Online identity theft is a major issue, so the proliferation of phishing sites and Trojans that can expose personal details means everyone has to be careful about where they enter financial details. Protection is increasingly built into security suites, but Confidential is one of the first dedicated applications to protect your identity online.
The program works in two ways. It is a browser-based toolbar that warns of potentially hazardous sites. It also works through the Protection Center, which includes an InfoVault to protect and encrypt your passwords. The Protection Center monitors your PC and its level of protection. This includes a close look at any transactions that take place online.
While experienced users are canny enough not to follow links from dodgy emails, the way in which phishing sites have extended over the past few months means plenty of apparently innocent links from search engines can be dangerous.
Internet Explorer 7.0 now includes phishing protection as standard, but Confidential's facilities are more robust and will prevent dangerous pages from loading. If you use the McAfee Security Center, however, the level of protection is comparable.
Confidential integrates neatly with Symantec's Security Suite. Together they are able to encrypt sensitive information, meaning that you can have pretty much complete confidence in the safety of your personal data. However, for advanced users there are free tools that will enable you to do this.