PROS / In addition to protecting your privacy, this program frees up space on your computer and can improve its performance.
CONS / This privacy software does not have email cleaning options, leaving some of your personal conversations susceptible.
VERDICT / WinSweeper has a clean interface, which makes using this software easy. However, we found it leaves behind traces of internet activity and does not offer as much security as the top-rated privacy software in our review.
WinSweeper is privacy software that maintains your confidentiality by removing traces of computer activity. Everything you do on your computer leaves a trace, and you can’t cover your tracks simply by clearing your browser history or deleting documents. This program can significantly reduce how much information you expose by cleaning up your online activity and traces of your history that are stored in Windows and software applications.
This application is remarkably easy to use. The main screen displays a cumulative history of the software’s activity with running totals of the threats removed and disk space recovered. You can also keep tabs on your relative risk with a color-coded privacy status indicator and track your current identity exposure risk based on when you last cleaned and how many history traces have accumulated. The software is organized according to the four major areas the software cleans: Windows, Microsoft Office, internet browsers and other applications.
Under the Internet tab, you can select which parts of your computer you want to clean. This privacy software can remove your internet activity, including the browser history, visited and typed URLs, list of downloaded programs, cookies, autocomplete forms, temporary internet files, and passwords. You can keep cookies for sites that you visit on a regular basis. The software even clears the Index.dat file, which is a database in Windows that stores all sorts of information about your internet history that is otherwise locked and can’t be deleted. Furthermore, WinSweeper supports internet history cleaning in all the major browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari.
In our testing, after we used the software to erase data from the various internet browsers, we found that a significant amount of our internet activity remained available. When we used recovery software, we uncovered even more information. WinSweeper eliminates the majority of history that is left in your browser; however, we found that enough remained to reveal internet activity to anyone looking.
In addition to wiping internet browsers, this privacy eraser has instant messenger cleaning options. It wipes the conversations you have on most popular messengers, including AOL, Google, Yahoo, Skype, Camfrog, ICQ, Miranda ICQ, NetMeeting and Pidgin. It also wipes free space from your hard drive, deleting file data that is left behind when you delete files, opening up more space on your computer. This function also improves your computer’s performance and speed. However, the software does not clean your emails, which may leave personal information vulnerable.
The history eraser eliminates private information in all the essential areas such as internet browsers, temporary files, the clipboard and the recycle bin. It detects and deletes your tracks from the start menu, the record of what you’ve opened and saved, and the SWAP file.
WinSweeper also removes evidence of your history on Microsoft Office. When you open or save documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint or other applications, a remnant of your activity is stored. WinSweeper removes any trace of your opened documents and the record that you opened them. This is beneficial for those who don’t want any of their computer habits or documents tracked.
Files and folders deleted in Windows aren’t actually removed permanently and leave remnants that computer sleuths can still uncover. WinSweeper shreds files in a manner that makes them unrecoverable. You can choose between a single pass, triple pass and the three-pass algorithm used by the U.S. Department of Defense.
We found that WinSweeper is fairly effective at removing traces of Windows activity. In our testing, we only found minimal traces of activity left behind when we used recovery software, and it recovered an insignificant information from the files we created or worked on.
You can scan for files manually or you can create a customized schedule. WinSweeper can be set to run automatically when Windows starts up or every hour. The software can also run in the background so it doesn’t interfere with your other computer activities. While it cleans most your Windows files and folders, it does not wipe data from removable media.
WinSweeper has help and support options available on its website. The site has a knowledgebase with articles in 23 different languages. It also has an online user guide you can use to search for instruction. You can contact technical support directly by email submission, phone and live chat.
WinSweeper is privacy software that is effective and easy to use. The program’s clean interface makes it easy to find tools quickly. This software maintains your privacy and PC performance by removing unnecessary and personal data from your computer, but it doesn’t perform as well when removing information from your internet browser.