Why Is it Important to Be Discreet On the Internet

in writing •  9 months ago 

Generally, we associate the anonymity on the Internet with repressed activities, as downloading or by-passing forbidden sites. I am rather going to deal with the privacy on the Internet.

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Saying that we have nothing to hide, under the pretext that we do nothing illegal, is a little as saying that we do not have a private life or no life at all...

It’s an extreme, due to a biased perception, often bound to a knowledge lack of the risks on what we think to master.

Privacy does not limit itself to the physical field: On the Internet our privacy is more and more necessary.

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Internet is a vast and free world, watched by more or less well-intentioned people

Having a visibility on the Internet can be an objective for some, but this one must be controlled. Many stars, victims of malicious hackers can surely testify.

The more we expose ourselves, the more we risk being targeted by cybercriminals. Their motivations are varied, and we are all potential victims.

But they are not the only ones to want your data. Very often, the web sites that you visit stalk you, to resell your data.

It's necessary to become aware that when you connect, you leave tracks almost everywhere. On the computer you use, with your ISP, on the servers you visit, on the routers you cross, on the sites you use, etc. …

As a result, we can go back to you, even deduce your profile. It can be useful for companies that sell your data, and generate some money on your back, but also to black-hat hackers to usurp your identity, and many other things.

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You certainly heard about the GDPR? (for my European steemians only!)

The GDPR is the new European regulation that allow you to make adjustment by obliging companies providing a service in Europe to secure your data, and to allow you to act on them.

However, it does not exempt us from taking even more precautions.

Even if I think that the anonymity on the Internet is not always possible, tending towards a discretion protecting a minimum our private life remains important.

"A lack of discretion can have various impacts types, and can damage you personally, but also professionally."

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Possible attacks

During the passive recognition phase, the hacker will try to gather as much data as possible on a person or an organization. It can be legally made by retrieving the information that you leave on the Internet. On the other hand, the use of these data does not necessarily enter in the same legality.

A cybercriminal can then:

  • Get back information on a person to target/infiltrate his company.

  • Usurp a person identity to make scam or social engineering .

  • Use confidential data to blackmail the victim.

  • etc. …

In an attack phase, the cybercriminal will arrange several techniques to recover your data, such as:

  • Position himself between you and the internet to intercept your data. This is called MITM attacks for "Man In The Middle".
    It’s on this type of attacks that the HTTPs connections encryption or the sending of encrypted mails is important. It can occur at your home if your WiFi is poorly secured, or more collectively through public WiFi networks .

  • Steal your data through a malware. By taking the hand on your computer.
    From there, we can potentially have access to the webcam or either install "Keyloggers" that will record the keystroke of your keyboard.

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Several solutions exist to protect itself

Technical solutions, but also a set of good practice.

First, guarantee the confidentiality of your communications and your data, by encrypting them.

You can:

  • Encrypt the attachments you send, even with the 7zip software (The password must be transmitted to the correspondent through a second communication channel!)

  • Encrypt your e-mails with PGP or use secured e-mails.

  • Encrypt the keystroke of your keyboard with software such as "KeyScrambler".

  • Watch to use only sites in HTTPs (as possible).

  • Use a VPN.

  • etc. …

The VPN for example, will create an encrypted tunnel between your machine and a server to guarantee the confidentiality of the exchanges made between them. This can be useful for remotely access to your box or to secure a connection to a public WiFi.

In addition, these software can also recover your data to sell them. As we say, "If it’s free, you are the product ", so pay attention on free products not recognized by the community.

Be also careful on the DNS servers you use. By keeping the DNS server of your ISP, this one records all your connections logs, just like your internet box. The use of a VPN would then be partially useless.

Then it’s necessary to know the legislation in force in the country your data are hosted. It will allow you to make a better choice on a solution rather than another one.

Although submitted to the RGPD when they propose a product to the EU members, the United States companies are now subject to the "CLOUD ACT" which allows access to your data in necessity cases, at the request of US authorities.

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Learning to use options available to us

Using the TOR network to connect to a social network is useless if there’s not an adequate configuration of privacy policies, and that everybody has access to your photos or your phone number.

The social networks can be a source of information on you, take time to properly configure their use.

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Conclusion

Having access to our personal data everywhere and quickly is a time saving that make life easier.

But it makes them more easily accessible to others, to whom you do not necessarily want to give access, such as big Web companies or cybercriminals.

It’s necessary to become aware that we have all something to hide. Not because what we do is bad but because our information can be used against us, and without our knowledge!

GOOD AWARENESS!

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Very good article. It is quite concerning to see how much cyber footprints people leave on the internet. Anyone can just Google somebody and be able find a ton of information about the person. This subject the target to identify theft and it might put the target's friends and family at risk too. So really, be careful what you share on the internet and remain anonymous as much as possible

Posted using Partiko Android

Well, everything I want to hide is not on the internet at all... and I agree with most of your points, especially about VPN!

can VPN be harmfull?

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Yup, there are many ways VPN provider can use you. So only use the VPN you trust.

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okay thank you

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I'll soon publish an article on 3 VPN that I have tested and that I recommend. All good and reliable, with some differences. Stay log ;-)

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Okay .. Thank you

A very important post, we have to be so careful, now I am afraid I haven't been anonymous!!!

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Don't be afraid but remain aware of the risks and the good habits ;-)

Thanks for the good write-up. Security and privacy should be the first thing people learn before surfing the net.

Posted using Partiko Android

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Exactly! Thanks a lot dude

A lot of good points here, and especially important now people are putting their whole lives on the internet. They should teach this to kids at school!