Post PRISM

I came across a couple of interesting posts this morning about personal online privacy in a post-PRISM world.

http://benrmatthews.com/2013/06/my-privacy-plan/
http://www.reddit.com/r/AdviceAnimals/comments/1g0nzx/after_the_reading_countless_posts_complaining/

To be honest I’m not really sure how effective any of this stuff would be – like the whistleblower Edward Snowden himself suggests the likelihood is that the security/intelligence services are way past this sort of thing. Still it never hurts to a little bit of a personal privacy audit every now and again.

So the advice in both posts was pretty similar and they are both worth a read if only to see what sort of thing other people are up to.

Personally I am adding a couple of layers to what I already do.

In place at the moment I use;

– Ghostery – to block tracking tools on websites. I allow Google Analytics and a couple of other similar things as I rely on them alot myself so would be hypocritical.

– HTTPS Everywhere – been using this at home for a while. Its a plugin for Firefox and Chrome.

What I am going to do going forward;

– I’m going to sign back up as a Open Rights Group member – was sorry to miss ORGCon this weekend which couldn’t have been better timed.

– look in to swapping my browser to Chromium – I’d like to use Firefox but it still seems to have a memory leak issue and kills my laptop on a regular basis.

– give DuckDuckGo another chance. Actually this is more to do with missing ‘real’ search results and escaping the personalisation bubble.

– look in to adding some encryption to my hard drive. Don’t know much about this sort of thing but it seems sensible.

What I am not going to do;

– start using Tor. I have tried this a couple of times and my laptop performance suffers too much.

– give up using GMail – I realise this probably leaves me open to the most surveillance of all but the simple fact is convenience outweighs paranoia for the immediate future.

I’m really not sure any of this would stop someone at NSA or GCHQ looking at whatever they liked but I guess it will limit my digital footprint a little.