I have never believed in reviewing security products. Even government-backed security tests can’t do much more than say this product is well-documented; and, if they’re particularly sophisticated, they might be able to say it stops everything in Metasploit at a particular point in time. All a reviewer can say is that I didn’t find any problems. No-one can say there are no problems.
With that in mind I’ve been playing with PrivacyFix on Chrome. It takes the hassle out of fixing your privacy settings on Facebook and Google, and helps you control cookie tracking. At least that’s what it says it does – and I’ve found no reason to doubt it.
Even though I left Facebook back in May 2010 I decided more recently that I needed an account if only to check products like this. I have no friends, am friended by no-one; I like no-one and nothing, and am liked by no-one; I have no apps and no timeline.
Nevertheless, PrivacyFix took me through the major privacy settings, asked me if I wanted to change them, and then helped me do it. This is how it finished…
My Facebook privacy after PrivacyFix
…and I particularly like
What Facebook earns off me
I guess it’s only fair that Facebook earns 3 cents per annum from me for the ability to run PrivacyFix. Google is different. I have an unspoken moral contract with Google. It provides me with free email and Google Apps, and I make frequent use of Maps to help get from A to B.
My Google privacy after PrivacyFix
What Google earns off me
$458 per annum is probably a fair price. What it does tell me, of course, is that I should buy shares in Google rather than Facebook.
On to tracking. I have my browser set to delete cookies at the end of each session, but it does mean that I accumulate tracking cookies between restarts. Perhaps you’ll take my word for it that there were five nasty tracking cookies tracking me right now before I clicked Fix. Now there are none. And its going to be more difficult for them to get back on.
But PrivacyFix doesn’t stop there. It also gives me a privacy health rating for the sites I visit. Intuitively, I have always felt more confident about my privacy with Twitter than with LinkedIn, and with LinkedIn than with Facebook. Now I have ‘proof’:
Privacy health on Twitter
Privacy health on LinkedIn
Privacy health on Facebook
You can get PrivacyFix here.
[If you find an advert beneath this post, it's not because of me, and I don't benefit. It's because you haven't installed AdBlock. I suggest you go get it.]