone could build a profile of you from the websites you visit, the transactions you make or the chat rooms you frequent. You think the Internet offers you protection, anonymity and privacy. But this is an illusion. Nevertheless, there are ways to protect your privacy on the Web.

The Analyser is an effective tool to help you improve the security of your connection. It tests your Web browser for protection against unwanted intrusion through “penetration testing” on your firewall. Check out this tool.

You can also mask your surfing activities and patterns through a proxy service or proxy server. This functions like a middleman so that you don’t leave a trail straight to your doorstep. An efficient proxy service tool for deceiving the Web researcher or enemy is Tor. Tor directs the data sent through a complex network of servers or routers before transmitting them to you. As such, all your online communication whether via your web browser, instant messaging application or other applications that use TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is hidden from intruding eyes. Tor is easy to set up – once you’ve downloaded the application and installed it in your PC, it is ready to be used. There is even a portable version of Tor called Portable Tor – useful for the times when you don’t have your own PC with you but need privacy urgently. Tor Portable is 6.1MB in size and can run from USB flash drive.

Some companies have a knack for offering you their products or services just when you needed them. In business, timing is everything. As you’re browsing websites, an advert offering exactly what you require will pop up. What has happened? Chances are that some spyware have been installed in your PC without your knowledge together with the online files or applications you were asked to download. These espionage programmes monitor your every move as you’re surfing online. Sandboxie can effectively apprehend the spies by isolating the files or programmes. It allows the files to interact with a replica of the directories rather like quarantine in a sandbox. Moreover, the sandbox prevents any changes to files or registry settings from outside. Once you empty the sandbox, you rid your PC of any cookies. Spyware, malicious software and brower histories; and start with a clean slate.