I know my recent blog entries have tended towards rants on Internet privacy. It blows my mind that more people aren’t worried about it.
I’m not one to repost links on my blog, my readers know I prefer to have new content as much as possible. But this link is a wonderful summary of why normal people should be worried about privacy, and it’s outlined in a way that your mother can understand:
It doesn’t go as far as I would like (Facebook tracking is an even more serious offence), but it’s a good start for people who need to understand why privacy should be taken seriously.
This link is an advertisement for the duckduckgo search engine. I personally have switched from Scroogle to Starting Page. It is billed as the worlds most private search engine and has apparently been independently verified by a third party. However, Duck Duck Go may be a viable alternative as well.
My friend Matthew did not like the RequestPolicy plugin that I recommended because it required too much interaction to make sites work. He found the Ghostery plugin which works for most web browsers and does an exceptional job of removing most data trackers without any user interaction. I love this plugin! I’ve been using it for a month or so now and have experienced no broken websites. I trust it enough to put it on my family’s web browsers without them experiencing any breakage. Protecting their privacy will indirectly protect mine.
I am still being tracked on my mobile phone browser. If anyone can recommend a similar plugin for Blackberry or Android browsers, I would appreciate it.
I’ve started using bookmarks and search bookmarks a lot more often again. I had gotten in the habit of using the omni-bar for everything. Now instead of Googling the weather in some city, I search Weather Underground directly. Instead of searching google for a word definition, I search m.dictionary.com directly (the mobile site has a cleaner interface than their main one). Instead of searching for a site I had stumbled across in the past, I bookmark the site the first time I see it so I can request it without letting any search engines know I was looking for it.