In today’s society, every citizen is monitored, tracked, and profiled by their government and affiliated agencies; the American National Security Agency (NSA) and the Great Britain Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are two commonly discussed examples. This page is to provide a resource for learning more about staying secure online.
Basic Security Tips:
- When discussing potentially sensitive or anti-government issues, make sure to use a fake, online alias.
- Never reveal your real name when associating with your online alias.
- Always use a virtual private network.
- Pay for things associated with your online alias, with a prepaid card. Pay for the prepaid card in cash if possible.
Virtual Private Networks
A virtual private network, also known as a VPN, is a service used to add a layer of security and privacy to networks. VPNs are often used by businesses and corporations to protect sesitive data. Although, using a VPN is becoming increasingly more popular for the average person.
Privacy and security is increased, because when active, the VPN will “replace” the users IP address with one from the VPN provider. It will also “change” your domain name system address, also known as DNS address, which will not allow your internet service provider to view what websites you are visiting. In addition to these privacy and security increases, it encrpyts your internet traffic. Most VPN providers offer at least 128-bit AES encryption, which according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden, has not been broken by the NSA yet. Some also offter 256-bit AES encryption, which is more secure.
- Free VPN providers are likely selling their logs and/or compromising your security.
- Do not tell anyone what provider you are using.
- Do your own research. Don’t trust random sources.
Below is a list of paid VPN providers. We do not support or endorse any of the providers listed below. We merely provide this list as a starting point into researching the provider that is right for you.
When utilizing an anonymity service, it is extremely important that all traffic coming from your computer is routed through the anonymity network. If any traffic leaks outside of the secure connection to the network, an adversary monitoring your traffic will be able to log your activity.
DNS or the domain name system is used to translate domain names such as http://www.duckduckgo.com into numerical IP addresses such as 111.222.333.444, which are required to route packets of data on the internet. Whenever your computer needs to contact a server on the internet, such as when you enter a domain name into your browser, your computer reaches out to a DNS server and requests the IP address associated with that domain name. Most Internet service providers assign their customers a DNS server which they control and use for logging and recording your internet activities.
Under certain conditions, although connected to the anonymity network, the operating system will continue to use its default DNS servers instead of the anonymous DNS servers assigned to your computer by the anonymity service. DNS leaks are a huge privacy threat since the anonymity service may be providing a false sense of security while data is leaking.
Be sure to check if you are leaking any data by visiting one of the websites below.
Search Engine Tracking
The sad truth is that no matter where we go, big corporations and governments attempt to track, profile, and control us. Even our own “beloved” Google search engine is used to track everything we search for. Everytime you use a regular search engine, your search data is recorded. Major search engines capture your IP address and use tracking cookies to make a record of your searches, the time, and the links you choose – then they store that information in a huge database.
Investigation of those searches reveal a shocking amount of personal information about you, such as your interests, family circumstances, political believes medical conditions, financial status, and more. This database is a modern-day gold mine for government officials, hackers, and marketers. To stop storing your future searches in this database, it is recommended that you use alternative search engines.
Alternative Search Engines
There are many search engine alternatives to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex that are dedicated to the privacy of their users. The list below is a small list of the alternative search engines available.