When using a network of any kind (public, private, wifi, tethered) you need to be aware that the info you are pushing around the network(s) is prone to snooping, sniping and prying eyes. Proper use of some apps can limit the amount of information that gets leaked across the inter, and intra, tubes.


(the act of turning your clear text info into encrypted bundles that can only be read by the intended recipients.)

There are several ways to integrate GPG into the ways you like to send email. If you use gmail you can use the firefox addon called FireGPG ( http://getfiregpg.org/ ), this makes it a breeze to sign and encrypt, as well as decrypt , all your email.


(or "Hiding Your Movements" - the act of not allowing governments, data mining companies or just run of the mill packet snoop from easily seeing what places you are going to on the internet. )


A popular tool for doing this is TOR (http://www.torproject.org/). After setting it up your traffic is moved thru a complicated and , hopefully, baroque enough twisty encrypted path that most snooping agencies will not be able to follow you about and glean information from your travels.

There are several tools that make using Tor much easier. One is Tork ( http://www.anonymityanywhere.com/tork/ ) Tork is a GUI manager for Tor that helps you install, configure and use Tor. It reduces the task of anonymizing most applications to a single-click, including Firefox, Opera,Konqueror,Pidgin, Kopete,SSH, and IRC.For advanced users TorK provides detailed network information, and more, in an accessible manner. Torks is a tad KDE centric.

Vidalia ( http://vidalia-project.net/ ) on the other hand, is a cross-platform GUI manager for Tor. You can start and stop the Tor software, view its status at a glance, and monitor bandwidth usage. Vidalia also makes it easy to contribute to the Tor network by helping you set up and manage your own relay.

Some apps you may alredy be using can benefit from using Tor. Xchat, for instance, can be made to use Tor on most any irc network that allows it. Freenode has a special Tor entry ( http://freenode.net/irc_servers.shtml) and the PTP Irc server currently accepts connections for the Tor network.

Will Tor Really Make You Anonymous

So is Tor the magic bullet to keep your anonymity on the internet? The short answer is, No. The longer answer is that while Tor helps in hiding your comings and goings from prying eyes it is far from a cloak of invisibility. There are lots of little ways Tor does not keep you hidden such as the use of browser plug ins like flash, cookies and JavaScript to name just a few. Given the use of those your are still exposed. How can you mitigate some of these holes? http://www.torproject.org/download.html.en#Warning

One Stop Shopping

There are several projects that are crafting easy to run LiveCD based Operating Systems that will offer you many of the apps mentioned above built into a full fledged linux desktop system. The benefit of these are they can be run from any computer that has a CD/DVD drive or even a USB port. Say for instance that you are visiting a local cafe that has several public computers, you can simply reboot the machines with the LiveCD inserted and it would boot up into a secure desktop environment.

PrivacyApps (last edited 2008-06-12 09:40:07 by TomHiggins)