Hey, I don't know if this is the right thread for this, or if this deserves its own thread...
I have become more concerned lately about my online privacy. I recently quit Facebook, and, knowing myself, I can't imagine why I joined in the first place. I was already plenty paranoid before
I started divulging my personal information on this massive corporate website, whose president and CEO is notoriously empathically challenged.
I also fed all my email addresses into gmail, which I used as my primary email address, and which then had me logged in all the time while I searched for everything under the sun. I started using Google Docs as my primary word processor and spreadsheet maker.
this month, and the New York Times
outlined how they, and Facebook, use aggregate data to predict patterns in behavior among people whose fit your demographic and disposition.
In other words, even if you're divulging relatively little data about yourself, if others like you are, and they're able to match you to your own 'kind', then they can predict your habits and patterns of behavior, at least at they pertain to your online activity, based on what people like you tend to do. The article says that credit companies are now using this data, and you can be declined credit based on it. It stands to reason, then that Facebook and Google could sell this data to think tanks, and who knows who else.
I think I would participate in forums like this one more often if I believed I was truly anonymous online, and I am slowly trying to get there. I got off Google suite and started using an alternative search engine
. I stopped using Google Chrome and started using SRWare Iron, the secure, open-source browser upon which Chrome is built.
I know there are other posts about threats to our internet freedom, but I thought maybe this thread could serve to offer practical information on how we can protect our privacy and anonymity online. I have tried Tor
, and I used Ubuntu Linux for years before finally giving up on it because I couldn't run my music software on it (though I would like to go back to it). I am not an IT or computer science person, and I'm wondering if there are any such people in the community who know about things like, or how to anonymously correspond with people, host a website, et cetera.
I once emailed someone who required a pgp key and I wonder how that actually secures your conversation. I would imagine only an encrypted, open-source instant messenger would be secure, but I'm not sure. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.