Products track hidden information on electronic devices
November 17th, 2010 @ 10:17pm
By Scott Haws
SALT LAKE CITY -- Every time you visit a website, send an e-mail, or text, you're leaving a digital footprint. A couple of products can recover hidden information you may not even know is there.
What it means is when you delete something, it's not really gone; you just can't see it.
One product getting a lot of attention is the Porn Stick. It's a simple thumb drive that will scan your entire computer and find any current or deleted pornographic images. Special Agent Rusty Isakson with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force depends on the latest technology to help catch child porn predators.
"The digital world really does give you a format where you can track and trace," he said.
John and Laurel Porter rely on surprise inspections to keep track of their three children's laptops and cell phones.
"We just walk downstairs and say give me your phone. And with them, we'll look at their history, we take their iPod and see what they're listening to," John said.
"Just like I tell them now, I'm going to monitor your e-mails, I can monitor your texts. That's kind of the rule," Laurel said.
The rules are changing, though, because parents like the Porters now have access to essentially the same technology that police have had, thanks to companies like Utah-based Paraben, which specializes in computer forensic software.
Amber Schroeder, CEO of Paraben Corp., said, "A lot of people don't realize how dirty surfing the Internet can be for your machine."
The Porn Stick is one of Paraben's hottest new products.
"It's designed to actually go out and find illicit images and content on your computer and allow you to go through them and remove them," Schroeder said.
It's not just parents who are buying the Porn Stick. In fact, Paraben's biggest customer is spouses, in particular women.
"I wish 100 percent of the people out there were secure in their relationships, but the reality is they're not, and this is our No. 1 customer," Schroeder said.