Now that we’ve all been online for a considerable number of years, concern about our digital footprints has surfaced and certainly, about being tracked – from our location, shopping patterns to email and cell chats, etc.
Below are several tools we recommend (and use) in an effort to minimize being digitally tracked:
Internet Service Provider (ISP): Sonic (the preferred browser of Silicon Valley geeks)
Wireless provider: Cricket
Mobile photos: ObscuraCam
Text messaging: TextSecure
Mobile chatting: ChatSecure (iOS)
Hard drive encryption: BitLocker
From our friends at indepdentlivingnews.com:
6 Things You Can Do Today To Bolster Your Online Privacy
Absolute Internet privacy is impossible. There are, however, these basic precautions that can help you and your loved ones achieve a lower profile than most people:
- Decentralize Your Internet Services
Don’t log into Google unless you have to. Google records your online activity whenever you’re logged into your account, even from services that seem separate, like YouTube, maps, and anything you search for. Try to break up these services. Consider using another webmail provider, like Yahoo, Zoho.com, Hushmail.com, or one of the many dozens of others available online.
- Install the AdBlock Plus Extension
Adblock Plus doesn’t just block pop-up advertising on the Internet, it also protects you from sites infested with malware, and from some third-party tracking ‘cookies.’ Most websites allow AdBlock Plus, but you may encounter a site that won’t allow you to visit without also viewing their ads. Don’t worry! Just right-click the red stop sign in the browser’s toolbar to disable the program temporarily. You can download AdBlock Plus by visiting www.adblockplus.org.
- Use Extensions to Stop Data Collectors and Advertisement Tracking
Third-party tracking ‘cookies’ can be located and blocked with an extension called Disconnect. A similar extension called Ghostery works just as well, but it hasn’t been updated in awhile. Disconnect also works to shield you from social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Google, which all use your browsing activity even while you’re away from their site to collect data about you. Get Disconnect or Ghostery for your web browser by visiting either www.disconnect.me, or www.ghostery.com/download.
- Browse the Web Securely with SSL
Any computer between you and the website you’re visiting can see your activity and all of the information that is transmitted. Simply using https:// (also known as SSL) instead of the standard http:// will encrypt the information transmitted on your machine and ensure that no one is spying on your connection. Many online retailers use SSL for transactions, but using it for casual browsing certainly can’t hurt, and it might even prevent your identity from being stolen. There’s even an extension to automatically browse securely via SSL. You can download that extension by visiting www.eff.org/https-everywhere.
- Make your IP Address Anonymous with the Tor Project
Using Tor to browse the web anonymously can help prevent special types of IP analytics and statistics programs from analyzing your activity. This can work in conjunction with the Disconnect extension because each time you load a web page, your IP, which is your Internet Address, switches to the IP of a different Tor server. Imagine the privacy advantages of your identity changing each time you visit a store. You can download Tor here: www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html.en.
For more in-depth and detailed guides, we suggest the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Surveillance Self Defense site and PRISM Break.
Head’s Up: Don’t want it viewed? Don’t post it.
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.
As always, stay safe.