By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
Worried about who is keeping track of how many times you visit Saks Fifth Avenue or view your bank statement online?
A new Boca Raton-based start-up TraceFree offers a way to search privately and securely.
TraceFree is a remote browser with privacy as its function, founder Scott Shaffer said.
“It’s a disposable browsing session, Shaffer said. “You do a transaction and its gone.”
Rather than calling it a smart browser, Shaffer calls it a dumb browser because it doesn’t remember anything you do while using it.
The websites you visit while using TraceFree will not know it is you searching. It will appear as a new device every time without cookies, he said.
“The website sees you coming in form one of our servers, not your device,” he said. “They see you on a brand new, cookie free browser every time. All data is deleted. There’s no browsing history and there is no possible way to get a virus on your device.”
Those who are worried someone is watching their internet habits can use TraceFree to make sure websites can’t see, capture, share or track any personal data.
Shaffer, a former investment banker and angel investor, said he came up with the idea a few years ago.
“I could see there would be a need for privacy on the internet,” he said. “People are under the assumption that you are private and you’re secure, but you’re not. People are finally starting to recognize how much data you give when you click on a link.”
Two years ago, he said he started putting the pieces together to see what it would take to launch TraceFree.He formed the corporation in Jan. 2017 and launched on an initial server eight months. TraceFree is now fully up and running.
To use the service, you spend $5 per month per device. You will receive an application to download on the device. There is no log-in or password so you can’t share it on multiple devices.
Shaffer said it can be used by anyone from an individual looking for more security while on the internet to businesses who are worried about someone accidentally clicking and opening a virus on a companywide network.
TraceFree is user-friendly. It is set up for Google to be the homepage. If you are searching and are unsure of a link you come across, you can right click and the link will open in TraceFree.