4 Methods to Help You Escape From NSA All Seeing-Eyes
When the PRISM story broke, the internet privacy debate reignited and now that we know that the government is watching our communication online. The state is violating the 4th amendment with wanton disregard and it’s up to the individual internet user to look out for him or her self.
While escaping internet surveillance is very hard, there are measures that we can take to attain some degree of privacy. Below we look at some 4 ways through which one can stay under the PRISM radar. Please note that with most of these options, you will need to give up some convenience.
1. Choose your search engine carefully
Manu people use Google, Bing or Yahoo and we know that they are in the PRISM mix. The first thing you need to do is get off the big search engines. This means that you go for a search engine that does not collect user data like DuckDuckGo or StartPage. If you cannot stay away from the big engines then at least search without logging in, although search results can be traced back to you through cookies.
2. Tweaking your Facebook
Some people will recommend deleting your Facebook account but let’s be honest folks, we all love our FB, regardless of the privacy concerns. We need to keep up with our friends and family and no platform allows us to do that better than Facebook. But Facebook has been alleged to supply information to PRISM, in addition to allowing third party marketing companies access user preferences.
To tweak FB for maximum security, start by using fake names and details. You can then go ahead and use a Facebook extension like Facebook Disconnect that prevents information from FB to go to third party servers. You can also use a browser cookie blocker like Ghostery.
3. Improve your email privacy
To improve email privacy, there are two options available. The first option is keeping off the main stream email services like Yahoomail and Gmail. Get an email with a lesser known provider with a reputation for privacy like Rediff or RiseUp. The second option is to encrypt your email. For this, the receiver of the emails will have to have software to encrypt what you send. Popular encryption tools include Pretty Good Privacy and GNU Privacy Guard.
4. Change your IP
Now if there is one aspect of your whole internet experience that you need to take care if you value privacy then it has to be the IP address. The IP address is a number that each and every device that accesses the internet is assigned by the Internet Service Provider. The IP address exposes the user’s physical location and it can be used to monitor traffic, easily.
To change your IP, you can use a free service called TOR (The Onion Router). TOR bounces your traffic around several stations spread all over the world so that anyone trying to trace you will find that you are located in many locations at once, which doesn’t make sense for them.
The only problem with TOR is that if anyone is truly onto you and they have the resources, for example the NSA, the can follow the traffic by reversing the bouncing trail. The other option is to use VPN (Virtual Private Network). VPNs are privately owned companies which have servers in many locations on earth. They are profit oriented and that means they charge for their services.
A VPN allows a user to choose a server from which to connect to the internet so that any one tracking their address ends up with the IP address of a VPN server. VPNs also encrypts you data. The important thing to note, however, is that the level of privacy with VPN depends on the specific provider. One of the best providers-in fact most people use their services at offices and homes is HideMyAss. When we surveyed around, users were impressed with their speeds and security.
For a tight security ring,we recommend that you use a good VPN provider with TOR so that the VPN encrypts and changes your IP address then TOR bounces your traffic around the world. You internet speeds will take a slight hit but it’s all worth it. These are but some of the ways that we can stay away from the surveillance campaign from authorities.