I installed the Tor browser at home last night. I had been thinking of using this privacy & anonymizing system for a long time, at least since I wrote about the debate over whether NH libraries can support the system, but never got around to it.
Now Congress and the president are about to toss out Internet privacy regulations, basically letting Comcast or whoever your ISP is peddle your online history to the highest bidder. So I’m going to start doing what I can to make it hard for them. It’s an annoying irritant at best, but such is life. You can learn more at the Tor Project website.
Kevin Mitnik, famous/infamous hacker, wrote a whole book about how to be invisible online: Here’s a Wired article about it, with some tips.
Note: After I posted the above to the blog, comments made by readers/friends made me take a look at setting up a personal Virtual Private Network. Fortunately, Quartz has a good piece explaining how, right here.
I opted to buy a vpn service. It works on PCs, laptops, and phones. It works with wifi or phone/data connections. I found it easier to set up and faster than Tor plus you can pick your vpn server location. A few sites recognize the von server IP addresses and reject them (Papa John’s wouldn’t load). I can use one account for multiple devices. It’s not free (I think i pay about $30/year) but I prefer it.
I’m pretty sure the current brouhaha is only over the (never in effect) FCC rules applying (only) to ISPs. Is your inclusion of Google and Facebook mistaken? This article at NYMag http://nymag.com/selectall/2017/03/why-congress-is-dismantling-the-fccs-internet-privacy-rules.html (picked at random, but certainly not a known hotbed of corporate shillery) says:
“Rather, it indicates that ISPs would like to do what Google and Facebook, not covered by the new FCC rules, are already doing: sell anonymized profiles based on data those companies gather to third parties for ad targeting.”
Key words: “already doing”.
Your overall point is good, though: there are ways to protect your online privacy, and people concerned about that should check them out. But it’s important they have an accurate picture of the issue.
Yes, good point – I’ve tweaked the article to reflect this. Thanks (he said humbly).