Tech

Free service offers users anonymous IP address, encrypted Internet history

A new app seeks to protect user privacy while surfing the Internet, providing a solution to growing consumer privacy concerns.

Cocoon — available for Firefox, Internet Explorer and iOS devices — encrypts user browsing history, conducts antivirus scanning of downloads, blocks malware, assigns the user an anonymous IP address and provides a user account with “on-the-fly disposable email addresses.” The app also enables secure public WiFi for businesses who provide free WiFi to their customers.

An ad-supported version of the app is available for free. Inexpensive ad-free versions are also available for download.

In addition to the app, the Cocoon blog provides user privacy tips for surfing the Internet and using social networking sites.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the lack of privacy in the so called ‘privacy policies’ with sites such as Google and Facebook, and they are reacting by taking more control of their online data,” Vernon Irvin, president and CEO of Virtual World Computing, the creator of Cocoon, told TheDC.

“We saw a 30% rise in sign-ups of our online privacy and security software, Cocoon, after Google recently started combining all the data from users of its products to create a mega-profile on each consumer,” said Irvin.

A recent survey by FishNet Security found that information security officials are becoming increasingly concerned about the privacy and security risks of mobile cloud computing.  

The Obama administration and various lawmakers are pushing for new consumer privacy regulations. In March the Obama administration announced its support for a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.”

Irvin told TheDC that he views Cocoon as a free-market solution to increasing concerns about privacy.

“We are living in an increasingly interconnected world —  whether using desktops or mobile devices our personal and business data is at risk,” said Irvin. “I believe private market solutions can address the privacy issue right now, while we wait for new privacy legislation.”

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