Ever feel like you’re being watched?
We don’t mean that drone outside your window (sorry, we’re just doing some reader research).
No, it’s more when you’re just moseying around the internet and sense the slow building of Panopitcon-style surveillance around your every move.
With the UK increasingly giving the impression that its data laws are being drafted by Chief Wiggum, it falls to us humble internet travellers to defend our privacy with perfectly legal and really rather clever tools.
Your starting point for any anonymous web voyage is a VPN (see below for an explanation), but we’ve also offered up suggestions for truly private messaging and, for the hardcore privacy enthusiast, the Linux-based OS that a certain Mr. Snowden is a fan of.
But first, what are these VPNs we speak of...
The best VPNs
Best for maximum security: Tails
Forget internet security apps, how about a whole secure operating system? Tails is a Linux package designed from the ground floor to keep your browser data secure. It’s such a surveillance-smasher that Edward Snowden used it to dodge the NSA.
You can load Tails onto a memory stick or a CD/DVD, and boot right from it on your laptop or desktop. Browse away and when you’re done all trails of whatever you were looking at vanish into nothingness. Poof.
This is because Tails doesn’t store any data locally itself, and all you activity passes through Tor. That’s a network that bounces your internet trace across the globe so that if someone tries to find you all they’ll discover is digital scrambled egg.
Would we suggest you use this as the everyday software for your computer? No. Even by Linux standards it’s not all that pretty or friendly. But if you have a loved one who’s far too inquisitive and techy for their own good, it’s a great way to shop for presents without the gift popping-up as an ad in your browser. Those things have ruined thousands of Birthdays.