Everyone’s talking about privacy since Edward Snowden became a whistleblower on the NSA (National Security Administration). He recently leaked a powerpoint that was for internal NSA training, showing how much of the information the NSA is gathering. This program is called PRISM.
According to the Guardian, “Internal NSA documents claim the top secret data-mining programme gives the US government access to a vast quantity of emails, chat logs and other data directly from the servers of nine internet companies. These include Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and Apple. The companies mentioned have all denied knowledge of or participation in the program.” But we know they’re lying.
If you’ve read the headlines about the NSA keeping all of our data in a big server somewhere, this might make you a bit nervous. Imagine it. If you’re a US or UK citizen, this has happened to you.
Imagine some government entity can look at
Every internet search you’ve ever done on Google or Yahoo.
Every email you’ve ever sent on AOL, Yahoo, or Gmail.
Every instant message you’ve ever received.
Every social media post you’ve ever written on Facebook and Twitter.
Every phonecall you’ve gotten through Verizon.
Every Skype call you’ve ever done.
Your credit card number, your bank account, or anything they want
If you currently use Google to search, you can switch to StartPage.com, or DuckDuckGo.com. Both engines are private, and do not save your search results.
If you currently use Gmail, Yahoo Mail or another free email service, here’s where you’ll find alternatives like Thunderbird and RiseUp
If you currently use Skype, you can find a link to Jitsi, a free version of Skype.
If you currently use Twitter or facebook, there are private versions of those places as well.
You’ll find out how to encrypt your emails with Enigmail.
You’ll even find an alternative to Dropbox, Owncloud and Sparkleshare.
I personally use these services. I use enigmail and Thunderbird for email. I use Duckduckgo and startpage for my searches. I use Jitsi for chat. I still use Twitter but I’ve gotten off of Facebook. If you want help getting on any of these services, just let me know and I’ll walk you through it.