Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Total Privacy 5 - Software Review

Pleasant surprises are always welcome on my world; today's GOTD offering is right up there with discovering a new friend.

Background from the download site:

"Total Privacy provides the most advanced information removal solution for protection against today’s malicious online and offline threats. Total Privacy 5 makes use of the most advanced washing and shredding methods available today to make sure that your own private business and computer use remains exactly that - private.

Securely clean Internet tracks, system activities and program history information stored on your computer with this safe and easy-to-use Windows privacy protection tool. Also Wipes the free space to make sure that previously delete files cannot be recovered. Supports all major browsers in addition to over 450 popular third-party applications.

My initial summary for the GOTD site:

Get this program installed NOW! I am a supporter of multiple security
products and Total Privacy 5 just hit the top of today’s list of MUST
HAVE security applications. All issues are clearly explained in a
separate description box on mouse-over so you know exactly what it
intends to clear. I strongly encourage, no I insist, that you do NOT
check any box you don’t understand! Has several “exclude” functions
such as the cookies list. Take the time to set this one up properly. My
PC runs CCleaner on start-up; the only thing I’ve run is Flock >
GOTD > TP5. This is the summary from my test run; Total Items: 43;
Custom Items: 14; Total Recovered: 3MB disk space, 29 Files, 7 Registry
Entries. Be careful with index.dat and registry streams - these
erasures WILL affect certain performance and display properties. The
full report will be available shortly on my blog, “V-O-I-D: What’s
REALLY out there?”.

The Full Report:

All of the following items were listed after CCleaner and the download; some files are there because of the TP5 download, others were not listed at all by CCleaner. I use my cleaner at least once a day on start-up, mostly to clear the useless files and registry entries that accumulate throughout my workday. As an Internet Investigator of many genres, there are also instances wherein I encounter files which I do not want in my possession, nor bugging my machine. Set-up of Total Privacy will take a little time, especially when preserving certain settings such as cookies.

In the case of cookies and dat files it is best to make a written note of those for which you are uncertain prior to erasing them. When next you encounter an item from this list you will recognize it as being from either: a friendly program with a funny named cookie, or an executable you got AGAIN from an unknown source. The latter case goes beyond the scope of this post to explain.

This is what Total Privacy 5 found and erased:

Document History 1 file; Start Menu Clicks 5 files; index.dat 3 categories/files 39 items and 96KB; Favorites Order History 1 item; Downloaded Components (DO NOT check box unless you want to eliminate your plug-ins!) 8 items and 4MB; Messaging detected ALL installed IM clients and offered 3 items for clean-up on each; Custom Plug-in Cleaners, checked "show only detected programs" and found 16 (Again, read what each does as you may want to keep certain items - my quarantine list from SpyBot being one of them.); Warning: Windows Direct Input will erase all user generated data files; Windows Temp 3 files and 270KB; Sys Temp 4 files and 3MB; DO NOT CHECK Registry Streams or Registry Streams MRU as this will adversely affect the PC you have set up as you want it! It also detects MS Office .doc files accessed even when opened with OpenOffice.org

Read the description box for everything you ever wanted to know about what you are about to obliterate. Most people can safely use one of the 3-pass options, mine took less time than a single intake of breath! It also has start-up and security management tools. Altogether, I am impressed enough to give this one a 10/10 rating for PC cleaners and highly recommend you get to the GOTD site and get this one installed while it's free.

A quick trip back to GOTD revealed this post direct from the application provider:

Regarding the question about how Total Privacy affects the registry, many privacy items are stored inside the registry (MRUs, Registry streams, history information for many programs, IE AutoComplete data and much more) and so, if you select to clean any of those items, Total Privacy will obviously have to access the registry to remove selected values.

Accessing the registry to remove any of those items is completely safe and Total Privacy is smart enough to only remove items that do exist (as opposed to some other similar applications we encountered before that just try to remove anything and everything without any safely checks first).

Total Privacy was tested on Windows Vista, XP, 2003 and 2000 and so it targets the correct registry locations depending on the operating system you are running.

I hope I was able to shed some more light regarding this question. If anyone have any questions or comments (good or bad) that wish to discuss with us feel free to contact us directly at http://www.pointstone.com/support/support.asp

Another positive reinforcement from the GOTD comments section:

Mr Martin

I just downloaded the program and started reading the comments, as they sometimes influence my decision to install the program. This is the first time I have seen anyone associated with the program present and fixing problems as they occur — not to say it has never happened — it is just a first for me.

Don’t know about anyone else but this REALLY impressed me. Want you to know Mr Martin that because of your interest in helping us with bugs and gliches, even though you will show no profit from our download, that I will be buying the product directly from the site as opposed to taking it free. It is rare and refreshing in todays product market to see integrity in ones work and creation. It gives me the impression that questions and problems would be addressed by your software support system quickly and efficiently.

Thanks GAODT for the numerous free and useful products and games you have given me.

Comment by MamaBunny — April 1st, 2008 at 9:04 am

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