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3 tips for keeping everything you do online a secret

Published Mar 11th, 2014 11:35AM EDT
How To Stay Anonymous Online

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For the past several months, infamous NSA leaker Edward Snowden has confounded the United States government’s attempts to track him online and stop him from releasing further damaging damaging information about its intelligence gathering activities. How has he been able to do this ? The Wall Street Journal reports that Snowden this week gave three simple tips to help make sure that no one can track your online activity: Encrypt your entire hard drive, use Tor to keep yourself completely anonymous online, and enable browser extensions that block third parties’ ability to track you.

You can already encrypt your hard drive if your computer runs on the Ultimate version Windows 7, the Pro version of Windows 8.1 or the Enterprise versions of Windows 7 and 8.1 since they all come with BitLocker. The Journal recommends that Mac users go with FileVault 2, which is available for any Mac “running OS X Lion (10.7) or newer.”

Tor, which is an acronym for The Onion Router, has recently become better known to House of Cards viewers as the network that reporter Lucas Goodwin tries to use to secretly dig around for dirt on Frank Underwood. Tor keeps your online activity anonymous by routing your traffic through several different servers before sending it through to your computer and it has become a staple tool for criminals who want to discretely conduct illegal activities. The Journal recommends that anyone interested in using Tor on their own devices should read this walkthrough written by ExtremeTech before getting started.

And finally, anyone interested in stopping third parties from tracking them online should use Ghostery, a browser plugin that will detect any third parties tracking you and give you the option of whether or not to block them. The Journal also gives a tip of the cap to DuckDuckGo, a privacy protecting search engine that we’ve written about before that saw its traffic skyrocket after revelations broke about the NSA PRISM scandal.

The Journal’s walkthrough of how to stay anonymous online is much more detailed than our summary and is well worth reading by clicking the source link below.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.