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iOS Privacy: Cocoon Offers Browsing Option

Added by on May 17, 2012
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Cocoon is offering a browser alternative for iOS that is designed to provide iGadget users with enhanced privacy protection. Vendors evidently see a market that is increasingly concerned about privacy, and iOS privacy protections are being expanded.

And in the (BYOD) era, this is good news for IT managers at midsize firms. Privacy and security are very closely interlinked. Indeed, they are arguably two sides of one coin. What is kept private is implicitly kept secure; what becomes public information is definitionally not secure. And in a BYOD world, consumer privacy and security has a direct impact on IT security.

Search.Browsing Privacy for the Mobile User

Cocoon, a provider of privacy apps for the iPhone and iPad, as well as for desktop computers, has expanded its offerings to include a mobile browser option that boosts iOS privacy. As reported by Seth Rosenblatt at CNET, the browser, called GetCocoon, employs technology borrowed from its desktop browser plug-in. Site requests are passed through secure Cocoon servers, stripping out personal identifying information.

GetCocoon thus seeks to provide a privacy-enhancing alternative to the Safari browser for iGadget users who are looking for such an alternative. The browser will support creation of anonymous e-mail addresses, along with a single-PIN sign-on procedure. Optional blocking of iAds is also provided, though they are not blocked by default.

Privacy and Security

From the perspective of IT managers at midsize firms, the interest here is not in a particular product, but in the privacy and security concerns that it is being offered to address.

Employees who use their BYOD devices for other work tasks may also use them for work-related Internet browsing. Indeed, they will almost certainly do so. And keeping that browsing secure is an important IT issue at midsize firms.

Knowledge of the Web sites that a firm's employees are visiting as part of their job can provide insights into the company's strategy, technology challenges, marketing, and a host of other valuable business information. Both competitors and cyber criminals might like to have that type of information.

Yet BYOD device privacy can also arouse IT managers' anxieties. Employees' browsing on the job is not always work-related. It can amount to goofing off. And in some cases it can be inappropriate--at times, seriously so. Nevertheless, the protection offered by browsing privacy tools is more important than the threat such tools pose.

More obliquely, the fact that vendors are offering mobile privacy solutions testifies to growing awareness of mobile security concerns. And this security consciousness is also a benefit to IT managers at midsize firms. BYOD users who are more conscious of their own security will be more aware of and responsive to business security concerns. And security consciousness is a win-win for everyone--except hackers.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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