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Oct 5, 2013 How and why to surf the web anonymously

"There are a few crucial tidbits you should know before you start down the path to online anonymity. First, it's important to know how anonymizing proxies work so you can understand their inherent flaws. Anonymizers act as a man in the middle while you're browsing the Web, handling communications between your PC and the website you want to access anonymously. If you do everything correctly, the target website only sees information from the anonymizing service, so it can't identify your home IP address or other personal information.

While the websites that you're browsing won't have any idea who you are, the man-in-the-middle anonymizing services certainly will (and some proxy services keep server logs of user activity that can be subpoenaed). For these reasons, it's important to do your research before you pick a proxy service.

Furthermore, websites can access data stored by browser plug-ins to try and track down your actual IP address. Media-playing plugins such as Flash are notorious for passing along more user data than is necessary, so stick to a plug-in-free browsing experience if you're concerned about third-party programs sharing information about you or your PC.

Speaking of browsers, you might want to set aside a second browser on your PC that you use solely for your anonymous activities. Most anonymizer services still allow websites to place cookies on your computer by default, and if you use the same browser for both everyday activities and the browsing you want to keep anonymous, websites could theoretically use those cookies to identify you.

To avoid this, download a second Web browser (Chrome and Firefox are great choices) and change your anonymous browser's settings to wipe cookies every time you close the browser. If you're worried about local users snooping on your Internet exploits, be sure to use your browser's Private or Incognito mode so anyone who opens your browser won't be able to check the history and see where you've been..."

Link to full article

Here's how to best secure your data now that the NSA can crack almost any encryption

How to protect your PC from Prism surveillance

Microsoft admits it's Security Essentials is weak

Microsoft Security Essentials Antivirus can no longer be recommended. While it was the best of the freeware anti-virus programs for a while, that is no longer the case as admitted by Microsoft itself. While it is good enough for geeks - people with great safe hex skills, it is no longer good enough to keep ma and pa out of trouble.

Folks with meager skills are better off with Avast! or Avira and even AVG with the current state of affairs. Do not panic - these freeware antivirus tools are still strong enough as an alternative to paid programs. Just learn and practise as much as you can about safe hex.

Adware List

When available, always use custom install options as more and more freeware authors (even well known authors) are using installation wrappers which may try to install other options you may not want. Many require opting out by unchecking those options. Be careful.

I have personally decided to use webware, or APPS over locally installed programs because of this. Many are much better or at least as good than locally installed freeware programs. They are available for virtually any device and do not require updating as they are updated server side and sync across all devices. Besides, this is the direction computing is taking anyway so explore and get prepared. If I do use locally installed programs, they must be portable with a few necessary exceptions depending on the operating system I am using.

Usually utilizing the custom install option allows you to deselect these options. Read everything on every install screen to look for these install options.

Here is a list of applications that bundle toolbars or unwanted addons with their installer. This is not a comprehensive list, but does show you how prevalent these practices are. Be careful and aware.

  • 4share - toolbar
  • Absolute Uninstaller - Ask toolbar
  • Ad-Aware - Google Chrome
  • Adobe Flash Player - Google toolbar
  • Adobe Reader - Ebay Desktop
  • Advanced System Care - Yahoo toolbar
  • Advanced Uninstaller Pro - AVG Security toolbar
  • AIM - AOL messaging toolbar
  • AnVir Task Manager Free - Dealio toolbar
  • AntiRun - GuardMail.ru toolbar
  • AnyVideo Converter - OpenCandy [RealPlayer]
  • AOL Instant Messenger - AOL toolbar
  • Applian FLV Player - Yahoo Toolbar
  • AppRemover - displays advertising during its runtime
  • Auslogics Disk Defrag - Ask toolbar
  • Auslogics Duplicate File Finder - Ask toolbar
  • Auslogics Registry Cleaner - Ask toolbar
  • Auslogics System Information - Ask Toolbar
  • Avira - Displays product upgrade [Nagware], Ask toolbar
  • AVG - AVG Security toolbar
  • AVG LinkScanner - Yahoo toolbar
  • AVS Firewall: Installs AVS Software Browser
  • BDtoAVCHD - displays advertising during its runtime
  • BS.Player - BS.ControlBar
  • BitComet - Nagware [pop-up's], Google toolbar, MPCStar, Browser ads
  • BitTorrent - OpenCandy, Offers featured content ads, BitTorrent toolbar
  • Burn4free - 1Click DVD Copy Pro
  • BurnAware Free - Ask toolbar
  • CCleaner - Recommends Google Chrome, Yahoo toolbar
  • CDBurnerXP - OpenCandy [default installer]
  • ChrisTV Lite - ChrisTV Toolbar/Relevant Knowledge adware
  • COMODO Internet Security - ASK toolbar
  • Copernic Desktop Search - displays advertising during its runtime
  • CPU-Z - ASK toolbar
  • CSmenu - Ask toolbar
  • ClamWin - Ask toolbar
  • Comodo Firewall: Recommends Comodo Dragon, GeekBuddy
  • CoolPDF Reader - Displays MagicPDF ads
  • Core Temp - Search Enhancement
  • CrystalDiskInfo - OpenCandy
  • CrystalDiskMark - OpenCandy
  • CutePDF Writer - ASK toolbar
  • Cyberlink BD Advisor - Google Toolbar
  • Cyberlink PowerDVD 8 - Google Toolbar and BETA of Moovielive
  • Daemon Tools - Search tool and sponsor ad module
  • DarkWave Studio - OpenCandy
  • Defraggler - Yahoo Toolbar
  • Devpad - Babylon toolbar
  • Dexpot - OpenCandy
  • Digsby instant messenger – Yahoo Toolbar, MyFreeze NetAssistant for Firefox, Smart Shopper, WeatherBug, Regsitry Power Cleaner, Relevant Knowledge Toolbar, changes browser homepgae to My Freeze. Additionally, if uses your bandwidth to crawl the web for stock market research.
  • DirectX Redistributable - Bing toolbar
  • DivX Plus Free - Recommends DIVX Plus converter
  • DriverEasy - displays advertising during its runtime
  • Driver Sweeper - Open Candy
  • DriverMax - AVG security toolbar
  • Duplicate Cleaner - Bing toolbar
  • DVDx - Ask Toolbar
  • Easy Duplicate Finder 2.4 - Nagware [product upgrade], Ask toolbar
  • ExtractNow - Babylon toolbar
  • FLVPlayer4Free - Video Download toolbar
  • FeedDemon - displays advertising during its runtime
  • Feed Demon Lite - Displays ads in deck
  • FlashGet - Google toolbar
  • FormatFactory - displays advertising during its runtime
  • FotoMix - Facemoods toolbar
  • FotoMorph - Facemoods toolbar
  • Fotosizer - Dealio toolbar
  • Foxit Reader - Ask toolbar
  • Free Download Manager - prechecked and bundles Software Informer
  • Free Process Freezer - FLV Direct Player
  • Free YouTube to MP3 Converter - DVDSoft Toolbar, search engine
  • FreeCommander - eBay shortcuts
  • FreeRIP - Nagware [upgrade], Yahoo toolbar, Offers DropinSavings extension
  • Freemake Audio Converter, Video Converter, Video Downloader - Facemoods toolbar
  • Freemake Video Converter - Facemoods toolbar
  • GetGo Download Manager - displays advertising during its runtime
  • GOM Player - Recommends GOM Video converter
  • Glary Utilities - Ask toolbar
  • Gom Player - ASK toolbar
  • HWMonitor - ASK toolbar
  • ICQ - ICQ toolbar, ICQ search shortcut, ICQGuard
  • IE7Pro - Grab Pro toolbar
  • IObit Advanced SystemCare - Yahoo toolbar
  • IObit SmartDefrag - IObit toolbar
  • ISO Workshop - ASK toolbar
  • IZArc - OpenCandy
  • Image Tuner - ASK toolbar
  • ImgBurn - ASK toolbar, Uniblue desktop shortcuts
  • Immunet - Ask toolbar
  • IrfanView - Recommends Google Chrome, Offers Uniblue Registry Booster
  • Isobuster - Ask Toolbar
  • IZArc - RegistryBooster
  • JetAudio Basic - Ask toolbar, Free mp3 and trial pay service
  • K-Lite Codec Pack - StartNow toolbar
  • KMPlayer - OpenCandy, Ask toolbar, Pandora TV Service
  • Kantaris - OpenCandy [basic installer]
  • Logitech Setpoint - Logitech Yahoo! Toolbar
  • ManyCam Virtual Webcam - Ask Toolbar and Norton Security Scan
  • Maxathon 2 - Facebook Sidebar Plugin
  • McAfee Site Advisor update - Yahoo! default browser search
  • Media Player Codec Pack - Dealio toolbar, AnyDVD HD product recommendation
  • MediaCoder - OpenCandy
  • MediaInfo - OpenCandy
  • MediaMonkey - Displays ads
  • MessengerPlus! Live - Ask Toolbar
  • Minilyrics - Displays product upgrade [Nagware]
  • Miro - Ask toolbar
  • Moo Software - Autocomplete Pro
  • MP3 WMA Converter - Yahoo Search and Delio Comparsion Shopping Toolbar
  • My Defragmenter - MyPhoneSupport desktop icon, Displays MyPhoneSupport and DriveShop ads
  • Mipony - displays advertising during its runtime
  • NeoDownloader Lite - displays advertising during its runtime
  • Nero Free - ASK toolbar
  • Orbit Downloader - OpenCandy, Grab Pro toolbar, Offers to change homepage
  • PaperScan Free Edition - displays advertising during its runtime
  • PC Tools Firewall Plus - Google Toolbar and Threatfire
  • PC Tools Spyware Doctor - Google Toolbar
  • PC Tools ThreatFire - Google Toolbar
  • PC Wizard - ASK toolbar
  • PDF-XChange Viewer - ASK toolbar
  • PDFCreator - Yahoo toolbar
  • Panda Cloud - Panda Security toolbar
  • Pandion - Offers add-on, homepage/search engine change
  • Pando (file sharing p2p) - OpenCandy, Nagware [upgrade], Displays upgrade ads, Pando toolbar
  • Pandora Recovery - Ask toolbar
  • PC Tools Spyware Doctor - Google Toolbar
  • PC Tools Firewall Plus - Google Toolbar and Threatfire
  • PC Tools ThreatFire - Google Toolbar
  • PC Wizard 2010 - Ask Toolbar
  • PDFCreator - Yahoo Toolbar. Also offers PDFforger Toolbar and Widgi Toolbar (mybrowser bar)
  • PDF-XChangeViewer - Ask Toolbar
  • PeaZip - AVG security toolbar
  • PeaZip - AVG security toolbar
  • Perfect Utilities - Relevant Knowledge (RK) toolbar
  • PhotoFiltre - ASK toolbar
  • Photobie - OpenCandy
  • Photoscape - Google Chrome recommendation
  • PicPick - Babylon ToolbarSweetIM
  • Picassa - Offers search engine change, Displays Google ads [services]
  • Putty Enhanced - Babylon toolbar, Browser ads after installation
  • QIP Infium - Offers homepage/search engine change, Offers FF add-on
  • Quick Media Converter HD - Ask Toolbar, Ask Search, Ask Homepage
  • Quick StartUp - ASK toolbar
  • Quicksys RegDefrag - ASK toolbar
  • RapidTyping - Bing toolbar
  • RarZilla Free Unrar - ASK toolbar
  • Real Player Free - Browser download and record plugin
  • Recuva - Yahoo toolbar
  • Registry Repair - ASK toolbar
  • Roboform - Offers homepage/search engine change
  • Shockwave Player - Norton Security Scan or Google Toolbar
  • SIW - OpenCandy
  • Skype - Google Toolbar and Browser Highlighter
  • SPlayer - OpenCandy [basic installer]
  • Spiderplayer - Bing Toolbar
  • Spyware Terminator - Web security guard, Crawler
  • StarBurn - installs StarPort DVD-ROM Emulator and SaveTubeVideo tools
  • SUMo - Facemoods, Autocomplete Pro
  • Sun Java - OpenOffice.org
  • SUPER - OpenCandy
  • Sandboxie - Displays product upgrade [Nagware]
  • Satellite Antenna Alignment - Relevant Knowledge
  • Screenshot Captor - Registration [Nagware]
  • Secure Password Manager - Wajam browser add-on
  • Skype - Google toolbar
  • SlimDrivers - AVG security toolbar
  • Slimbrowser - Ask, Deals hunter, MySearch toolbars
  • Spider Player - Bing toolbar
  • Spyware Terminator - Web Security Guard
  • Sun Java - Ask toolbar
  • SuperAntiSpyware - Ask toolbar
  • Sweet Home 3D - Open Candy
  • Thoosje Sidebar - Amazon or eBay toolbar
  • Trillian - Ask toolbar
  • Tweak Me! - Nitro PDF Reader
  • UltraVNC - displays advertising during its runtime
  • USB Guardian - BestSecurityTips toolbar
  • Unlocker - Bing toolbar
  • µTorrent - µTorrent toolbar
  • µTorrent - Bing toolbar
  • Vdownloader Plus - Ask Toolbar and eBay shortcuts
  • Veoh media player - Yahoo toolbar, search engine change search protection
  • Vista Codec Package - Bing toolbar
  • VSO Image Resizer - Ask Toolbar
  • WeatherBug - Ask Toolbar
  • Webroot SpySweeper - Ask Toolbar
  • WebShot - OpenCandy
  • Wildfire CD Ripper - Download Energy Torrent toolbar
  • Win7codecs - Ask/Bing toolbar, WeatherBug
  • WinSCP - OpenCandy
  • Winamp - Winamp toolbar
  • Windows 7 Codec Pack - Dealio toolbar
  • Windows Essentials Codec Pack - Babylon toolbar
  • Winzip - RegistryBooster and Google Toolbar
  • Wise Registry Cleaner - Recommends Wise Disk Cleaner, WiseCare 365 ads
  • XP-Antispy - eBay Shortcuts
  • XP Smoker - Bing toolbar
  • xplorer2Lite - Conduit toolbar
  • XRecode II - Nagware [product upgrade]
  • YaHoo! Instant Messenger - YaHoo! toolbar, with ‘YaHoo! Search Protection’ and homepage change to YaHoo
  • ZoneAlarm - Conduit toolbar. Search powered by Google
  • Zoom Player Free - OpenCandy
  • jZip - Searchqu toolbar
  • uTorrent - uTorrent toolbar, Offers and Displays featured content ads
  • xplorer2lite - xplorer2lite toolbar

The trend should be obvious. Freeware lovers should revolt! I did! I got a Chromebook. I am tired of trying to manage Windows with images and anti-malware tools. Linux on a Windows machine just didn't do it for me. The Chromebook did!

About BearWare

BearWare indirectly began development in 1980 when I purchased my first computer, created from a list of freeware I maintained prior to it. One of my interests has been free applications or services for PC's and I've maintained due vigilance to find, research and document the best for my own personal repository. If I discover better software for a category, I replace the current holder of that category.

Friends, family and coworkers discovered I maintained such a list and requested that I send the file to them every time I updated it. As I frequently updated the list, I created a website for those who wished the data. Bearware's theme lists the best freeware and services in category, easy navigation, no ads, and no pop-ups or monetization of any kind. It's primarily a tool for my use which I share as others may find it useful.