What Can You Do to Protect Your Privacy?

   So much information gets thrown at you every day, things can get confusing really quick.  We hear about the NSA and how they invade our privacy.  You hear about Edward Snowden from different media outlets, some calling him a traitor or whistle blower, some refer to him as a hero.  Maybe he’s both?  Regardless of what he is, a lot of stuff came out because of him and the entire world looks at the internet and its usage a lot differently.
   I often laugh at the people that ignore what goes on, the ones that say “I’m not doing anything wrong, so I have nothing to worry about.”  I suppose in a way that’s probably true, or is it?  Or is this just insanely short sited?  The more the government obtains unrestricted access to petabytes of personal information , the more powerful it becomes.  I am one of the many people that isn’t doing anything wrong, but I’ll be damned if I’m not going to try my best to keep as much privacy as I can for the things I’d like to keep private.  Everyone should do the same.

Here are a few things that you can do to protect yourself from the NSA:

1) Stay away from the Cloud:  I would think this would be common sense.  Anything personal that you may have should always be kept on your own server or data center.  This includes the SaaS apps (software as a service) that are so easy and available for everyone such as Gmail and Office 365.

2) Encrypt your email:  A few months ago it was released that the NSA was working on a computer that would decrypt encryption.  I haven’t read anything about it since, but all emails should be encrypted if there is anything personal in them.

3) Hide your web browsing:  This is a major one.  Not with just the NSA, but corporate America in general.  My stepfather was telling me a few days ago that he had read on the news that Airliners have possibly been tracking IP addresses s that when you checked on a price for a flight and then came back after shopping around, that the price was higher than before.  This is a bullshit practice and can easily be avoided.  It’s sometimes creepy when you are bopping around the internet and you get adds for super obscure items you probably purchased recently.  I hate it.  To avoid all of this, use Tor.  Tor takes your internet communications and bounces it off a series of networked relays so they can’t see what sites your visiting.  It also keeps webmasters from knowing where you are browsing from.  Tor has its limitations and is basically bare bones web surfing, but its nice to know that option is there.

4) Protect the Internet:  The internet is that last frontier.  Not only our government but governments across the world are constantly trying to gain control or regulate the internet in one way or another.  Always be aware of legislation that sneaks passed main stream media that aims place regulation on any aspect of the internet, whether it be net neutrality or SOPA, any sort of regulation or censorship of the internet should be shot down immediately.

Realistically, you are probably not going to do a lot of these things as we live in a society that is tricked by convenience and ease.  We live on social media not realizing that when you make a bitstrip on Facebook that not a single person ever laughs at, that your signing over your personal information.  Every app, every nonsense thing you take part in ends up being way more expensive than you realize.  Know that you have options, and know what they are.

Please stop posting bitstrips if you haven’t already. 

Thank you.

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