March 09, 2009, 2:35 PM — Protect your privacy when you use the Web--but don't blindly accept somebody else's default security settings. GhostSurf gives you the ability to control the level of your privacy and security. This program (US$30 for a one-year license, $50 for a two-year one) offers multiple ways to protect yourself, and several layers of privacy, all wrapped in a simple-to-use interface.
There are two components to the program, what it calls a Privacy Control Center, and a TracksCleaner. The Privacy Control center lets you customize how private you want your surfing to be. You get four levels of control, ranging from none, in which you surf as you normally would, all the way up to secure, which blocks your IP address, personal information, and encrypts your surfing activities. GhostSurf configures your PC to use proxy servers as a way to protect your privacy, but you won't need to learn any of that--it does it all for you invisibly. There's quite a bit of control over how you protect yourself with the Privacy Control Center. You can, for example, exempt certain Web sites from your privacy settings.
TracksCleaner is similarly easy to use. Not only will it delete all traces of your Web use, but it will also "shred" those traces for you by overwriting the data multiple times. As with the Privacy Center, you get a great deal of control over what to delete and shred.
Those who are exceedingly worried about their privacy will want GhostSurf. Others may question whether the annual fee is worth the price.