Somebody’s Watching You
With widespread media attention on topic of domestic spying by the NSA, fear and paranoia are plaguing the interwebs. Beyond the conspiracy theorists, many regular folks are wondering about how to keep their information private and secure.
We thought we would share some of the information related to web privacy that is widely available on the web. Here are some examples of internet privacy tools and privacy-related web resources, to help you ensure your data and communications are safe from prying eyes.
Update 9/6/13: In light of new revelations about the lack of security of traditional encryption software, you might want to first take a look at the advice being provided by Bruce Schneier at The Guardian and the folks over at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Internet Privacy Tools
HTTPS Everywhere is a free extension that is available for your Firefox or Chrome browser. When you use HTTPS Everywhere, your communications with many websites are encrypted, thereby providing you with a more secure browsing experience. You can read more about HTTPS, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, here.
Browse the internet without being tracked. When you conduct an internet search using one of the big-name browsers (such as Google), information about your behavior on the web is shared with advertisers and various third parties. Duck Duck Go also claims they don’t retain your search history, which means you’re less vulnerable to future hacking or information requests from big-government agencies. One added benefit is that you can escape from the “filter bubble,” too.
Tor is free and open source software that protects you from a form of internet surveillance called “traffic analysis. Many activists use it to communicate with one another, and journalists use it for online conversations with whistleblowers and leakers. Even the US military and intelligence services utilize the Tor Project. By creating a secure network of “virtual tunnels,” Tor protects your communications such as email and chat messages from unwanted snooping. This is just one more item you should have in your basket of internet privacy tools.
Internet Privacy Resources
The EPIC provides a huge directory of privacy tools and links to encryption software. EPIC is a Washington-based public interest research center. Their newsletter, the EPIC Alert, covers the latest developments in privacy news.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation provides legal representation, advocacy, and general information related to your rights in the digital world. Their website is a great place to stay up-to-date the current state of legal rights and litigation related to information, privacy, the internet, and online communications. The EFF and the Tor Project were co-creators of HTTPS Anywhere.
The Wall Street Journal has created a series on online privacy and internet tracking, called What They Know. This is a useful place to go to read about issues affecting your privacy on the internet.
The Guardian website features the latest published reports based on the leaks from Edward Snowden, as well as breaking news on issues affecting internet privacy worldwide.
And, who could resist a little fun? Here’s Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me.” Seems Rockwell was onto something….
“I always feel like / Somebody’s watching me / And I have no privacy…”
Flickr Photo Credit: kellinahandbasket
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