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Privacy can be a complicated thing; many companies and individuals do not know much about exactly how much personal information is available to others. They also are often unsure of how to better protect it. Fortunately, many products are available to help users better understand their privacy and how to properly protect themselves. These products are designed to be quick and easy to use.

Easy Privacy

Adblock Plus, a company that offers free web browser extensions to block or filter ads, has recently expanded its EasyPrivacy filter list. EasyPrivacy now blocks tracking resources that are usually hidden on websites and create a unique profile for users that is later sold to targeting or advertising companies. EasyPrivacy accomplishes this by blocking tracking pixels, cookies and scripts. As of the beginning of 2014, EasyPrivacy contained almost 8,600 filters and was growing.

 

PII Discovery Tool

Ground Labs, a creator of sensitive-data discovery software, has introduced a new program to help companies manage the private information of their customers. Data Recon is a data discovery tool designed to keep companies in compliance with global privacy laws by searching computers, mobile devices, networks and cloud storage for confidential customer PII such as names, Social Security numbers, addresses, passport numbers, bank accounts and medical information. Data Recon gives companies a report of any PII held within their systems, which the companies can use to protect the data so it is no longer at risk in the event of a breach.

 

User-Friendly Privacy Policies

Private Parts, a customizable toolkit by Lookout, is aimed at helping developers implement user-friendly privacy policies. The goal of Private Parts is to change the legalese of a privacy policy into a clear, visual design that shows users how an app collects and shares data. Developers can create a visual, easy-to-understand privacy policy in less than one hour and in five simple steps. After the basic privacy policy is created, developers can customize the look of the policy using options provided in the toolkit. See the IAPP’s feature story on the tool here.

 

Mobile to Mobile Privacy

     

Boolean Tech, a new mobile privacy company, has released ŠtítMe to help mobile users protect themselves. The product allows people to have telephone conversations without revealing their telephone numbers to each other. Once a user registers online, the next outgoing call made will show the recipient a unique protected phone number instead of the caller’s actual number. Each person on the user’s contact list will receive a different number so that unique number can always be called by the recipients to reach the user. The company highlights the fact that no third party can contact the user, as the number created unique to each recipient can only be used by that recipient’s device to contact the user.

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