The internet is policed. There is virtually no aspect of our online activity that cannot be snooped by state organizations, cyber criminals, hackers and surveillance organization like the NSA. Unless secured and encrypted, everything you put on your Facebook, WhatsApp, email, twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other communication platforms appears naked to anyone wanting to know a ‘bit’ more about you. In other words, you’re as open online as you you’re in your own home. Here we present some useful best practices to stay off government tracking, avoid snoops and hackers.
Step 1. Hide Your Network
Your internet protocol address, or IP address, is the basic source with which others can identify your location online. Openly disclosed (or true) IPs can’t give you any full anonymity from surveillance monitors of your state. Actually, true IPs can potentially get you in trouble. The state has good reason to file your name as a suspect if a terrorist hacked and used your IP to commit a dangerous act!
Therefore, you must get your IP secured via an IP switching or routing service such as a VPN. It will help you connect to the internet via an IP of a remote server located outside your country. This helps in giving you strong online security while preventing unwanted entities for using your IP for their own means.
Step 2. Switch To Smaller Cell Phone Carriers
When it comes to protecting your mobile networks, do not always go for the big and the best. In fact, surveillance and hacking find big names too easy to attack. The recent identity theft of Kim Kardishian and other celebs points to this.
We recommend subscribing to smaller mobile carriers like MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile and Cricket Wireless against easily snooped names like Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. Rumor has it that NSA’s Prism program mandated big mobile networks to get their callers identified, taped and exposed.
Step 3. Private Browsing Windows
Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and other web browsers allow you to surf the web anonymously using private browsing windows. Using these windows can free you from the hassle of clearing cookies, deleting browsing history and commanding your computer to forget saved forms, login information and passwords. In this way, a private browsing window is your baby step to stay off online government tracking.
Step 4. Adjust Privacy Settings on Your Social Networks
Lax privacy settings on social networks make online government tracking way too easy. Most social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn and MySpace give you plenty of options to control your online privacy. Be wary of the amount of information you want to share with your friends on these networks with the use of privacy settings of your accounts. Remember, you can share most things with your family and friends, but you ought not to share your photos, SSN and other personally identifiable information with distant relatives, second and third degree friends or the whole world!
Step 5. Get your Communications Encrypted
While the government wishes that you do not use encryption software, we advise you do go for one. You can get an encryption plug-in installed in your web browser, but the best protection is only possible with a VPN service. VPN services offer strong data encryption techniques that make your internet activities completely invisible from prying eyes. Moreover, you are much better protected from non-governmental spies and identity thieves who are always on the hunt for naked communication. Strong encryption features are usually built in the best VPN software. Also, do not trust that the auto-encryption claims of applications like WhatsApp are always true. Findings show that WhatsApp is as flawed as anything. Always use a VPN!
Step 6. Do Not Let a Search Engine Track You
Most search engines record your browsing history, and this means that NSA and other spies can clearly trace your whereabouts online. We advise you to go for search engines like PureVPN Anonymous Browsing to get your butt saved while you search. Remember, Microsoft’s ‘Do not track’ or Google’s Incognito settings are not as effective as they cannot force every website forget your traces every time.
Quick Steps to Stay Off Government's Online Tracking
In case the above-mentioned safety tips seem to be too much to begin with, taking the following handy steps immediately can be an instant solution when it comes to stay off government tracking.
- Never provide your actual location and address on any website. Fake it! If you’re purchasing online, read the privacy policies of the website or online vendors.
- Tighten the security and privacy settings on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. If you have a blog, set it to ‘private’ so that only those you approve will have access permission for data you need to keep private.
- Avoid putting pictures that you don’t want the world seeing it. Once a private picture or video is leaked, it’s leaked forever.
- Do not entertain cyber bullies. If someone bothers you, report the profile or person immediately.
- Learn to browse anonymously, or get anonymization services such as VPN.
Protection against online government tracking is a challenge, and you need to continuously learn and develop your understanding of security online to use internet as a blessing. The tips and tools mentioned here are the only a few ways to begin your fight for online privacy, since governmental agencies and cyber criminals are converging newer ways to snoop up our data online. Stay safe!