Protecting Your Privacy Online – Everything You Need To Know
Taking technology for granted has its implications, especially when it means you are sacrificing your privacy in return. Surprisingly, it is not just the NSA, but governments from around the world are working tirelessly to introduce legislations giving them access to monitor, store and review every phone call, message and email. This is quite alarming and is a cause for concern for any individual who is online. If you too are concerned about protecting your privacy online, here is what you will need to keep in mind.
Is Encryption Secure?
Revelations of NSA’s plans to deliberately eliminate global encryption standards along with the threat of the Heartbleed bug has caused a lot of people to lose confidence in encryption. Not only is it a bad idea to underestimate the NSA’s ability to compromise encryption methods, but it is an even bigger mistake at the same time. But then again, encryption is your best defense against these constant attacks as ciphers like OpenVPN and AES are secure to a certain extent. Truth be told, encryption is your best bet at securing your presence online against potential adversaries apart from the NSA.
Change your Passwords Immediately
If you are not sure whether a service online has resolved this issue, it would be wise to ask them. If the problem does not exist, you should change your passwords immediately.
Securing your Browser
Securing your Email
Since email encryption does not necessarily encrypt everything like the email addresses of the receiver or sender and the subject line, it can still do a lot of harm in the wrong hands. This can all be prevented with the installation of end-to-end email programs like Pretty Good Privacy.
Securing your Conversations
If you want to secure your conversations, you can do so with the help of Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) with end-to-end encryption. These VoIPs allow you to send messages and make phone calls over the internet. Not only is it effective, but it is quite affordable at the same time.
As long as you carry your smartphone, you can always be tracked. It has nothing to do with GPS, but each and every tower it uses will keep track of you. In this case, your only solution would be to leave your phone at home and by making sure your location history is disabled.
Securing your Online Storage
Consider Using a Search Engine that does not Track you
This can all be avoided by using search engines that do not keep track of you. DuckDuckGo has grown immensely popular ever since the NSA was revealed to be spying on individuals online. The users visiting the search engine jumped from two to three million users in less than eight days. Additionally, these search engines avoids the use of filter bubbles. Since a majority of search engines use your search history in order to profile you, it thus results in new search terms you may be interested in. But that is not the case with search engines like YaCy, StartPage and Gibiru and neither do they track you.
Use Firewall, Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software
Additional Tips and Tricks to Keep in Mind
If you are looking for additional tips and tricks to protect your privacy online, you are at the right place. You have to understand that commercial software is not to be trusted in any case whatsoever. You can start securing your presence online by switching to non-commercial software or operating system as they do not have back-doors built into them by the NSA. Operating systems like Ubuntu are quite effective and secure in comparison to Windows.
On the other hand, you can further secure your presence online through virtual machines. These programs simulate an operating system as if it were running on a physical hard drive. One of the best things about this approach is that the host computer itself is out of reach of attackers and viruses. Moreover, these virtual machines can also be encrypted for enhanced security.
After going through this article, you might be asking yourself whether your privacy is worth it in the end. It goes without saying your privacy is your basic human right, but it does come at a cost. You will have to ponder about the compromises you will have to make in order to secure your privacy online. Rest assured, no individual would like having each and every email, call and message recorded, reviewed and then exploited. However, maintaining your privacy is not going to be an easy task in the years to come. Keeping the aforementioned factors in mind, you now have the necessary tools to better your privacy online. It is true when they say that nothing is foolproof, but it should never stop you from doing the best you can do in order to stop others from invading your life.