With revelations coming to light on how governments are monitoring citizen’s Internet usage, many people are concerned about their online privacy. Most of us are so dependent upon technology that it’s almost impossible to totally disconnect off the grid, yet there are a few tricks you can use to browse the Web with anonymity.
One of the safest ways to browse the Internet is to use Secure-socket layer (SSL) whenever possible. You will know that you’re browsing with SSL if your URL address begins with HTTPS, instead of the standard HTTP. You will notice that HTTPS shows up on websites that require you to be logged into them, like e-mail, your bank accounts, and social media. You will see the standard HTTP when you log out and do casual web browsing.
You can actually do all of your web browsing in SSL by taking advantage of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s HTTPS Everywhere Web browser extension. Currently, EFF only has the HTTPS Everywhere Web browser plugin for Firefox and Chrome.
While browsing the Web with HTTPS is secure, your movements can still be tracked and monitored. To throw the monitors off your trail, you can use Tor. Tor describes itself as a “free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.”
Tor works by taking your Internet communications and bouncing it around a distributed network of relays. This way, an Internet watcher will be unable to see what sites you are visiting, and Website owners will not be able to confirm your location. Tor is a great tool at keeping you anonymous; however, it will drastically slow down your browsing speed due to all the different network connections that have to be made. For many of us, slow Internet is too high of a price tp protect our privacy.
Of course, browsing the Internet without being tracked is only a way to get the watchers off your back. To become completely invisible, you will have to unplug completely from the virtual world and forgo technologies such as:
- Cloud computing
- Text messaging
- Instant messaging
- Mobile Phones
- Social Media
As a technology company, we wouldn’t advocate quitting any of these services; we have found each one to be beneficial at connecting us to others and making life easier. Yet, we can understand the concerns of any individual or company that may be uncomfortable with an unknown set of eyes looking at your sensitive information. To learn about more great tools that will help protect your data, call Think Tank NTG at 800-501-DATA.