Although there are conflicting research findings on the issue whether Internet has glorified our lives, it is more reasonable to believe that development and destruction go hand-in-hand. The advancements relished by technology with the advent of Internet knows no bounds. However, several issues of cyber crime, infringement, online spying, cyber warfare, cyber espionage and cyber terrorism, etc. have crippled the growth of Internet in today’s world. Recent study reveals, India is a slow achiever when it comes to cyber security adoption. It is only in the year 2013 that the National Cyber Security Policy of India 2013 (NCSP) was announced. In this article we are going to focus on the ways to stop being spied online. Cyber spying typically in volves the process of acquiring access to secrets and classified information or control of individual computers or whole networks for a strategic advantage and for psychological, political and physical subversion activities and sabotage.More recently, cyber spying involves analysis of public activity on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Recent studies reveal that the National Security Agency (NSA) is spying on our internet chats through a highly secretive operation known as PRISM. The most serious thing to keep in mind is that even if we are ‘secured’ behind a million IP masks and encrypted technologies, the moment our messages strike the servers of Skype or Google, NSA gets access to them. However, The Guardian says NSA appears to have failed at conquering companies like Vine, LINE, Viber and Kik.
Here are FIVE SIMPLE WAYS TO STOP BEING SPIED ONLINE :
1. Sign Out Once You Finish Using A Web Service
Signing out after every transaction while using Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and other Web services helps you to remain safe although it seems agreeable to remain signed in. Many people think that Google’s recording of their Web activities prove helpful. However, if you prefer not to share your browsing trends and habits, the simple solution is to sign out whenever you are not actively using the service. Avoid the temptations offered by many sites that partner with the company to use your Facebook/Twitter sign-in ID. Careful! The services might be sharing your personal data too casually.
2. Block Cookies And Ads Before They Gets Downloaded
Microsoft and Adobe had announced that deleting cookies in Internet Explorer 8 and 9 would also delete the long-lasting Flash cookies, or local shared objects (LSOs). Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have worked on it to allow a user to prevent LSOs and other tracking files from being downloaded along with a Web page’s content. BetterPrivacy extension for Firefox helps you to decide which Flash cookies to allow and which to delete. By default, BetterPrivacy removes all Flash cookies upon exiting Firefox. Another hugely acclaimed Web-privacy tool that is available for both Firefox and Google Chrome is AdBlock Plus, which not only removes ads from sites but also locates malware domains. The version for Firefox is available on the Mozilla add-ons site, and the one for Chrome can be downloaded from Chrome Web store.
3. Protect Your Internet Sessions And Searches
You can try a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect yourself. It uses an external server to encrypt the internet sessions that shields your sessions from all forms of spying. However, it does not work effectively for megaservers like Facebook. If you are one of those online users frequently indulging in Dropbox, iCloud, SkyDrive or Google Drive, your online protection may be in severe danger. Make sure to encrypt all your data before transmitting them online. To protect your searches, it is better to work on an engine like Startpage, which encrypts your searches and apparently does not record your IP address. Following NSA leak, most users find it preferable to shift their search engines.
4. Use OTR To Keep Your Chats Private
On using a conventional instant messaging service like those offered by Google, AOL, Yahoo or Microsoft, your chats may be accessible to the NSA through the PRISM program. But a chat extension called OTR (“Off The Record”) offers “end-to-end” encryption. The server only sees the encrypted version of your conversations, forestalling intrusion.
TOOLS YOU CAN USE TO STAY PROTECTED
Although it is not possible to completely secure your data, you can always stay safe by using certain methods that will minimize the chances of being spied.
1. Tor is a free-service that enables anonymous communications. Tor helps to avoid being tracked by websites and also allows users to access services that are blocked by their Internet Service Provider (ISP).
2. Most web browsers have a private or “incognito” mode that ensures that your browsing sessions are not recorded on your own computer, though they cannot guarantee against the government accessing your data that are stored on online servers.
3. Many Internet-based telephony applications, including Skype along with conventional telephone networks are assumed to be prone to encroachments. This is when applications like Silent Circle and Redphone comes to your rescue. They guard you from being tracked and trapped.
4. A new standard for communication known as WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) enables users to make calls over the Internet without leaving any traces of it. It does not rely on centralized servers but rather sends ‘traffic’ directly between individual computers.
“He that’s secure is not safe.” – Benjamin Franklin
Even if we are secured, safety always lies in our own hands. Hope this article helps you to ensure better safety in online transactions. Stay Safe, Stay Happy. 😎