While we wouldn't for a minute want to imply that our readers peruse anything racier than the PC Advisor site when surfing the internet, that doesn't mean you want any old Tom, Dick or Harry to see your online habits. GhostSurf 2006 Platinum aims to soothe this and a number of other privacy concerns.
Once you've installed the program and gone through some enthusiastic requests for registration details, GhostSurf presents an intuitive interface with five options to tighten up your computer security.
The Privacy Control Center enables you to adjust the level of information given out by your PC while you browse the net. You can block cookies, encrypt data and root your connection through anonymous hubs so your IP address is hidden.
Be warned, however, that your browser will need to be reconfigured if it's Netscape or Firefox – IE and Opera users need not worry on this score – and our web connection appeared to slow down slightly on the top two privacy levels. A few pages even failed to load, claiming not to recognise our now-disguised browser.
Other options include AdArmor – a useful resource for blocking pop-ups, page resizings, website music and the like – and SpyCatcher, an antispyware facility that can be instructed to scan your PC at regular intervals.
Personal Data Vault provides password-protected storage for sensitive data and, finally, the excellent TracksCleaner enables you to wipe away traces of your surfing, as well as any files you may wish to see the back of. It offers a variety of wiping strengths, from the merely adequate to military-grade paranoia.