Saturday, February 9, 2013

75 Top Open Source Tools for Protecting Your Privacy

As mobile technology and social networking have become commonplace, so have concerns about privacy. In fact, nearly every day the media covers stories about identity theft, social networking "pranks" gone wrong, companies with shady privacy policies and repressive governments that censor and monitor online activities.
In this environment, protecting your privacy is an absolute necessity.
Fortunately, the open source community has stepped up with a variety of tools designed to protect your personal data. Whether you're an average individual who wants to avoid divulging personal information or you're a journalist, activist or someone else who needs complete online anonymity, these tools can help you keep your private information private.
If you'd like more details about how to protect your privacy online, you might want to check out We Are Hidden or The Tor Project, two groups associated with the open source movement that have done a lot of work in the privacy arena. You can also find more information about the topic from The Electronic Frontier Foundation, and The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Armed with tips from those organizations and the open source apps listed below, you should have plenty of tools to help protect your privacy.

Anonymous Browsing

1. Tor Browser
The Tor project protects anonymity online by sending communications through a distributed network of relays so that it cannot be traced. This browser is used by many journalists, activists, military organizations and others who need to remain completely anonymous online. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
2. JAP
This research project uses similar technology as Tor to obfuscate the Web addresses of users. It encrypts online communications and routes data transfer through a predetermined set of "Mixes," or intermediaries that promise not to save log data or share it with others. Operating System: OS Independent.

Anonymous Email

3. Mixmaster
Mixmaster claims to be the most popular implementation of the type II remailer protocol. With it, you can send email anonymously or under a pseudonym. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
4. Mixminion
The reference implementation of the Type III Anonymous Remailer protocol, Mixminion also protects the identities of email senders by routing it through a network of servers and using encryption. According to its designers it "protects against known anonymity-breaking attacks as well as or better than other systems with similar design parameters." Operating System: Windows, Unix, OS X.
5. Zmail
This app describes itself as a way to send "fake" email. You can use it send email that looks like it comes from any email address you like. Operating System: OS Independent.


6. MailScanner
Based on SpamAssassin and ClamAV, MailScanner runs on mail servers and protects against malware and spam. It's been downloaded more than 1.3 million times and counts portions of the U.S. government and military among its users. Operating System: Linux, Unix.
7. SpamAssassin
Calling itself "The powerful #1 open-source spam filter," Apache SpamAssassin uses an entire arsenal of network and local techniques to identify and block spam. It can be used at the mail server and/or at the local email client. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
8. SpamBayes
This tool uses statistical filters (sometimes called Bayesian filters) to classify mail as spam (undesirable messages) or ham (desirable messages). Unlike some other types of anti-spam software, you must first train the software by telling it which types of messages you read and which you consider spam. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.


9. Nixory
Nixory seeks out and destroys malicious tracking cookies. It works with Firefox, IE and Chrome, and it can delete cookies in real-time without noticeably slowing performance while you are browsing. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
10. Hijack This
Downloaded more than 1.2 million times, Trend Micro's Hijack This provides you a report of your registry and file settings so that you can more easily spot and remove spyware and malware. Note that in order to use this tool effectively, you'll need to be a fairly knowledgeable user. Operating System: Windows.


11. Dooble
Dooble describes itself as "a mischievous and platform-independent browser" and also as "fair trade and organic software made with lots of love." It includes several privacy protection features, including encrypted cache and an easy-to-use cookie manager. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
12. SRWare Iron
Based on the same Chromium code that underlies the Chrome browser, SRWare Iron aims to offer the performance benefits of Chrome with enhanced security and privacy protection. Unlike Chrome, it doesn't send any tracking, address bar or download data to Google. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Browser Add-Ons

13. HTTPS Everywhere
A collaboration the Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this Firefox and Chrome plug-in accesses sites via https instead of http whenever possible. As a result, it encrypts most of your communications with many websites. Operating System: OS Independent.
14. Privacy Dashboard
Created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), this Firefox shows you at a glance whether the site you're visiting does a good job of protecting your privacy or not. And the first time you visit a site, it gives you the ability to set up preferences for what kinds of information you will share with that site. Operating System: OS Independent.
15. Web of Trust (WOT)
This extremely popular Firefox add-on has been downloaded more than 59 million times. It rates sites based on their trustworthiness, privacy practices, reliability and child-friendliness, and it uses a color-coded signal (red-yellow-green) to indicate if a website is safe to trust or not. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
16. SafeCache
Prevent websites from snooping into your browsing history. This Firefox add-on works with your cookie settings to segment your cache and protect your privacy. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
17. BetterPrivacy
This Firefox add-on protects against Flash cookies (a.k.a. "Super Cookies") that websites can use to track your activities even when you have cookies disabled. Note that if you play any online Flash-based games, you will need to have this add-on disabled in order to save your scores and game progress. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
18. AdBlock Plus
With more than 15 million uses, AdBlock Plus is one of the most popular add-ons available. It allows you to block all advertisements (and their related tracking cookies) or just "unacceptable" advertisements that don't meet the criteria specified by the app developers. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
19. PasswordMaker
PasswordMaker acts as a portable, online password safe. It creates strong, secure passwords for each of your online services, but you need only remember a single master password to access them. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
20. KeeFox
Based on KeePass, KeeFox is a password safe for all of your online passwords. Plus, it can also store non-Web passwords, and it works with sites that have multiple login pages or steps. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

21. Collusion
Want to see which sites and organizations are tracking your online activity? This experimental add-on for Firefox can show you. Note that because it's still in the early stages of development, Collusion can sometimes slow your browsing. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
22. Request Policy
This Firefox extension puts you in control of when cross-site requests are allowed. It can help you avoid tracking by marketing firms, and it can help prevent cross-site forgery attacks. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
23. Click&Clean
Erase your Firefox browsing history in just one click. This add-on also clears records from your cache, deletes temporary files and automatically closes all the windows and tabs open on your desktop. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
24. QuickProxy
If you sometimes use a proxy server to help maintain your privacy when browsing, QuickProxy helps you quickly turn your proxy server usage on and off without going through all of the Firefox menus. It's not a full proxy configuration tool, but it can simplify the process of connecting to a proxy server from Firefox. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
25. Cookie Monster
Cookie Monster offers more detailed control over which sites can and cannot leave cookies on your system. It also makes it easy to see and manage the cookies already on your system. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Data Destruction

26. BleachBit
This privacy protection tool cleans up more than 90 different applications, "shreds" sensitive deleted data, and erases your cache, cookies, browsing history, logs, temporary files and other assorted junk. As a result, it also frees up space on your hard drive. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
27. Darik's Boot And Nuke
If you need to erase completely all the data on a hard drive (for example, if you are donating or recycling an old PC), Darik's Boot and Nuke does the job in just one easy step. Simply insert a USB drive or CD containing DBAN into your system and turn it on. Operating System: OS Independent.
28. Eraser
If you don't want to delete your entire drive, but you do want to erase a few files containing sensitive or embarrassing data, Eraser can do the job. It writes over deleted data with random data so that no one will ever be able to recover your "passwords, personal information, classified documents from work, financial records, self-written poems" or other shredded files. Operating System: Windows.
29. Wipe
Wipe provides similar functionality as Eraser, but for Linux. It hasn't been updated in a couple of years, but the most recent version still gets rave reviews from users. Operating System: Linux.

Data Loss Prevention

30. MyDLP
MyDLP identifies sensitive data and prevents data from leaking via the Web, email, removable devices, printers and other channels. In addition to the free community version, it also comes in a paid enterprise version that includes support and some additional features. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
31. OpenDLP
Organizations can use OpenDLP to scan all the systems on their network and identify sensitive data at rest. It allows security personnel and compliance staff to ensure that sensitive data isn't being stored anywhere it shouldn't be. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix.


32. AxCrypt
Calling itself the "leading open source file encryption software for Windows," AxCrypt boasts of more than 2.7 million registered users. It integrates directly into Windows Explorer--simply right click to encrypt, double-click to decrypt. And it also works well with cloud file storage services like Dropbox, Live Mesh, SkyDrive and Operating System: Windows.
33. TrueCrypt
Use TrueCrypt to encrypt an entire drive or a partition, without slowing your system noticeably. Phenomenally popular, this project boasts more than 25 million downloads. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
34. Gnu Privacy Guard
Also known as GnuPG or GPG, this command-line tool protects your communication from prying eyes. It boasts better encryption than PGP, and a variety of front-ends are available. Operating System: Linux.
35. GPGTools
If you're on a Mac, this is the version of GPG for you. However, note that Mountain Lion support is still in progress. Operating System: OS X.
36. Gpg4win
And if you're running Windows, this is the version of GPG for you. It offers an easy-to-use interface, and the site provides a wealth of information about the tool and cryptography in general. Operating System: Windows.
37. Crypt
Just 44KB, this super-lightweight encryption utility offers fast performance and doesn't require installation in order to use it. However, note that it's a command line tool and doesn't have a GUI. Operating System: Windows.
38. NeoCrypt
This easy-to-use file encryption tool integrates directly with Windows Explorer. Other notable features include support for 10 different popular algorithms, batch encryption, support for multiple passwords and more. Operating System: Windows.
39. FreeOTFE
FreeOTFE, which stands for "free on the fly encryption," creates an encrypted virtual disk on any system. It doesn't require installation to run, and supports a number of hashes, algorithms and modes. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

File Transfer

40. WinSCP
Transfer files securely with WinSCP. It supports three secure protocols--SFTP, SCP and FTPS--as well as regular FTP. Operating System: Windows.
41. FileZilla
Similar to WinSCP, FileZilla also transfer files via FTP, SFTP and FTPS. However, this project also provides a server version so that you can set up your own FTP server. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

File Sharing

42. RetroShare
With most file sharing apps, you open up your files to the entire Internet, but with RetroShare, you share files and communicate only with trusted friends. It lets you set up your own secure file-sharing network and offers features like encrypted and communications and strong authentication. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, BSD.
43. MUTE
MUTE offers anonymous file-sharing that protects the identity of its users. Inspired by the activities of ants, it routes communications through multiple nodes instead of using direct connections, making it very difficult to track and identify users. Operating System: OS Independent.
44. StealthNet
Using similar technology as MUTE, StealthNet routes all traffic through multiple nodes and encrypts communication. And unlike some similar apps, StealthNet aims to be easy for newbies to use. Operating System: OS Independent.
45. WASTE again
Like RetroShare, WASTE again can be used to create a DarkNet, a closed file-sharing network. It's a fork of the older program known as WASTE, which hasn't been updated in several years. Operating System: OS Independent.
46. PeerBlock
If you are accessing a P2P network, you can use PeerBlock to prevent your computer from connecting with "known bad" computers, such as those serving spyware. It comes with a default list of blocked addresses or you can create one of your own or use a list created by other PeerBlock users. Operating System: Windows.

Gateway Security Appliance

47. Untangle Lite
With the "Lite" version of Untangle you can create your own multi-function network security appliance that includes anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, intrusion prevention, firewall, VPN, spam blocker, ad blocker, web filtering and other features. Paid, supported versions are also available, and the company also offers downloads of the individual pieces of software that comprise the full appliance. Operating System: Linux.
48. Endian Firewall Community
Similar to Untangle Lite, the Community version of the Endian firewall can be used to turn any PC into a unified threat management appliance with security and privacy protection features. Paid software and hardware appliances are also availalbe. Operating System: Linux.
49. ClearOS
The ClearOS Community version provides a network security gateway, as well as other business server functions, such as a mail server, file server, print server, Web server and more. The Professional Version adds more functionality and support for a fee. Operating System: Linux.

Intrusion Detection/Prevention

50. Snort
Developed by Sourcefire, Snort claims to be the "most widely deployed IDS/IPS technology worldwide." It can detect a wide variety of attacks, including buffer overflows, stealth port scans, CGI attacks, SMB probes, OS fingerprinting attempts and others, and it can send real-time alerts about any ongoing network intrusions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.
OSSEC is a scalable, host-based intrusion detection system. Key features include a correlation and analysis engine, integrated log analysis, file integrity checking, Windows registry monitoring, centralized policy enforcement, rootkit detection, real-time alerting and active response. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, others.
52. Open Source Tripwire
While the standard version of Tripwire is no longer open source, users can still download this version which is based on the open source code that Tripwire released in 2000. Its primary functionality is to alert IT staff of any changes made to user-specified files, indicating a possible network intrusion. Operating System: Linux.
Short for "Another File Integrity Checker," AFICK offers very similar functionality as Tripwire. It detects network intrusions by monitoring changes in system files. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

Mobile Privacy Protection

54. LBE Privacy Guard
The self-proclaimed "most powerful privacy protection software for Android platform," LBE Privacy Guard blocks malware and unwanted network traffic as well as giving users control over which data each app can access. Not that in order to use it, you'll need a rooted phone. Operating System: Android.
55. PDroid
Similar to LBE Privacy Guard, PDroid allows you to prevent any app from accessing your private data, such as your device ID, phone number, GPS location, etc. In addition, it promises that you'll still be able to use all of your apps even after denying permission to access your data. Operating System: Android.
56. Privacy Protector
This app shuts off your location and network connections when running certain apps in order to protect your privacy. It can also be used to block ads. And unlike many other Android privacy apps, it doesn't require you to root your phone. Operating System: Android.
57. Orbot
Orbot brings the functionality and anonymity of Tor to Android devices. It allows users to access the Web, instant messaging and email without being tracked or blocked. Operating System: OS Independent.

Multi-Function Privacy Tools

58. Basic Linux Privacy Tools
The We Are Hidden group packaged together this set of privacy tools for Linux users. It includes Proxy Chains, Putty, Tor, True Crypt and more. Operating System: Linux.

Network Firewalls

59. IPCop
Ideal for home or home office networks, IPCop lets you turn any PC into a Linux firewall to protect your network. It does require some technical know-how, but it's fairly easy to use. Operating System: Linux.
60. Devil-Linux
This Linux distribution was designed to turn a PC into a dedicated network firewall/router. In addition, it can be used as an application server. Operating System: Linux.

61. Turtle Firewall
Another Iptables-based Linux Firewall, Turtle boasts easy configuration. It offers a Web GUI for networking newbies or you can manage it by modifying XML files directly. Operating System: Linux.
62. Shorewall
Short for "Shoreline Firewall," Shorewall uses the built-in functionality in Linux to create a firewall. Unlike some of the other options, Shorewall can be used in two ways: installed on a separate PC and used to protect a network, or installed on a standalone PC to protect a single system. Operating System: Linux.
One more option for those looking to set up a Linux firewall, Vuurmuur is a network firewall with an impressive list of features. Those include a GUI, secure remote administration, traffic shaping and real-time traffic monitoring. Operating System: Linux.

Operating System

64. Liberté Linux
Based on Gentoo, this Linux distribution was designed primarily to allow users to communicate covertly. The website boasts, "Whether you are a privacy advocate, a dissident, or a sleeper agent, you are equally likely to find Liberté Linux useful as a mission-critical communication aid."
65. Ubuntu Privacy Remix
This Ubuntu variant runs from a CD and creates a secure environment for working with sensitive data. It's not meant to be installed permanently on a hard drive; instead, you use it when working with data that you don't want to be stolen or in order to prevent others (like a government entity) from monitoring your online activities.

Password Management

66. KeePass Password Safe
Don't use the same password over and over, and don't write your passwords down someplace. Instead, use a password safe like KeePass. It helps protect you by storing all of your passwords in an encrypted database that you can access with a single master password. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
67. Password Safe
Downloaded more than 1 million times, Password Safe is another popular open source option for protecting your passwords. This app also lets you organize your passwords into categories, such as work and home, for example. Operating System: Windows.

Portable Apps

68. Democrakey
Envisioned as a way to protect users from government surveillance and censorship, Democrakey is a set of portable apps that can be installed on a USB drive to provide secure browsing, email, and more from any system. USB drives with Democrakey installed are available for sale from Operating System: Windows.
69. Anon On The Go
This tool from the We Are Hidden group includes portable versions of bleachbit, proxifier, True Crypt, uTorrent, Thunderbird, Putty, Tor, Pidgin and others. Plug it into any system to browse or communicate anonymously. Operating System: OS Independent.
70. Tails
Load Tails on a thumb drive or DVD and then use it on any system to protect your privacy. It includes a web browser (Tor), instant messaging client, email client, office suite, image and sound editor, and other software designed to protect your anonymity. When you remove the USB drive or DVD, it leaves behind no traces of your activities. Operating System: OS Independent.
71. Lightweight Portable Security
Used by the U.S. government, this project turns any PC (or Mac) into a secure computing node. When you plug in a USB drive containing LPS into your system, it enables secure, private Web browsing and prevents the system from downloading any malware. Operating System: OS Independent.
72. Polippix
This project describes itself as a "political statement in a bootable CD" because it began life as a protest against anti-terrorism laws in Denmark. When inserted in a system, it helps users protect their identities and stay anonymous. Operating System: OS Independent.

Proxy Server

73. Privoxy
Want to set up your own proxy server? Privoxy describes itself as "a non-caching web proxy with advanced filtering capabilities for enhancing privacy, modifying web page data and HTTP headers, controlling access, and removing ads and other obnoxious Internet junk." It can protect networks or standalone systems. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Social Networking

Reclaim Privacy aims to make it easy to make sure your Facebook settings are set to keep your personal information private. Unfortunately, every time Facebook tweaks its privacy settings--which is often--the tool has to be reconfigured. As a result, it can't check all of your settings for you, but it can serve as a good double-check to make sure you're not disclosing any information to anyone you don't want to see it. Operating System: OS Independent.
75. Diaspora
If you'd rather avoid the potential privacy problems on Facebook by avoiding the social network altogether, you might want to check out Diaspora. It's an open source social network designed with privacy in mind. Operating System: OS Independent.

No comments:

Post a Comment