You never know who may be watching your connection. With constitution violators like AT&T and other service providers your data can be in the hands of big brother. Here are a few tips for securing your online experience, so you can enjoy the web in peace.
1. Encrypt E-Mail Messages
Assuming you use GMail, FireGPG is a great Firefox extension that encrypts your messages. It can only be decrypted with a GPG key that only trusted parties will have access to.
2. Encrypt Instant Messages
GAIM is the most popular instant messaging platform on the internet. Encrypting your messages is cake with the gaim-encryption plugin. Nobody likes an eavesdropper.
3. Encrypt Torrent Downloads
With bit-torrent activity coming under heavy fire from the RIAA and Hollywood, encrypting your torrents is important. Azureus allows you to enable Transport Encryption which will make it harder to track what you are downloading.
4. Block Suspicious Incoming/Outgoing Connections
Peer Gaurdian is a great tool that blocks incoming and outgoing connections based on IP blocklists. Government probes, RIAA bots, and and spyware won’t be able to enter or exit your computer.
5. Anonymize Internet Surfing
Who really needs to know exactly which sites you are visiting? Xerobank Browser (previously called Torpark) lets you browse the web anonymously so that your IP is not exposed. You can even get a portable version that runs off of your flash drive, in those times where you can’t browse the web from your own computer.
Security has its limitations. There are no patches for human stupidity, however there are open-source technologies that will suffice.
For those of you interested in how the government and companies are sacrificing your privacy, be sure to check out the CNBC special Big Brother Big Business.