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SmokeScreen 2.2

Instantly hide what you're doing on the computer

by Mike Williams

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Based on 0 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 07 December 2012
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 1002
Developer: Harmony Hollow Software
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SmokeScreen 2.2
Instantly hide what you're doing on the computer

SmokeScreen is a simple privacy tool which allows to conceal what you're doing on a PC with the flick of a mouse.

You can activate the program by moving it to one of the corners of edges of your screen, for instance; rolling the mouse wheel; clicking the middle mouse button, or clicking both the left and right mouse buttons together.

By default your chosen action will minimize all windows. Leaving a blank desktop could look a little suspicious, though, so the program can also display a decoy screen capture which you take at some earlier time, packed with other applications. This won't stand up to close scrutiny (the clock will be wrong, and you can't click or drag anything, as it's just an image), but if someone just gives it a casual glance there shouldn't be any problems.

There are some design issues here. The program claims it always activates when you hit the "~" key, for instance (only on our PC it seemed to be the apostrophe, presumably some kind of key mapping issue). And you can't turn this off.

And SmokeScreen's activation logic appears to be a little strange (or there's a bug, we're not sure which). We could activate the program once via a mouse action, but that was it: it wouldn't do anything else until we closed and restarted it (or pressed the apostrophe key, which annoyingly worked all the time).

The program is seriously flawed, then, but if you just want to protect yourself in a situation where you're not doing much typing (using a browser, say), it may be just about good enough.

If you decide to try SmokeScreen out, though, be aware that it tries to install a browser toolbar. If that's not what you want, pay close attention during setup and clear the relevant checkbox.


SmokeScreen has some major flaws, but could still be occasionally useful as a way to conceal what you're doing on a PC

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.7

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.7 brings:

• Starred Messages