GCN Insider | A stealth gadget

TRENDS & TECHNOLOGIES that affect the way government does IT

SELF-DEFENSE: The StealthSurfer II is a secure browser environment on a USB key.

Mobile workers take note: There are more and more ways to protect yourself when you're forced to use an airport kiosk or a shared PC. Among the latest are secure computing environments stored on USB thumb drives.

Last month, a company called Stealth Ideas Inc. of Woodland Hills, Calif., came out with its StealthSurfer II ID Protect. The miniature flash drive lets you surf anonymously from any computer using an integrated browser that runs in an encrypted mode.

It comes loaded with several tools, including Anonymizer Anonymous Surfing 1.540 (which has IP masking), RoboForm Pass2Go 6.5.9 (a user ID/password management application) and Thunderbird 1.0.7 (for e-mail access).

But before you buy, check to see if the company has upgraded its browser, which, according to company officials at the product's launch, is Firefox 1.5.0.1. US-CERT and others have warned about significant vulnerabilities in certain versions of Firefox (and Thunderbird, for that matter). The version available as of press time, Version 1.5.0.2, addresses those flaws.

Pricing for the StealthSurfer II ID Protect starts at $99 for a 256MB model. You can get devices with as much as 2GB of storage.

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