go" but warns "the value provided by proxies is completed voided when using
sites like Gmail and Facebook when you voluntarily hand over your data --
something that pretty much everyone does."
If you're worried about government snooping, the Dutch company that makes Ixquick and Startpage is beyond reach of a U.S. court subpoena and doesn't save your data anyway.
"It's a lot harder to force a Netherlands-based company to cooperate with programs like PRISM than it would be with a U.S.-based company," said Ixquick CEO Robert Beens.
For phone calls and emails, PGP by Symantec and the free GPG offer public key encryption for email and data, while RedPhone and TextSecure by Whisper Systems encrypt your mobile Android phone and text messages. Both people have to be using the software.
For the advertising averse, Adblock Plus lets users filter ads on websites. It claims 40 million users. Yahoo (YHOO) allows visitors to its Web pages to opt out of ads through its Ad Interest Manager.
Some search sites filter content, blocking out most advertising. Blekko searches are pretty much free of unwanted clutter.
And Yippy is a search engine that blocks malicious and objectionable content and is considering moving to a subscription-based model with no ads. "Advertising is Big Brother," said CEO Rich Granville.
On the other hand, Google (GOOG) likes to remind people that advertising pays for the many services it offers.
Contact Pete Carey at 408-920-5419 Follow him on Twitter.com/petecarey
ONLINE SECURITY tips
Here are a few ideas for specific situations where you want more privacy than is afforded by your native software and system, courtesy of Seth Schoen, senior staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
1. You want to keep your browsing private at work
Use a browser made by the Tor Project or a paid VPN (for virtual private network) link, or a personal hotspot. Don't use an employer-provided or administered computer if company policy allows surreptitious monitoring. California law doesn't provide much protection from monitoring that happens in accordance with a disclosed policy.
2. You want to avoid government surveillance
Install HTTPS Everywhere on your browser and consider the Tor Browser Bundle.
3. You want your mobile calls to be shielded from eavesdroppers
Install an encrypted VoIP application such as RedPhone or Silent Circle.
4. You want your information in the cloud secure from snooping
Encrypt your data before uploading it. Some services actually require data to be encrypted before it is uploaded: SpiderOak, Wuala and Tarsnap.
software and sites for the privacy conscious
Tor Browser Bundle: (Tor Project) Preconfigured to protect your privacy and anonymity on the Web as long as you're browsing with the Tor browser itself.
HTTPS Everywhere: (Tor Project and Electronic Frontier Foundation) Firefox and Chrome extensions that encrypt communications with many major websites.
DuckDuckGo: Internet search engine that protects your identity when you search, does not keep your data.
Ixquick/Startpage: (Surfboard Holding) Dutch search engine that does not collect users data on users.
Blekko: A search engine that does not save user data.
PGP: (Symantec) Encryption for emails and data.
CPG: (GNU Project) Encryption for emails and data.
RedPhone and TextSecure: Encryption for phone calls and texting on Android mobile phones
(c)2013 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)
Visit the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) at www.mercurynews.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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