Guest Post: Five Tools To Protect Your Privacy Online

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

We’ve discussed many times before - hardly a month goes by without some major action against Internet users... from Obama’s ‘kill switch’, to ACTA, SOPA and PIPA, to stasi tactics against people like Kim Dotcom.

Online privacy is becoming more important by the day. And nobody is going to give it to you, you have to take steps yourself to secure it.

Below are five different tools and services that will get you started:

1. Tor Browser

Tor is a great weapon in the fight for online anonymity as it allows you to surf the web without giving up your location and other personal data to the websites you visit.

The Tor Browser Bundle is the easiest and most secure way to get started; simply download it, and start surfing the web with the Tor Browser. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Learn more about and download the Tor Browser Bundle here

2. Duck Duck Go

If you want privacy, don’t search with Google.

Google store all of your searches to customize ads for you, but even worse, they can hand over the whole list of searches to any government agency that are curious about what you’ve been looking at for the last couple years.

A better alternative is Duck Duck Go, a completely anonymous search engine that does not store any information about you or your searches. The search results are essentially identical to Google’s, so there’s no loss of quality.

Search with Duck Duck Go here

3. HTTPS Everywhere

HTTPS Everywhere is a plug-in for Firefox and Google Chrome that tries to force a website to connect in secure mode, thus encrypting your traffic with the website you are visiting. This makes your browsing more secure because it prevents eavesdropping thieves or state-mafia from intercepting your unencrypted Internet traffic.

Download HTTPS Everywhere here

4. Cryptocat

Cryptocat is an encrypted chat that beats Facebook and Skype when it comes to security and privacy. If you want to chat in private then this is one simple solution. It’s also open source, which means you can see the full code and be sure there are no government “backdoors” built in.

Read more about and download Cryptocat here

5. Silent Circle

Silent Circle is a new player on the market, but it is founded by “old” players in the security and encryption industry. One of the founders, Phil Zimmerman, is also the creator of PGP, one of the most-used encryption platforms in the world.

Silent Circle is a suite of products offering:

  • Encrypted email
  • Encrypted video chat
  • Encrypted phone calls
  • Encrypted text messaging

Silent Circle is the only service on this list that is not free. But having the gold standard of encryption may be worth it for you. It is for me.

Read more about Silent Circle here

Bottom Line

You can set up most of the tools we discussed in 5 minutes. Each of them will go a long way in securing your privacy online.

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Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:25 | 3248111 world_debt_slave
world_debt_slave's picture

TOA

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:38 | 3248151 MrX
MrX's picture

smoke doobies and kick back... it is the weekend

enjoy: http://vimeo.com/43832369

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:45 | 3248173 fuu
fuu's picture

Things that go BUMP in the night. Monstrous mash.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:55 | 3248188 derek_vineyard
derek_vineyard's picture

i wish i had something to hide, so i needed privacy

i look for scandal, but can't find it

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:25 | 3248258 CH1
CH1's picture

Aside from #2 (maybe #1), I'd choose differently from all these:

I2P is better than Tor, though Tor is fine, just slow.

HTTP evreywhere leaves TPTB fully informed of where you surf, when, etc.

Silent Circle does nothing for surfing, as well as being a complete "trust me" service, complete with propriateary software. (I use Cryptohippie, which doesn't have these problems.)

For chat, just use OTR.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:30 | 3248395 The Thunder Child
The Thunder Child's picture

Switching your OS to Linux and using an encrypted VPN with a no logging policy blows these out of the water.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 22:31 | 3248567 deeznutz
deeznutz's picture

Agreed. I work for a web browser maker as a Privacy Engineer. I use a Buffalo N300 router that has OpenVPN. I connect to a VPN provider in Sweden (with exit IPs in the US and elsewhere). Your ISP is federally-mandated to keep logs of everything you do online, A VPN is the best bet for such things. All of the other options are also good, but a VPN is the best single thing you can do.

Edit: Also, stopping use of Google and Facebook services is a huge step in the right direction. Remember the like butons also are a huge privacy issue.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 23:20 | 3248656 true brain
true brain's picture

this is awesome. thanks. 

another roadblock against big obama and his bands of dogoogders kn the way to 1984.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 03:31 | 3248968 Half_A_Billion_...
Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

 

THESE THINGS MUST BE OPEN SOURCE

 

1. Truecrypt will cryptograph your files into another file.  It has TWO passwords, so when you're waterboarded in gitmo, you give the other one and they see some porn and think that's it.  It's impossible to know that there is a second password unless they know it, so you have plausible deniability.  It's open source.

2. When buying a VPN, use bitcoin.  The VPN then has ZERO idea that you are a gold fetishist extremist.  Do not use your CC and let them log you.

 

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 09:45 | 3249197 s0lspot
s0lspot's picture

Yep SilentCircle needs to be opensource otherwise no way of trusting them. So PGP or not, forget it.

 

Go for http://www.whispersystems.org/ instead. Encrypted calls & sms, all open source.

 

Regarding encrypted web on a uniquely identifiable closed-source mobile device (android & iOs), well that's just asking for trouble. Until a fully opensourced linux distro for mobiles is released (Ubuntu working on one as well as other projects) you really should keep it to the desktop/laptop, a Live CD/USB Linux distro and a public (or hacked) wifi connection when real anonymity is needed. Look into

https://tails.boum.org

or

http://dee.su/liberte

or

http://sourceforge.net/p/whonix/wiki/Comparison%20with%20Others/

All reroute all coms trough Tor & block any non-Torrified app or traffic.

 

Stay safe & don't forget it's all just a ride, don't let them fucker get your morale down!

 

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:44 | 3248427 MaxMax
MaxMax's picture

That's a nice video!  Kid has some talent.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:58 | 3248343 PersonalRespons...
PersonalResponsibility's picture

Never mind.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 14:57 | 3249781 JeffB
JeffB's picture

TOA can stand for many things. What does it stand for here?

 

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:43 | 3248112 PSEUDOLOGOI
PSEUDOLOGOI's picture

abine could be an option too.

 

I think that the next wave of "google", "apples" etc... innovation is going to be companies that sell you products and services to Protect/Guard your privacy and info.

Government over reaches and entrepreneurs create solutions.

Silent Circle is a first decent attempt to simplify privacy for the average Joe and to commercialize it.  I expect them to become mainstream (superbowl advertisement for ex. like goddady).

Imagine a service that confuses the hell out of the systems that profile you and track you online...

Commercialize counter-intelligence techniques and bring them to the market!  be the next Trillionaires (yes, soon billionaires will be so 1980s due to inflation)

For example, if you are not liberal, maybe a service out there would make it look like you are by visiting some websites on your behalf...

If you are anti-war, maybe it could visit pro-war sites and create a digital track for you that now no longer associates you with being anti-war...

Maybe if you are anti-abortion, it can confuse the profiles created on you by visiting pro-abortion.

pro-gun, anti-gun etc... etc... etc... etc..

Just create a service that screws up compiled profiles therefore making those collected profiles completely useless.

Totally non-violent and asymmetrical.  Not expected by TBTB 

Opps...

 

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:23 | 3248254 Rogue Trooper
Rogue Trooper's picture

Thanks Dude... abine is easy to install, no set up and adds to the tools Simon suggested.  5 Mins work.

Love the way I went back to ZH and 12 sites where obviously trying to get some data.

Appreciated! Rogue!

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 12:42 | 3249479 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

just did so, as well as a VPN account with https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/ that someone recommended further down the posts. Thanks so much.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 14:59 | 3249788 JeffB
JeffB's picture

"Imagine a service that confuses the hell out of the systems that profile you and track you online..."

If it works against Big Brother governments, they will outlaw it or shut it down some other way.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 18:04 | 3250187 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

they will print the trillions to break anything (oh wait, they already have).

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:27 | 3248121 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

TOR would be useful, if it wasn't so fucking slow.

But I guess all the druggies can always use it to score drugs off Silk Road.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:44 | 3248315 seek
seek's picture

Don't knock the druggies and gambling addicts, thanks to them my BTC has doubled in value in six weeks.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:45 | 3248322 Jab Cross Hook
Jab Cross Hook's picture

Betcha the Langley boys dump lots of pure Afghani tar on that route.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:29 | 3248123 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

Google would never betray us.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:41 | 3248161 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Google be praised..., and their flawless translator.  Laugh till I fucking hurt.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:44 | 3248171 knukles
knukles's picture

Sanskrit <=> Swahili

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:47 | 3248177 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Didn't know you were a polyglot, Knuks.  Bet that's not the worst thing the spooks are saying about us.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:49 | 3248181 knukles
knukles's picture

Woooooo wooooo woooooo  Boo!
Yowsa!

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:32 | 3248131 Lmo Mutton
Lmo Mutton's picture

Just because they are after me doesn't make me paranoid.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:43 | 3248145 knukles
knukles's picture

Not at all.
They told me they're after your sweet ass first though, so just watch out.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:45 | 3248172 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

There's a  lot of competition for that #1 POW uniform.

Just remember, guys, in the Civil Air Patrol you get to chose your own rank, and the officers' mess will have less horse meat.

Neighhhhhh.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 06:01 | 3249045 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

Even paranoids have enemies.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:34 | 3248139 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

TOR Bundle works well on a key-chain drive, giving you anon browsing on any computer.

I like duckduckgo.com but am also liking what I see with https://www.ixquick.com/ (or the domestic portal https://startpage.com/eng/?)*, it proxys Google search results yielding better/different results than the duck.

 

*h/t Problem Is and Clycntct

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 13:45 | 3249608 ajax
ajax's picture

 

@Shellgame: Thanks for mentioning "ixquick", I've been using it for quite a while now and "google" is becoming a distant memory for me and my searches. I recommend "ixquick" to everyone everywhere.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 15:31 | 3249865 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Been using yippy search engine for years.

The relational cloud display on the left is great.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:36 | 3248147 Rainman
Rainman's picture

If some human built it some other human will figure out how to beat it. BTW, Fakebook got hacked today.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:37 | 3248399 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

They won't need humans to figure it out. They have lots of computers that can perform massive amounts of number crunching and can punch holes in any encrypted messages.

All they need is someone to write the algo's and the computers do the rest.

They're probably already using technology that uses light instead of electrons which allows for even faster computations.

If you think you can outsmart this: smarter than a fifth grader

Hate to pull an MDB, but you poor "mere mundanes" are centuries behind what the snoops in Utah have rolled out.

Snoopin' your poopin'

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 23:23 | 3248662 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Sending out some gibberish emails is one technique that will slow the dogs down.  There are others, but Bearings aren't good w/ computers, we prefer to be left alone, rolling along, carrying the load...

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 03:19 | 3248962 vato poco
vato poco's picture

Am not a computer weenie; nor a cryptologist. But have always read/heard that 'one-time pad' messgaes are unbreakable: no patterns or repeaters to detect and build a key from. Takes a lot of extra effort & planning, but supposedly the Gold Standard in crypto jive. Anyone else know different? Is this just urban myth? Can the NSA Crays brute-force 'em?

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 03:44 | 3248971 Half_A_Billion_...
Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

No they can't.  Hard crypto is hard crypto.  There is no technology, barring sci-fy quantum computers jetsons-style that will break strong encryption.  

 

This mathafacka has over $16,000,000 in bitcoin.  

http://blockchain.info/address/1DkyBEKt5S2GDtv7aQw6rQepAvnsRyHoYM

Wanna get it? Just break his private key for 1DkyBEKt5S2GDtv7aQw6rQepAvnsRyHoYM.  Good luck with that.

Hard crypto is hard crypto.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 10:21 | 3249246 CH1
CH1's picture

NSA can crack it... No they can't.

You are correct, they can't. That "super-duper NSA system" line has always been FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt - which is another spook specialty.

If and when quantum computing comes around, that will chage, but not until.

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 18:08 | 3250206 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

not even then if seeds are truely random (cosmic ray, radioactive decay, other poisson processes)

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:38 | 3248154 El Tuco
El Tuco's picture

These guys were rated well by users....

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/

Everything is being watched. Everything is being saved. Active effort to monitor and gather intel on every living person and it is forever. I worry about some of the posters on this board. I would bet my last dollar they have been flagged. If you hear the helocopters or see the black SUV's run.

 

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 20:13 | 3250449 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Don't worry.  There is only one way to Valhalla.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:41 | 3248157 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

So... Simon Black... The Don Juan of 'Tom Cruise' COCKTAIL bars worldwide... Now wants to 'school' me on how to protect my INTERNET privacy?...

~~~

Umm... OK... [I promise to stop using 'kokomo' as my account password ~ am I kewl]?...

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 23:25 | 3248666 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Doh!  I missed that it was Simon Black....

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 11:08 | 3249315 paulbain
paulbain's picture

 

 

 

 

 

Exactly my thoughts, too. I am fairly certain that Simon Black knows little of information technology, much less information security. Why does Tyler Durden not understand this simple fact? Dunno.

-- Paul D. Bain

PaulBain@PObox.com

 

 

 

 

 

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:40 | 3248158 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

How about Startpage by ixquick?

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:52 | 3248184 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I use Ixquick on Chrome and turn off Chrome's 'leaks' and run some additional ad and cookie blocks...PS. for the most bang for your buck try this place: http://www.theexplodingtargets.com/ 50lb. lots make the cut-back in target shooting a lot more interesting these days. (no affiliation other than a happy customer)

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 22:35 | 3248582 deeznutz
deeznutz's picture

Ask yourself as you use Chrome, by Google: How much MORE do you want Google to know about you?

Sat, 02/16/2013 - 15:15 | 3249818 scam_MERS
scam_MERS's picture

Been using IXquick for a couple of years, and made their Startpage HTTPS my default search engine. It gets results from Google but without passing your IP to Google. Best thing of all, if you want, you can use the IXquick proxy to look at the results, so you stay completely anonymous. It's the best search engine I've found so far, I tried DuckDuckGo but didn't like the interface, Startpage looks very similar to Google's page and feels more "familiar". I'll never go back to using Google, there's just no reason to allow their data mining when you don't have to.

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 19:43 | 3248165 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Never assume you are secure even with those precautionary measures implemented, because nothing is foolproof. If you are truly worried about security then don't do anything critical on the computer you fuck around on ZH and Facebook with, and don't say anything you might wish to retract at a later date; such as Fuck you Bernanke!

You NSA pukes can have my freedom of speech at the same time you have my guns and my last three fucking dollars........

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!