7 Powerful Ways to Maintain Your Privacy and Integrity Online

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PrivacyThe recent NSA leaks from whistleblower Ed Snowden have publicly confirmed that digital privacy does not exist.  The federal government and intelligence agencies have direct server access to the world’s most popular sites and services including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and more.  This means that all of your data when using these services including Skype, YouTube, etc has been compromised and can be used against you whenever strategically necessary.

Always remember, you are being recorded and monitored regardless of whether you have done anything wrong or not.  This includes your emails, internet activity, searches, banking activity, passwords, etc.  Basically everything to build a complete profile about who you are, how you think, how you live, etc.  This is very powerful data gathering and the goal of the intelligence agencies is nothing less than Total Information Awareness to be used to control and manage populations.

For these reasons, I have compiled some helpful tips to help you maintain your privacy and integrity when using the Internet.  These are by no means comprehensive, but they can be quite useful and give you some semblance of peace when browsing.



1. Use StartPage.com for all your searches. Known as “the world’s most private search engine”, StartPage will allow you to search anonymously and securely through Google.  It is probably the only search engine that does not collect or share any personal information about you.  You can even access pages through a proxy quickly and easily.  StartPage functionality can be easily added to your browser for all searches made through the address bar.  If you value your privacy, this is really a no-brainer.

If you use Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc then everything you search is logged to your IP address and is used to build a comprehensive profile about all your online activity.  This means that the government literally has the ability to know everything you’ve been interested in, how you type (thus, how you think), and much more.  Protect your searches!

2. Consider using an Anonymizer such as Tor to protect your identity. Tor prevents anyone from learning your location, browsing habits, and is an extremely effective tool against network surveillance and traffic analysis.  Tor is essentially a network of virtual tunnels run by volunteers that allows your real IP address to remain hidden and undetectable when browsing the Internet.  It is used by whistleblowers, hackers, and all those who value anonymity.  You can also use it to access sites that your ISP has blocked or banned.  Keep in mind, if you use Tor to access personally-identifying sites like Facebook then you pretty much lose your ability to remain anonymous.   Learn more about this powerful software and please use it responsibly! To get started quickly, please download the Tor Browser Bundle. Using this software wisely and effectively will likely require changing your browsing habits, so be aware of this.

3. Consider using a private and secure social network like Pidder.  This is a private social network that uses encrypted communication and offers the ability to remain anonymous.  If you are truly looking for ways to stay in touch with close ones in a uncompromised manner, this could be the site for you.  While it will not have the userbase of Facebook, this is still an excellent alternative for secure social networking.

4. Use a firewall and a secure wireless connection.  Protecting your inbound and outbound network traffic is essential.  There are many free software options available for this.  I cannot guarantee the integrity of these programs, but I personally recommend Little Snitch for Mac users.  It appears that Outpost may be a good alternative for Windows.  The key is to be able to see what services/sites are trying to send/receive data over your connection.  The more stringent your firewall rules are, the better.  Keep your computer clean by using some kind of anti-spam/spyware software and minimize your use of highly sketchy sites.

5. Delete your cookies regularly and log out of Facebook when you are not actively using it.  Almost everytime you visit a site, you download a cookie from that site, which is often used to track and collect data about you, the sites you visit, etc.  Therefore, deleting cookies and temporary internet files from your browser frequently is necessary.  I recommend CCleaner as an effective way to do this.  Most people leave a Facebook tab open and continue browsing, not realizing that every page that has a “Like” button actively logs and tracks their online activity.  Facebook collects all your browsing data and then sells it to third parties, including passing it onto intelligence agencies.  Therefore, when you are not actively using Facebook, be sure to log out!  Why should they know everything you’re up to online?

CORRECTION: It has now been confirmed that Facebook tracks your online activity even while you are logged out.  Thus, I highly recommend you install the browser plug-in called DoNotTrackMe.  The installation takes seconds and you don’t have to do anything once you’ve added it to your browser.  This extremely handy program will show you how many tracking attempts it has blocked in a small counter near your address bar.  Because all the trackers are rejected (even those other than Facebook), sites load up to 4x faster than usual!  A must-have for all privacy advocates if you don’t want your activity tracked!

6. Cover up or disconnect your webcam when you are not using it.  Did you know that your webcam can be secretly activated without you being aware of it?  Hackers and intelligence agencies have the ability to do this, so effective countermeasures must be taken here.  This can be done WITHOUT the indicator light coming on, so you won’t even know that you are being watched or recorded.  This is why I recommend taping over or covering up your webcam when you’re not using it.  Why take the risk?  Do you really want the government to have the ability to spy on you while you are in your bedroom?  The same thing can be done on cellphone cameras/microphones, so be aware of that too.  The only way your phone cannot be used to track/record you is if the battery is taken out, which is another reason why many new smartphones come with non-removable batteries these days.

7. Learn to use secure email services like HushMail or encrypted email.  Communicating using email is vital and part of our everyday lives.  If we use services like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, those services are not secure and are compromised.  Therefore, switching over to a secure service such as Hushmail can be valuable.  Or learn how to use Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), which is a way to send encrypted email and files that only a trusted third party can open and view. Essentially, PGP uses public-private key cryptography, where you will give out your public key to trusted recipients. Messages can only be decrypted by using your special private key file (that you keep safe) and the sender’s public key.  You can even encrypt files so that only a specific person can open them.  Learning to use PGP requires some technical knowledge but can be very useful for those who want to communicate securely and is well worth learning, in my opinion.  Please see this tutorial or this video to get started. There are some excellent YouTube videos that can really help out with this.


Be smart about how you communicate online.  If you take no precautionary measures, then you should assume that your communications are being recorded and monitored at all times.  Do not discuss illegal or secret activities on Facebook or through Skype or Gmail.  Ultimately, we should be greatly decreasing our use of these compromised services altogether!  Be aware of what you type and consider their ramifications if ever made public.  We must exercise great discretion and discernment when it comes to our online activities now.  The methods listed above are by no means comprehensive and are just a small way to boost your privacy.  If you have other privacy tips, please mention them here in the comments for all to see and benefit from.  In the end, it is all up to the user to do their part in maintaining their online integrity.  Safe browsing my friends!

UPDATE: I was recently forwarded this brilliant link called PRISM-BREAK.  Please visit this link which shows you a listed of alternative services to use in virtually every aspect of digital communication.  Highly recommended.

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CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. Look up hide my ass

  2. infidel

    this is bullsh*t… those 7 tips listed above aren’t any good, what would make us even think that we can stay anonymous by following this advice ? If this is posted on Facebook then this information is already compromised and useless, just pointless as a unicorn without the horn.
    If they want to follow me on the net, then so be it… i couldn’t care less, they might as well send me friendrequest, i ‘ll probably accept and throw in some fine porn & funny jokes !

    • SecurityBySeperationIsAJoke

      Dear Infidel!
      I am a researcher in information systems security in Sweden;
      Your comment lacks knowledge on security systems and our current capabilities. We are capable to make it a totally different game.
      I understand your concerns, but no doubt we all need to do more research regarding this.

    • oinker

      Infidel I understand what you’re saying but when does it end? Give an inch and they’ll take a mile and the next thing you know they’re trying to put a camera in your car and bedroom. Who is watching them? They’re just bags of flesh like you and me and this kind of power can take on a life of it’s own. This crap has gained traction throughout history in one form or another and it never ends well.

      • As a holon, information about me, from myself, to myself, is something that I share around everyday no matter what the target is. Information about our neighbour is not the problem. It is the government that twist the rules to make it a problem.

        E.g. you walk naked inside your house and someone who sees you naked behind a window gets offended for it is the naked body that is illegal to be shown toward others without their approval. This is an example how governmental rules and laws have gone haywire and this is why we need to simplify them. They are there for a reason and the reason is to ensure the rapidly evolving survival ability of our species. It just so happens that our government has become a company itself and just like every company, they are in it for money. Thus laws and rules have become twisted and they keep on going until we take back our government and enforce it to change fields from the one it does not belong to, into a field where it belongs.

      • infidel

        @ Oinker: i’m afraid it will not end well anyway. Somehow i can slightly understand why governments do such things, maybe it’s because they want to keep the future safe for their countries, foreign resources & oilfields and money of course. Though i’m not entirely convinced, because that’s why wars are being fought day after day ever since a lot of people became greedy in an unhealthy way. However, common people are beginning to open up their eyes but remain powerless to do something about it, because this is not a small matter if you ask me…
        There are major conspiracies going on and it’s totally mindblowing when certain worldleaders don’t even know about it. Do we really need to believe that great thinkers in thinktanks all over the world are questioning how many cows could survive the next ice-age ? i think they’re already far beyond such questions.
        My greatest fear is this : A never seen before genocide to keep certain resource consumption at low levels in order to let this world survive just a little longer. Fact is, we are getting overpopulated really fast, 20 years from now is enough time to reach an overwhelming worldwide population.

        • Forest-Light

          thanks for this info.
          very informative and helpful
          i shall take you up on every aspect of your advice

        • rere

          Do you think God is concerned about our population? Probably not yet the powers that be are because it impacts their agenda. Don’t believe that hype.

          • infidel

            @ rere : God doesn’t exist

  3. Ann Onomous

    This advice is what we can do. I would add ghostery as well as DNT+. For the truly paranoid, there’s an add-on called firegloves. It randomizes metadata like the operating system you use, the font you use, and blocks detection of flash, etc…which means it has to be turned off to watch videos, use google maps etc…

    • marc frazer

      LOL……i noticed the ironic facebook/twitter/etc tags at top 2.. mental.

  4. Lou

    This article would be better if Do Not Track Me didn’t pick up 7 tracking attempts from this page… the little fb, pin, twitter icons following the scroll on the side become a little bit ironically placed. Nonetheless, the more we have discussions about this, the better. In Canada the conservatives had the gall to paint those concerned with privacy as child-exploitation sympathisers!

  5. Dennis Hassell

    Many good suggestions. One correction – only hardware firewalls employing dynamic packet inspection will actually be any good – by the time you reach the software firewall, you are already in the computer and many a malware or key-logger can go from there.
    Second – you are most vulnerable to surveillance by using guessable passwords, having open “guest” accounts, and by rogue e-mails and phishing e-mails. You don’t have to do very much to make a password un-guessable and/or close the “guest” accounts but there are a lot of people out there who don’t even do that.

  6. Thanks!

  7. adamzodiac1

    Leave it to a double-Scorpio to write an article on privacy.

  8. Lucifer

    MICROPHONES!!!! These are easy to defeat. The microphones on laptops are hardwired to the motherboard and to the little hole on the side of the computer. Hardwired means no software control. Get a 1/8″ mini plug, like from an old headphone set that still works (important!) and cut the wire about 3 inches from the plug. Strip the two wires inside and connect all three together. For even better results, solder the connection you made. This will effectively ground out the microphone, making it impossible for anyone to hack into your computer to use the microphone to spy on you. If you really want to have fun, a looped audio of a porn disk will make sure no one will hear YOU. Use a male-to-male 1/8″ stereo cable for this one.

    For an interesting hack, put a snapshot in the webcam that comes from a movie or something rather than just covering it up. Or porn. Give the government something fun to look at :)

    Yeah, I’m a techie.

    • marc frazer

      hahaha….my kinda fellow spirit…. nice1

  9. It’s like sex the only sure fire way to be safe is abstinence. Unfortunately in today’s times that is hard to do. I make sure what ever I put online I could not care who reads or looks at it. Check out my new little hemp store, If you like something use coupon code 10percent01 to save ten percent.
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  10. James

    startpage is NOT the only search engine that does not collect or share any information. There is also https://duckduckgo.com/ which does the same thing as startpage, but I like it much better

  11. Thank you so much for this! Very useful!

  12. Marcus R

    This article should be updated to warn people about Tor, not suggesting it. Yikes.

    • Eliot Estep

      Tor has been a hotspot for FBI and NSA activity for years, you are right. And without knowledge of the NSA’s abilities and means, we do not know their full capabilities to influence or compromise Tor. I have read that the NSA may be able to position themselves between major tier-1 ISPs and other major data pipelines so that traffic can still be intercepted along the way. However, tracing it back to its original source is still a challenge. I would still say that using Tor correctly still offers you major benefits to staying anonymous if you use it properly. If you have some good articles or sources that point out the vulnerabilities of Tor, please feel free to post them here.

    • Pawel

      Why do say that? What is wrong with using Tor?

  13. Ben of the Plains

    Did you mean other than that they were hacked and everyone’s IP addresses were exposed?

    • Eliot Estep

      Hey Ben, the companies mentioned were not hacked in that way. They have been knowingly leaking our sensitive data to intelligence agencies like the NSA for some years now. They publicly deny this vehemently, and it is likely that only a few within the organizations themselves know the real scope of the leaks, but nonetheless it is happening. Basically, all the world’s most popular online services are compromised and can be used against you should the “authorities” ever take a specific interest in you. Not a pleasant reality but something worth acknowledging and taking precautionary measures if necessary.

  14. mergon

    They a million ways to get to your stuff ,this one is painful but slows things down go into settings and deny any any permissions at all ,when you onto a site it will be pretty bare they will say you have to enable cookies well if the site wont work with out them you can allow only that site then we have the java script this the one that allows all of those nasty pop up ads and the like then we pics so we can see all of the pics they are paid to show us
    I dont give any more permissions than i have to ,just give the basic permissions for the page to run ,

    Clear your history ! = from the drop down menu = FROM THE BEGINING OF TIME , even that does not always work ,i have found that it does not clear form filling history ,emails and the like ,this machine does not run any security at all it certainly does not run Symantic/Norton try to delete these off your machine and its a life times work ,you cant get rid,,i dont do online banking or store credit card numbers or do transactions .

    It is however frustrating to use sometimes, and there are certain pass words iv been denied like CC1CC1 ,some thing to do with the canary wharf boys down in Vauxhall ,and you can come unstuck i was commenting on on news paper website for some time with no probs at all until i explained how to hack a CAN emission system on a Mercedes Benz to cause the braking system to operate on one side of the car only at speed ,i did not give exact detail , i also said that the prosecution never asked for the cars computer to study the fault log ,i also said that after the crash the computer would need to be replaced with an identical one ,then i found that i could not log in i did the usual change of pass word then emailed them in the end i could sign in but could not comment
    so that was the end of that ,i also had probs with a couple of other news paper sites but thats life !

  15. mergon

    picture this ,a total recall system in your car that transmits everything ,well the EU C.A.N. emission system can do just that ,rowed in as a system that is not hard wired [ all of the sensors send their signals via an RF signal ]
    for what ever reason transmits a signal a distance of appx 50 ft , apart from diagnostics down to the enth degree the system can transmit engine number,number plates, tax ,insurance ,mot status,and diver licence status and or criminal record.
    then we have any phone ,computer use and of course gps , signals can be transmited to the new digital roadside systems , and then relayed to police vehicles if anything is auto flaged up , we already have mobile phone scanners in digital litter bins to track phones.

    The plus side is they dont need so many police officers or the police clones or traffic wardens , ,as is they already have CAMERA CARS cruising around the roads with a auto issue computer system.

    The next upgrade will be the domestic drones that will be flying up and down the motorways and roads scanning the output signals from the roadside collectors and then passing the information on to the mainframe .

    pick an item in a store with an RF tag and then walk through the detectors ,it sounds an alarm ,that RF tag has no batteries ,but an RF unit in a car does.

    Certain vehicle alarm systems are accessed remotely where the engine can turned of doors can be locked and other systems can be activated .

    The back up system is the camera with a number plate recognition system ,and in Dorset [UK] there been a sharp rise in number cameras appearing on the roads !


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