5 Ways to Easily Increase Your Internet Security
December 12th, 2012
In this age of technology nothing is private. In fact,Â NSAÂ whistleblowerÂ William Binney recently statedÂ that literally every email sent in the US is recorded by the FBI.
For those living in reality, it has been know that since the 90â€˛s under President Clinton, programs such asÂ Echelon monitored nearly every phone call, fax, and emailÂ in the United States.
Sites like Facebook have been known toÂ record users web history even when they are logged out.Â GoogleÂ has had toÂ pay out millions for its privacy violationsÂ such as disablingÂ privacyÂ settings on Internet browsers to allow them to track you. Google Street View cars used to take pictures for Google Earth wereÂ caught stealing passwords and informationÂ from home computers it drove past. The list of privacy violations by U.S. intelligence groups and their corporate front groups are too many to list.
Good Internet security is not about â€śhaving something to hide.â€ť It is simply about protecting your personal information from groups who wish to use it for reasons you may not want. What good are passwords if your information is not truly private? Here are 5 easy steps everyone can take to increase their privacy.
1. CHANGE YOUR SEARCH ENGINE!
UseÂ Startpage!Â StartpageÂ removes all identifying information from your query and submits it anonymously to Google so you get Google search results without having your information mined. Your IP address is never recorded, your visit is not logged, and no tracking cookies are placed on your browser.
2. DELETE FLASH COOKIES REGULARLY.
Most people are familiar withÂ cookies, small pieces of data sent from a website and stored in a userâ€™s web browser while a user is browsing a website. Many are unaware thatÂ FlashÂ also leaves cookies on your computer. BookmarkÂ http://www.macromedia.com/support/Â to view and delete Flash cookies regularly.
3. USE A NEW BROWSER.
Two preferable browsers for everyday use would beÂ Mozilla FirefoxÂ andÂ Opera. Add-ons or Extensions can be added to these browsers to increase privacy such asÂ Ghostery, to block web bugs, pixels and beacons that are included on web pages, andÂ Facebook Blocker, which blocks Facebook from viewing your browsing history.
4. USE CRYPTOCAT TO CHAT!
Encourage you friends to addÂ CryptocatÂ to their browser.Â CryptocatÂ instant messaging platform lets you easily have private conversations with friends without it being viewed by any third party.
PeerBlockÂ lets you control who your computer â€śtalks toâ€ť on the Internet. By selecting appropriate lists of â€śknown badâ€ť computers, you can block communication with advertising or spyware oriented servers, computers monitoring your p2p activities, computers which have been â€śhackedâ€ť, even entire countries! Edit the settings to allow your favorite sites and block others!
No one can be totally private on the Internet but with these beginner steps, you can start to stop your information from being sold to the highest bidder.
For more advanced and secure systems make sure to check outÂ The Tor Project. The Tor Browser is one of the best tools used by everyone from media to law enforcement to massively increase privacy when browsing the Internet.
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