Covering your tracks online

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Given the recent debate over what the government tracks online, many of you may be wondering what you can do to protect yourself from not just the government tracking but also businesses, other governments, and even cybercriminals.

You may have even heard of some of the tools out there but you are not sure if you should use them.

There are lots of products on the market that promise to help you with more private messaging.   WBTV Cyber Expert Theresa Payton shares her advice below:


œ     No system is 100% safe from bad guys and the service still might be subject to a subpoena from law enforcement so read those privacy statements carefully.

œ     Tor explained:

›     You could start by using a system that helps protect your identity from bad guys, and not just marketers but fraudsters too!

›     Tor which stands for "The Onion Router".

›     Tor was developed by the Naval Observatory and is used by journalists that need to report egregious government behavior within a repressive regime.

›     They have also used Tor to keep their communication lines open even when a country's government may take their own government or another government offline.

›     Tor basically hides you by traveling across random paths and layers of the internet, hence the name "onion" or layers of an onion.   Once you use Tor, you can investigate using an email service that promises not to snoop on you or to sell your data.

œ     Email services - recently Lavabit and SilentCircle have stopped their email services.  Some services currently available that you may want to look at to see if they are the right service for you are:  HushMail and Anonymouse.

œ     File sharing services - You might also want to consider using a tool called DeadDrop.  You might have heard that the New Yorker magazine is using a service called Strongbox for people to send them news leads.  The Strongbox uses DeadDrop technology.  DeadDrop works just like it sounds.  You drop off your information for another person to pick up.  Like in the old spy movies where you left a packet of information in a secret hiding place.  You can use Tor and DeadDrop together to cover your tracks.

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