Today’s giveaway is of Spotmau Privacy Kit. The developer – Spotmau Corporation – seems to do business in an unorthodox way. Where as most developers offer trial versions of their software, so users can try before they buy, Spotmau does no such thing. You need to purchase their software after which you receive a download link. Since I always use trial versions of software to prepare reviews beforehand, this poses a problem for me. I contacted their support about it earlier today, but have yet to receive a response. So, no review today… sorry. However, if I may, I still have my two cents to say.
Spotmau.com has a poor reputation on WOT (SiteAdvisor gives Spoutmau.com the green light, but SiteAdvisor did not test any downloads on the website). While there are positive comments and ratings for the developer, overall the ratings are very low and there are quite a few negative comments also. A couple of the negative comments are for spam and bad customer experience. While having such ratings is not ideal, these particular negative ratings are not really what bother me. Rather, the comments about phishing scams, rogue software, and viruses are worrisome. For example, here are two comments, the first one by Arcade™ and the other by hpHosts:
Phishing Scam Website! -
This site provides applications or services “Rogue” -
Risk of identity theft or other fraud -
Used for the distribution of “rogue” security or other such applications.
As I said there are positive comments for Spotmau, and according to Spotmau.com some of Spotmau’s software has been reviewed by respectable sources (although the developer does a lot of “award swapping”, i.e. placing awards and reviews that belong to other software on Privacy Kit’s page). However, Spotmau Privacy Kit – today’s giveaway – does not offer very unique features; the features offered by Privacy Kit can be found in other software. In other words, there is not very much reward for the high level of risk users put themselves in by using software from a company that has a huge question mark above it. I am not saying Spotmau Privacy Kit is malicious software (I did not download it nor did I review it so I can’t make such a judgment call on it); I am sure the GOTD team has properly vetted the software before running it as today’s giveaway. What I am saying is the risk – the possibility of the software being malicious – far outweighs the reward in my opinion.
Everyone is welcome to download and use Spotmau Privacy Kit. As I said I am sure the GOTD team has made sure Privacy Kit is malware-free. But, my suggestion would be to look at other (free) software that we know for sure are trustworthy and offer same/similar features as Privacy Kit:
- File/ Disk Encryption: TrueCrypt and/or AxCrypt
- Secure File Deletion/Disk Wiping: East-Tec Eraser 2009 or Eraser
- Program Lock: I am not exactly sure how this feature works since I did not try the software, but the EXE Protector feature of WinUtilities Professional Edition may be able to accomplish the same task.
If you have any more information on Spotmau Privacy Kit, Spotmau Corporation, or know of more alternatives to Spotmau Privacy Kit, please share in the comments below.