Thanks to revelations by Edward Snowden and others, the world is now increasingly aware of the global dragnet surveillance grid run by the United States via the NSA and intelligence services from its allies. So what are we to do when every piece of data is tracked, stored, and analyzed? Here are a few useful tools that will help you reclaim your digital privacy:
Stands for Virtual Private Networks
If you’re reading this on your cell phone or computer, all of the internet traffic flows to and from an individual IP address linked to your internet service provider (ISP). Government can essentially figure out exactly what internet pages you visit, what you think (based on what you’re typing/searching), etc. Using a VPN prevents this, by tunneling your activity through a third party where it is encrypted, then sent back via the third party’s IP. Recommended apps: Tunnelbear, TorGuard, and more
Ghost Phone Numbers
Apps like Hushed allow users to create a “Ghost phone number.” You can make and receive calls and texts from this number…best part is it doesn’t get forwarded to your actual cell number and instead, gets funneled through your internet connection. Extremely difficult for any hackers/government agencies to pinpoint where you’re calling from, who you are, etc.
End-To-End Phone Encryption
“That’s great, I can use a ghost number, but what’s to prevent someone from listening into my conversations?” The NSA and other intelligence agencies have sophisticated software that basically allows them to filter keywords in voice communications. One can understand how mentioning names when discussing government corruption could be a potential issue. Not so if you’re using end-to-end phone encryption like OSTEL! OSTEL is an app that fully encrypts all voice communications…Only caveat is that all users in on the call have to be using the app (end to end) for it to work. By using the app (which once again passes through your internet connection ONLY) any spying eyes will see/hear nothing but scrambled code.