Recently a few stories have come to light that highlight the importance of Internet Communication OpSec.
Internet Communication OpSec
Is Internet Communication OpSec important for a prepper?
I think OpSec should be important for everyone in any part of their life, that they want to remain private, or that is just no one else’s business!
Here’s a quote from a good movie:
THE FIRST RULE OF FIGHT CLUB IS…
YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB.
-Fight Club Movie 1999 (link)
Therefore we can extrapolate:
THE FIRST RULE OF PREPPING IS…
YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT PREPPING.
What can we do?
We’ve all seen the news and know that large corporations and government agencies are very interested in where we go, who we talk to and what we say. How can we combat this?
The best bet is to shutdown our social media accounts, toss our cell phones in an active volcano, stop using the internet for anything, set up a fake identity and disappear off the grid to live as a hermit in a cave in some forgotten corner of the world.
If that is too extreme, there are many things we can do to negate our exposure using tools to help us avoid this monitoring.
Browsing the Internet
We can use Browser extensions to block tracking cookies and websites that track us.
Ghostery: An extension (add on) for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer and Safari web browsers that tracks over 1,400 trackers and gives you a roll-call of the ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies interested in your activity. It also allows you to block the ones you are concerned about or ALL of the trackers and cookies. Block them ALL (you may have to disable it when visiting some sites). Download it from within your browser or here.
Https Everywhere – HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox and Chrome extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.
Do Not Track Plus
Stop companies from tracking you
Free tool that puts you back in control of your information
Best available blocking stops more than 600 trackers
Compatible with Mac or PC for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer
Automatically updates to catch new trackers
Disconnect – Advertisers and other third parties track, clutter, and slow down your web browsing. Disconnect makes the web your business not theirs.
It is highly recommended that you use use some form of browser privacy plugin/extension, like Ghostery or Disconnect. We are against web tracking, and Facebook, Google, Twitter, Digg and Yahoo are the big players in the tracking game. It’s how they make their money, then they give that data to the government agencies to profile you. These are the big boys that these extensions protect you from.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a encrypted tunnel across a public telecommunication infrastructure, such as the Internet, to provide individuals with secure access to resources. Based on things I’ve read, this may no longer be 100% safe, due to advances in decryption.
TOR and TAILS
Use Tor when you browse the Internet (or any sites you want to remain private):
What is Tor?
Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis
You can take it a step further, by using a Tails bootable live CD (OS on a CD or DVD ROM). Boot your computer off the TAILS disc and take advantage of TOR and some good browser security tools! Even if a site tries to infect your with malware or track you, when you reboot, all that junk is gone!
Stop using Google or make sure to log out of all Google services before searching. Google is a one stop shop for many internet goodies: Searches, Voice, Chat, maps, GPS Navigation, books etc, but everything you do is tracked and logged to your accounts. I use Google Chrome for Gmail and facebook, then I use Firefox (NOT EVER LOGGED INTO GOOGLE OR FACEBOOK, or any other site) for searching and maps, etc.
You can make sure that you are logged out of Google by using this link https://mail.google.com/mail/?logout&hl=en, you can save this url as a bookmark or even set this as your browser’s start page to make sure that you didn’t log into Google at some point by accident.
When I do search what do I use?
Remember I’m an IT Guy (aka computer nerd) so I constantly look into this. That means that if something new comes up, I’m going to update this page. Check back as needed!
StartPage also has links on their main page to add their search engine to your browser and to make their site your browser’s home page or start page.
Next get a Private Offshore email account. Google’s GMail is not private, as a matter of fact all your GMail, your Google searches (while logged in to ANY Google service), Google Voice, Google Navigator and any other Google service is ingested daily into government systems for archival and data mining.
You know who else does this to you? FACEBOOK. If you have private chat with an old friend that data is also ingested daily into government systems. No joke. You can read up on this on the net!
Private and Offshore email services:
- www.startmail.com – from the same company as StartPage.com!
Great article from NetworkWorld.com Hunting for an email service with extreme wishlist for privacy and security?
No matter what you do to remain private and avoid digital monitoring, you can never be 100% sure. The only way to avoid it is to go old school and stay clear of the internet, social media, and digital communications. A typewriter, notes, and face to face meetings are the safest, but with drones and cell phones that can be activated remotely to bug a room or eavesdrop on a conversation, you have your work cut out for you!