A few tips to improve your online privacy

Here are a few tips to keep your government out of your business…

improve-online-privacyEncryption – Just like the enforcement agencies across the world have warned that continued legislation violating privacy rights will force end users to begin using encryption, well, we have. We began using AES256 encryption for all P2P transfers as far back as 2001, because its none of your fucking business what I am uploading or downloading. If you use P2P, get a VPN for torrents. You can also setup a local VPN and allow your users to connect to your computer via this VPN that will encrypt data transfers for you. There is also built-in web sharing in all modern operating systems that you can configure to allow P2P access to your machine by trusted users, these are closed loops systems and cannot be monitored.

Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace – Some day they will all merge, and be called MyTwitFace. Your best efforts should be to get off these social networks, as they are a direct line to the government’s enforcement wing that only reports to the shareholders of the MAFIAA, and other anti-consumer corporations. This is one of the primary reasons that when you attempt to delete your account from FaceBook, it never goes away, it stays in their database at the behest of government agencies.

Firewall – There are numerous sources of government-blacklisted IP addresses that you can easily enter into your router firewall, your computer’s firewall, or in a software firewall. If anything, block IP addresses that end in .gov and .mil unilaterally.

Proxy – Not so much of a good idea these days. Once it was fairly simple to use a Proxy to hide your computer’s origin, however the Department of Defense has a tool that can trace back thru up to 5 proxy bounces in order to find the originating IP address. This is no longer used by the hard core users because of this.

VPNVirtual private network usage is still covered by prior restraint, so the government cannot eavesdrop on it, and it is typically encrypted from the originating IP address to the VPN provider. Using a VPN allows you to ‘appear’ on the internet as if your IP address is somewhere else in the world, and provides you with an entirely different IP address than the one assigned to your router by your provider. This is typically a pay-for service, and worth every single penny in providing anonymity while surfing the internet. It also can be use to bypass the ‘region’ of content that is possibly not available in your area, such as Spotify. It allows you to appear to be in another country, depending on the VPN service your select. Typically a VPN service will have several servers to choose from in order to make it look like you are somewhere you are not.

PiggyBacking – This is not for the novice. This is a sophisticated hack that takes control of the ‘last mile’ router of your provider in order to gain access to the entire C-Class IP range your provider uses, and distributes your particular IP address to your router. With access to the last mile router, you can choose from any of the 255 IP addresses in the range, basically using someone else’s IP address supplied by your provider. This particular hack is being scrutinized much more closely by providers nowadays and is slowly becoming obsolete.

Outbound Blocking – As few know, a substantial amount of software on the market today “phone home” for a variety of reasons. Phoning home was invented and patented by Apple, and built into their first offering of MacOSX. During controlled testing we found that during bootup, MacOSX sends data about your computer to Cupertino, Apple’s headquarters. Adobe products have been phoning home since the inception of the Creative Suite program bundle, and it is being adopted by more and more software designers every day. To ensure that your computer works the way you want it to, use outbound blockers suck as Little Snitch, Zone Alarm, or Outpost Firewall.

Surfing – Surfing the internet is a typical activity, checking your mail, reading the sites you like, etc. To surf the internet safely use Firefox. It has numerous plugins like AdBlock and NoScript that will not only eliminate abusing your bandwidth, that you pay for, with unwanted (and unnecessary) ads, scripts, and tracking technology used to violate your privacy by keeping track of your surfing habits.

If you do nothing more than just put www.google-analytics.com in your firewall, you are doing yourself a great service. This particular domain name keeps track of what sites you visit so that google ads can be more precisely targeted. Many domains out there use APIs from Google that are intrusive and violate your privacy by not only tracking hits to a particular website, but sends additional data back to Google themselves for their own nefarious uses.

One thing is certain. Legislation will never overcome technology, as slow as they shut down sites like Limewire, new and improved versions appear, like Limewire Pirate Edition. To put this all into perspective, they still, to this day, have not been able to take down The Pirate Bay.

So, if you do not want to end up on the wrong end of some misguided lawsuit by some massive conglomerate for something as heinous as jaywalking, then do yourself a favor, and practice some proactive implementation of privacy on your part. In a world hell bent on destroying your right to privacy, you can fight back by literally taking your privacy into your own hands, and give them the one finger salute.