Digital Privacy

In the current digital age, it can be difficult to assure that our communications and data transmissions are treated with the same level of expected privacy we once had when telephones were mechanical and mail was sent in sealed envelopes. People should still be able to have that same level of confidence even today when unlawful data interception or acquisition is commonplace. There are measures one can take and groups one can turn to for advice and information on how to keep your data safe and your communications private.

First and foremost is digital mail privacy. One can not immediately assume their email communications are private. We have TLS and SSL technologies that help as much as they can but they are not enough. For truly private mail communications one must employ some form of cryptography. Many professional cryptography experts and programmers are working together to make this easier for the common user. Programs are available for various platforms such as:

Browsing the web is also an area of concern. While one can deploy a system of "private browsing" or "icognito" in most modern browsers, this does not provide true anonymous browsing to the user, it only hides the tracks from the current browsing session. For best anonymous browsing one should use the Tor network and the Tor Browser Bundle for the best protection from illegal monitoring and privacy.

In response to those individuals who might state that "they are doing nothing illegal and thus have nothing to hide" or another common refute "anonymity is for those who are doing illegal activity", we wish you to consider that privacy is not about hiding illegal activity, it's about keeping illegal activity from praying on YOU. Telecommunications companies do not have full time control of what their employees do. One may recall the incident between Verizon Wireless employees and President Obama.

As a technology user you have rights and those include the right to privacy. Exercise those rights and learn to be safe on line with email, data storage, and browsing in a way that is secure from unauthorized monitoring and tampering. For questions and concerns contact the experts at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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