Like it or not, the internet is changing. We who use the internet have passed into the era of uncertain privacy and questionable surveillance of our online activities. Rather than await the full implications of what the Googles and Facebooks are doing with our private information, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Tor have partnered to not only encourage internet users to take a more proactive role in protecting their internet security, but offered a few tools to help out with the task.
For those that don’t know, Tor is basically the internet’s shadow: it’s a network of “virtual tunnels” that allows users to enhance their privacy on the internet by preventing “traffic analysis,” a common form of internet surveillance used by pretty much any entity with the means and determination to find out what you’re doing on the internet.
One of the first and best ways in which people can increase their level of online security is by installing a new browser extension for Firefox and Chrome called HTTPS Everywhere. The extension “encrypts your communication with many websites and, in conjunction with Tor, helps to protect your anonymity online.” HTTPS Everywhere will most notably improve your online security against anybody that’s snooping around on your wireless network, plus it’ll protect you against any eavesdroppers hanging around on the network you’re using to communicate with a website.
To better understand how HTTPS and Tor can level up your online security, EFF put together an interactive graphic to help you answer any lingering questions you may have about what HTTPS is, why you need to be concerned about the vulnerability of your online privacy, and how these guidelines will keep you safer and sounder.
As we slouch onward into this new age of online hyper-surveillance, the old maxim “better to be safe than sorry” can not be valued enough.