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Privacy software is software built to protect the privacy of its users. The software typically works in conjunction with Internet usage to control or limit the amount of information made available to third parties. The software can apply encryption or filtering of various kinds.
Types of protection
Privacy software can refer to two different types of protection. One type is protecting a user's Internet privacy from the World Wide Web. There are software products that will mask or hide a user's IP address from the outside world to protect the user from identity theft. The second type of protection is hiding or deleting the user's Internet traces that are left on their PC after they have been surfing the Internet. There is software that will erase all the user's Internet traces and there is software that will hide and encrypt a user's traces so that others using their PC will not know where they have been surfing.
Whitelisting and blacklisting
One solution to enhance privacy software is whitelisting. Whitelisting is a process in which a company identifies the software that it will allow and does not try to recognize malware. Whitelisting permits acceptable software to run and either prevents anything else from running or lets new software run in a quarantined environment until its validity can be verified. Whereas whitelisting allows nothing to run unless it is on the whitelist, blacklisting allows everything to run unless it is on the black. A blacklist then includes certain types of software that are not allowed to run in the company environment. For example, a company might blacklist peer-to-peer file sharing on its systems. In addition to software, people, devices, and websites can also be whitelisted or blacklisted.
Intrusion detection systems
Intrusion detection systems are designed to detect all types of malicious network traffic and computer usage that cannot be detected by a firewall. These systems capture all network traffic flows and examine the contents of each packet for malicious traffic.
Encryption is another form of privacy security. When organizations do not have a secure channel for sending information, they use encryption to stop unauthorized eavesdroppers. Encryption is the process of converting an original message into a form that cannot be read by anyone except the intended receiver.
Steganography is sometimes used to hide messages from eavesdropping and e-surveillance. Compared to using cryptography, which translates the text itself to another format, stenography hides the data rather than converting it. According to the company Privacy Canada, by using Steganography, they ensure that messages can be hidden from being exposed. Similar to cryptography, the message is encoded for protection in various ways: Text, Image, Audio, Video, and Network Steganography. It is a substitute for cryptography to conceal texts from being viewed.
Privacy vs anonymity
Privacy is different from anonymity in its applicability and usage. Anonymity is subordinate to privacy and might be desired for the exchange, retrieval, or publication of specific information.
Legal issues of use
Uses of privacy software are not free from legal issues. For instance, there are regulations for the export of cryptography from the United States. Similarly, key disclosure law also requires individuals to surrender cryptographic keys to law enforcement agencies. Encryption laws in India also carry many legal restrictions in diverse situations. Talks are also in pipeline to include cybersecurity technologies, like encryption-related software, under the Wassenaar Arrangement thereby making its export more cumbersome.
- Information privacy
- Internet privacy
- Proxy server
- Metadata removal tool
- Privacy engineering
- Privacy-enhancing technologies
- GNU Privacy Guard (GPG)
- Pretty Easy privacy
- Portable Firefox
- Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)
- Secure Shell (SSH)
- "Introduction", Transforming Governance, Routledge, pp. 17–22, 2016-03-03, ISBN 978-1-315-55010-7, retrieved 2020-11-22
- Privacy Canada. "Steganography". Privacy Canada. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
- "Encryption Laws In India". Cyber Law, Cyber Security, Telecom Laws And Telecom Security Legal Due Diligence And Statutory Compliance Services In India. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "India Opposes Proposal To Include Cyber Security Technologies Under The Wassenaar Arrangement". International Legal Issues Of Cyber Attacks, Cyber Terrorism, Cyber Espionage, Cyber Warfare And Cyber Crimes. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.