E-business companies will be the first to tell you that the information they collect about your browsing habits enables them to improve their bottom line. Some junk-raking companies benefit from the sale of your information held in “junk databases.” In them, they record where you surf and what ads you download.
The problem for users arises when collected data is used in conjunction with tracking databases, which can enable a direct identification of certain individual visitors.
JunkBusters Corp.’s Internet Junkbusters 2.0.2 is free privacy-enhancement software that controls communications to Web browsers, such as banner ads and cookies. It works as a proxy that stands between a Web browser and the Internet, checking every HTTP request for each resource, including graphics, against a blockfile of URLs before sending it over the Internet. It also deletes unauthorized cookies and other unwanted identifying header data.
It’s a bit complicated to get up and running, so administrators will need to be proxy server-savvy and have some basic programming knowledge to modify the junkbstr.ini file. For those reasons the Internet Junkbuster software earned a score of Good.
The default junkbstr.ini file is set to block cookies, and additional configuration means rewriting the file — the biggest drawback of the program.
Internet Junkbuster did everything we asked it to. Administrators will have the challenge of maintaining ongoing records of what cookies, ads, and sites will be acceptable for their companies and users along with updating their junkbstr.ini file. Despite that, Internet Junkbuster is a good tool for controlling unwanted cookies and banner ads and keeping private information a little more private.
Ana Orubeondo (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior analyst at InfoWorld.
THE BOTTOM LINE: GOOD
Internet Junkbuster 2.0.2
Business Case: Information you need will load faster while the junk is discarded. By blocking cookies, you keep your competition from tracking your users and their systems.
Technology Case: Internet Junkbusters offers a good solution for blocking cookies, ads, and unwanted sites. Administrators are faced with the challenge of deploying and updating.
+ Free download software
+ Blocks unwanted cookies, ads, and Web sites
– Complicated to configure and deploy
– Provides no tracking service
Cost: Free download software
Platform(s): Windows 95/98/2000, Windows NT Server, Mac, Linux, and Solaris
JunkBusters Corp., Green Brook, N.J.; (908) 753-7861; http://www.junkbuster.com.
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