Letter Re: Home Computer Security Tips

Hi James,
I heard your recent radio interview with Alex Jones. It it you mentioned Darknets [such as Tor] and IP addresses.

I happen to use the following tools for security. Perhaps they will be of use to SurvivalBlog readers:

To make it easy to find IP addresses, I use ShowIP. This is a little tool add-on to Firefox and works a treat, makes saving favorite web site numeric addresses a breeze.

Private VPN tunneling:  Normally this is difficult to say the least, by TunnelBlick is great, easy to use, and I use RiseUp for both secure anonymous e-mail and secure anonymous VPN. And by the way, both of those are free services.

I use Flashblock  to stop all those annoying pop-ups and flash banners, that are not only annoying but also harvest info about your system, location, etc. (Bad 🙁 ) 

I use the QuickJava Plugin to enable / disable Java data harvesters.

User Agent Switcher is great for obfuscating your browser, system, etc. 

RefControl is an extension for Firefox that lets you control what gets sent as the HTTP Referer on a per-site basis. great for privacy and for ensuring you can still go to “broken / unavailable” (i.e. taken down) sites.

All of the aforementioned tools work with Firefox. (Apologies Internet Explorer (IE) users, but I do not use IE because they collect far too much data and hand it over to the authorities far too easily.) 

In your browser preferences pane, look for privacy and ensure that “private browsing” is enabled. Always ensure the setting for deleting cookies is set to delete them when you close your browser, as well as emptying the cache, history, etc. 

If you use Gmail, Yahoo Mail, MSN Mail or anyone else, ensure that e-mails are downloaded and not keeping copies on the server, and that the history is not collected by Google when browsing. (Go to “Settings” in your Google / MSN / Yahoo account) 

On the main setting on your PC / Mac / whatever, ensure that your language settings are not USA English, just English. For your time zone, pick another location along the same time zone as yourself. For example, if you live in London, use Dublin, Iceland, Sierra Leone, or whatever, you will still show the same time but not your location, you get my drift…

Do not enroll in a Twitter, Facebook whatever account. Get real. The people that you meet there are not your ‘friends” your real friends will seek you out personally. Using “social-networking” sites only increases your digital identity and leaves you open to all sorts of problems. Enough said.

I could go on all day in this vein but you have here a decent start for online security.  Warmest Regards, – Ed (a UK Prepper)

JWR Replies: To reiterate what I mentioned in the interview that you mentioned: I do indeed recommend taking note of the IPv4 or IPv6 addresses of your favorite web sites.

For the basics on darknets see the Darknet Wikipedia Page. That will then inevitably lead you to The Onion Router (Tor.)

It is also notable that Firefox now has a Tor plu- in (included in the Tor bundle) that is easy to toggle on and off.

My advice: Dig in and study this topic in depth. Be ready to go dark, as needed. But be careful: Do not let you kids wander around unsupervised in the onion realm, as there are a lot of sinful sites in the darknet world.