Have you been contemplating the question of is the Internet spying on you? It is a legitimate question to ask and wonder because Internet surveillance is a real thing and it is more than possible for anyone to spy on, track, and identify you by what you do online. This is definitely compromising your overall safety and there are many things you can do to try and completely avoid or minimize someone’s ability to track this information. Your safety and privacy are not only important, but they are your right as well. It is your job to be informed about how your information can be stolen online and how to avoid PRISM surveillance.
Keeping Your Browsing Data Hidden
The first thing you can do to keep your Internet browsing private is by keeping your browsing data hidden. Every website you visit, every link you choose to click on and view and every single ad you see and show interest in create a path to what you are attracted to online and what you do online. Even if you are not browsing something you believe could get you in trouble, it is an invasion of your privacy and your rights for someone to have access to this type of information. By using a virtual private network, known as a VPN, you are making sure your computer will reach out through your ISP to a different site. There will be an intermediary server that is between the site you are viewing and you. It basically encrypts whatever you are doing online, so even if someone can access your information, they cannot find anything out because it will be hidden.
Keep Your Emails Safe and Secure
Browsing the web is one way people can track your information and footprints. However, email is another way sources gain access to your most private information. Any information you share via email, and this information tends to be private for many people, the government will have access to. Pretty Good Privacy, also known as PGP, is a great way to encrypt your emails so that they are unreadable to other sources. There are other ways to do this as well. Some other services you can use are Enigmail and Hushmail which will help protect your information via email. You may also want to use services in order to send anonymous email as well.
Keep All of Your Messages Private
Protecting your messages via apps is another way to secure your privacy. Many apps are used to send messages via text, chat or IM. These apps give other people access to your private information. There are ways to secure your privacy with secure messaging apps like Confide, Wickr and Silent Text. Using these apps to send messages will guarantee your messages stay private and nobody can track your information or history online.
Be Sure You Encrypt Your IMs and Chats
Instant messaging is used for a ton of things and by most people. This is a good way to get a quick message across to someone if you are in a hurry. Using something called Off-the-Record messaging can help secure these messages and keep your history of IMs and chats private. This means after you have a conversation with someone, you can choose to make it disappear. Just make sure this program is on while you are chatting and you can keep all of your conversations private from other people. If you use Facebook chat for personal or business use, there is a way to secure those messages as well. Using SafeChats, you can encrypt the information you have shared with others and what they have shared with you.
Beware What Devices Are Connected to the Internet of Things (IoT)
More and more everyday devices we use are getting connected to the web via the Internet of Things. Already, the government is requesting information on users through technology companies such as Apple, Google, and Yahoo. Companies such as Samsung created the smart TV which includes a video camera. All this data collection and ease of access to it can potentially expose your privacy. The US Director of National Intelligence suggested that Internet of Things surveillance is a not too distant possibility that they may tap in the future. Soon, your everyday devices like TV, fridge, and security camera could be turned into spying devices without your knowledge.
Keep Your Mobile Device Safe
Nearly everyone uses a mobile device today on a daily basis. Metadata can be collected from your phone by other sources which is basically information regarding your personal information. This can include things like numbers you have called, what cell towers were used while you made the calls and where you were located. Using mobile software like Silent Circle and BlackPhone can help keep this information under lock and key.
Social Media Should Stay Private
Social media outlets like Facebook make money from collecting your data and selling it, if they wish to do so. That being said, you are never safe when you use a social media platform. Any social network you use is likely collecting some form of data on you. Ever wonder how they know which person to suggest as your friend? Their data collection abilities are immense and if you allow it, these social media platforms will collect a treasure trove of information about you that you may not want others to see. You have some options to limit how much tracking Facebook is allowed to do on you, and you likely have these options with other social media platforms as well. These options, however, are fairly limited. In fact, privacy settings can change at any time according to their terms of service. Facebook is one example. They encouraged their users to double check their privacy settings again last year when they introduces a new search feature.
Avoid Social Media Altogether
If you truly want to keep your information and data hidden, you can do this by just avoiding social media altogether. This may be a lot to ask, but it is the best way to guarantee a lot of your data stays hidden and private. If this is not an option for you, try your best to keep your social media information private and share as little as possible with the networks.
These are some of the best ways to avoid government internet surveillance. Your privacy is your right, so it is great to know how to avoid Internet surveillance.