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Top 10 security tools

August 4, 1998
Web posted at: 4:10 PM EDT

by Sally Neuman

(IDG) -- Are your roommates digging into your files while you're gone? Are your kids going to sites on the Internet you'd rather they didn't see? This collection of utilities--designed for the business and home user alike--help you protect your system and your sensitive files and guard your system against snoops both on and offline. One utility will even reveal your log-on password if you've forgotten it. Each utility in this group of popular downloads has its strengths for its intended purpose, so you owe it to yourself to take a look at each one as a possible solution for your own security needs.

If you've forgotten the password you use to log on to the Internet, this (rather risky) utility will reveal the passwords under the asterisks in the sign-on dialog box.

Prevent spying eyes from launching programs that contain your sensitive documents such as financial planning or tax preparation files. This fully functional utility will modify a program's original .exe file so that it asks for a password every time you start the program.

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Add security access control, time-out, logging, and remote administration to your Windows 95 system. WinU lets businesses and schools permit public access to their computers without risking accidental or malicious system modifications, and it's also good for child-proofing the family PC.

Normal file deletion in DOS or Windows does not permanently remove sensitive files from your hard disk; they can easily be undeleted with the right tools. Mutilate destroys your sensitive files beyond any hope of recovery to provide you with additional security.

Prevent unauthorized use of your system and disable Ctrl-Alt-Del with this Windows utility. Metz Lock also includes password protection.

Stop unauthorized activity on your computer. Protect your desktop and even prevent unauthorized Web surfing. WinShield works with floppy drives, CD-ROM drives, and hard drives. The configurable interface allows you to easily customize all its functions.

This utility acts as a repository for all your passwords, so you won't ever lose one again. The program is also password-protected itself.

This tool provides protection against PC invasion via the Internet and other types of malicious Web or Internet data snooping. This preview release also includes the Norton Secret Stuff security module.

Hide active windows, icons in the system tray, and even Taskbar items. Customize how your programs are hidden or minimized, and apply password protection to prevent others from changing your program options. Free for personal, noncommercial use.

Add encryption to Windows Explorer and your right mouse button's context menu. CodedDrag lets you drag or right-click from Explorer to safeguard files, directories, or entire drives. You can choose from 56-bit DES keys up to 448-bit Blowfish encryption.

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