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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Beijing Doctors Said 7 Coma Patients Would Not Wake Up — AI Predicted The Opposite, And Was Right

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    AI technology has outsmarted doctors when it comes to coma patients. The lives of at least 7 individuals have been saved as a result.

  • Reflect On:

    Given the serious questions about AI, are there are ways that AI technology can aid our current systems on the planet? How do we decide when we have gone too far with AI?

Sometimes after tragic accidents, people lose their consciousness and enter a coma or unresponsive state. Doctors usually make the call as to whether or not there is any point in keeping these people alive or if the family should consider “pulling the plug.” Doctors know best, right?

Well, recently there were at least seven patients in Beijing who doctors said had no hope of being able to regain consciousness, they were then re-evaluated by an artificial intelligence system that predicted these patients would awaken within a year. Guess what? They did.

One of the awakened patients was a 19-year-old who spent six months with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome after an accident that left him with a severe injury to his left temple. Some of China’s top neurologists conducted numerous rounds of assessment to determine his potential for a recovery. They gave him seven out of a possible 23 points on the coma recovery scale, this score gave his family members the legal rights to take him off of life support if they chose to do so.

After going through his brain scans the computer software assessed him with over 20 points, which is much closer to the full score, which would mean a recovery.

Another patient was a 41-year-old female who was victim to a stroke; she had been in an unresponsive state for three months and had been assessed with a recovery score of six. The computers estimate? 20.23.

The two aforementioned individuals, in addition to five more patients who were also in an unresponsive state, who doctors had predicted would not recover or wake up, did within 12 months of the scan done by the artificial intelligence, just as predicted.

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The Machine Also Made Some Mistakes

Perhaps this is a good time to believe in the power of miracles, a 36-year-old man who had suffered bilateral brainstem damage after suffering from a stroke was given low scores by both the doctors and the AI. He still fully recovered in less than a year.

This AI system was developed after eight years of research, which was conducted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and PLA General Hospital in Beijing and so far has achieved nearly 90 percent accuracy on all prognostic assessments.

Some of the results of this research were published in the journal, eLife.

“We have successfully predicted a number of patients who regained consciousness after being initially determined to have no hope of recovery,” the researchers said in a statement.

“At present, there are more than 500,000 patients with chronic disturbance of consciousness caused by brain trauma, stroke, and hypoexic encephalopathy with an annual increase of 70,000 to 100,000 patients in China, which brings great mental pain and a heavy burden to families and society,” they added.

“The possible prediction of the recovery of patient consciousness will directly affect the choice of clinical treatment strategies, and even the choice of life or death by the patient’s relatives.”

Associate researcher with the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the first author of this study, Dr. Song Ming, explained how the system they developed was different from other AI methods used in the diagnoses of diseases like cancer, “our machine can ‘see’ things invisible to the human eyes,” he said.

So How Does This Technology Work?

The patients are analyzed using a brain scan that includes functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI. This technology is able to chart the activity in the brain by measuring even the smallest changes in blood flow.

Because there are so many neural activities going on at once, they are not always directly visible to doctors, however the AI system is equipped with machine learning algorithms and is able to detect these changing details more accurately and recognize patterns that were previously unknown in past cases.

“The AI system assumes that every patient still has consciousness,” Song said. “Its job is to determine the likelihood they will come to within a certain period.

“It will never replace doctors. It is just a tool to help doctors and families make better decisions.”

The Positive Potential Of AI

Many, including myself for the most part, are generally under the impression that AI is something that we should be wary of, and I stand by that statement. But in instances such as these, we can see how this technology is developed and how when used by the right hands can actually be an amazing gift to humanity. There are many instances where AI and other forms of tech can drastically enhance our current models of doing things, with more precision and accuracy. It shouldn’t all be dismissed right away, and it shouldn’t all be given the green light either. We have to be able to use discernment and determine whether or not we are using this technology for the right reasons and what the potential implications of bringing in these new technological advancements to our lives and current system.

Much Love

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Scientists Discover A New & Efficient Way To Turn Sunlight Into Fuel

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new process is able to effectively turn sunlight into fuel by combining natural processes and human made technologies.

  • Reflect On:

    With all of the emerging alternative energy sources that are becoming available to us, do we really need to be burning fossil fuels any longer?

The sun is a big burning ball of fire and thus, energy. Really, everything is energy. We already know that it is the light and warmth of the sun that gives life to every living thing on this planet. We have already seen an example of how the sun’s energy can be utilized to create power with the rapidly increasing use of solar panels, but researchers from St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, have now discovered a new way to utilize energy from the sun and turn it into fuel. Yes fuel — the type of fuel that could directly compete with fossil fuels.

The researchers used semi-artificial photosynthesis to explore new ways to produce and store solar energy. Using natural sunlight to separate hydrogen and oxygen including the use of a combination of biological components and human made technologies.

This research could revolutionize the way we are currently utilizing the sun for renewable energy production. Their method was able to absorb even more solar light than the natural process of photosynthesis. A paper, published in the journal Nature Energy described how the researchers were able to develop this process of unassisted, solar driven water splitting.

One of the authors of the study and PhD student at St. John’s college, Katarzyna Sokól said, “Natural photosynthesis is not efficient because it has evolved merely to survive so it makes the bare minimum amount of energy needed — around 1-2 percent of what it could potentially convert and store. “

One of the keys to this process is an ancient enzyme known as hydrogenase.

“Hydrogenase is an enzyme present in algae that is capable of reducing protons into hydrogen,” Sokól added.

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“During evolution this process has been deactivated because it was necessary for survival but we successfully managed to bypass the inactivity to achieve the reaction we wanted — splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.”

The process of mimicking photosynthesis in order to collect and store energy is something that scientists have been experimenting with for years. However, according to Sokól, the earlier technologies are not capable of scaling up to industrial models for a myriad of different reasons — either they are too expensive, or inefficient of use materials could also pose a risk to the environment.

The team took the approach to create an electrochemical cell, similar to a traditional battery, but based on the light-collecting biochemistry of a process called photosystem II. This was able to provide the necessary voltage that is required for the hydrogenase enzyme to do do it’s job and reduce the amount of hydrogen in water so that it can separate from oxygen and become the gas it was born to be.

Although this process may sound simple, connecting artificial systems with natural and organic processes has proved to be quite challenging.

“This work overcomes many difficult challenges associated with the integration of biological and organic components into inorganic materials for the assembly of semi-artificial devices and opens up a toolbox for developing future systems for solar energy conversion,” says, Erwin Resner, author and laboratory head.

There is much more research that needs to be done, but this is a huge and important step towards being able to fully utilize this method for an alternate fuel source.

“This could be a great platform for developing solar technologies. The approach could be used to couple other reactions together to see what can be done, learn from these reactions and then build synthetic, more robust pieces of solar energy technology,” says Sokól.

“It’s exciting that we can selectively choose the processes we want, and achieve the reaction we want which is inaccessible in nature. This could be a great platform for developing solar technologies. The approach could be used to couple other reactions together to see what can be done, learn from these reactions and then build synthetic, more robust pieces of solar energy technology,” she added.

Final Note

While this is certainly a plus in the direction of moving toward new energy systems, these technologies have advanced counterparts in the realm of zero-point energy that can make an even greater impact on humanity, without the need for sunlight.

The challenge? It has often been said that if ‘free energy’ like technologies come out prior to humanity shifting their consciousness enough to truly handle these technologies, we will in essence use them in the exact same way we do now: patent them, limit them and then charge people extensively for energy. This does not help to free the population, but only keeps it enslaved, and abundance limited.

Much Love

 

 

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Wi-Fi Security – Measures to Prevent Technology Enabled Crimes

Every Wi-Fi user must know how to adopt security measures that will prevent them from becoming victims of wireless technology crimes.

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Considered as one of the greatest advancement since the Internet, Wi-Fi wireless networking technology has given mobility to computers. People use wireless technology in the office, at home, and in public places. Unless Wi-Fi users adopt some sort of security, various problems can result when computers transmit unsecured information to one another.

Bandwidth theft, exposed e-mail messages, password or user name theft, and hijacked online identity rank among the top problems brought about by unsecured Wi-Fi transmissions. Every Wi-Fi user must know how to secure their computer.

Use WPA Instead of WEP Encryption

Encryption protocols are used to make network traffic more secure by encoding data packets that are transmitted thereon. Unfortunately, some wireless routers don’t have encryption enable or use the weaker WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy) security protocol.

It is well known that WEP security keys are easy to break and therefore network administrators should use the WPA or WPA2 protocols. Even if a router doesn’t support the more secure WPA or WPA2 protocols, WEP should be used; it is better than nothing.

Install a Firewall on Every Computer and Server

A firewall is the most basic and fundamental network security measure there is to secure wireless networks. While Wi-Fi routers can be used to extend the range of networks, they also make the network more vulnerable. A firewall will need to be installed on every computer to ward off security threats. This should be done even if the wireless router has a firewall installed on it.

Use Virtual Private Network (VPN)

B­asically, VPNs form a private network that uses a public network (usually the Internet) to connect remote sites or users together. VPNs use authenticated links to make sure that only authorized users can connect to a network. It also uses encryption to make sure that others can’t intercept and can’t use data that travels over the Internet. Numerous websites offer both free and paid VPN versions. VPNbase is one of them.

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Reduce the Transmitter Power of Network Access Points

Part of the convenience of using wireless networks is the ability to access services remotely. This strength also becomes a weakness, because others can see, and potentially use the network as well, especially when a powerful transmitter/antenna is being used.

To limit how far outside the premises the wireless signal travels, reduce the power output of wireless antennas. This requires some tweaking to find the right setting, because reducing the signal output of antennas also reduces the network’s service delivery and quality.

Disable Remote Administration

WLAN (wireless local area network) routers often come with the ability for a network administrator to remotely configure the router. By default, this feature is usually turned off and should stay that way if remote administration is not absolutely necessary. While network administrators can usually set passwords, to secure access to the router’s control panel, leaving the feature enabled could leave the network vulnerable as well.

Remove or Disable Weak Passwords and Access Codes

Ensure that all default passwords and access codes that come preset on network equipment are changed or disabled. Access the router’s web interface and update all settings that have a bearing on network security. Be sure the use strong passwords as well.

Physically Secure your Wireless Network Equipment

Hardware devices typically come with a hard reset button. Making network equipment readily available to be physically handled by anyone who wishes to do so puts the network at risk. Secure all critical and sensitive equipment in rooms or equipment racks.

Don’t Broadcast the Network’s SSID

To allow for the easy setup of wireless clients, most wireless access points will broadcast the SSID (Service Set IDentifier), or network name. While broadcasting the SSID makes setting up wireless clients easier, it also makes WLANs visible to wireless devices that are within range, including those that are malicious. Turn off SSID broadcast to make the network invisible and more secure.

Simple Wireless Network Security

Ensuring that a wireless network is secure is an ongoing responsibility. Wireless network threats, such as those posed by hackers and viruses can be thwarted by some common sense approaches such as physically securing network equipment and using strong encryption methods and technologies. However, the most effective security measures are those that seek to cover all the known security vulnerabilities.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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