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How to Compute In Privacy: Part 1

Thanks to the NSA Scandal with Edward Snowden, people are now more concerned with the privacy of their digital communications than every before. It was Snowden that made shockwaves worldwide when he blew the whistle and leaked the mega story “The NSA is Spying on YOU” earlier this year.

 The reactions?

Well, there are two main camps really, those who shrugged it off as, “ah, no biggy”; and those who are now taking a long and hard look at how well their data is being protected.

Just in case you’re in the first group and are “just curious”, here are the 6 best ways to compute in privacy.

 #1 – Password Privacy

The easiest way to get your data stolen is to use a weak password.

Most people are not aware that most “hackers” crack into systems using a technique called social engineering [1]

They don’t always crack into your account with sophisticated high powered computers; many times they just simply put two and two together and try a few different password combinations using information they have about you.  This is why writing your password on a note under your keyboard is a bad idea.

Password Privacy Do’s:

 Password Privacy Don’ts:

Also don’t forget to alternate the text capitalization as this adds further complexity to your password.  You can capitalize the first letter only, or the last letter only, or only the first two letters, whatever it is just remember to keep it consistent and easy for you to remember. 

Read STRONGEST PASSWORD by Jack William [2]


#2 – Search privacy

Unfortunately Google, Yahoo, and Bing have all admitted to storing and sharing your data with “others”. This can put you in a predicament when you just want to keep your private communications private.

Here are the top 8 search engines that do not store information such as when you search and what you’re searching:

If you still want to use Google but you don’t want them to know what YOU search then you should try this:

This will help prevent “others” from seeing what you search for Google such as your ISP, that is whoever is providing you an internet connection. Also, if you’re not logged in to Google then they won’t have an account to link to your searches. 

*Remember, this helps dramatically but it’s still not a 100% private.

 #3 – Email Privacy

Email privacy is now becoming increasingly more important as over and over again judges have held that emails are in fact PUBLIC information.

Although this may sound shocking it is the reality that we live in today. This effectively means that someone can obtain your email through nefarious means and then claim that is okay for them to have it because it’s public.

If you want your emails to be read only by the person that you send them to here are your options:

 I’ll have more of these tips in part 2 of How to Compute in Privacy.

~ Darnell Jackson