Taking privacy and web security a bit more seriously

October 13, 2014 | By Editor 


As with any modern technology, the Internet responsible for changing human lives in several positive ways has a dark side as well. The past decade witnessed huge hacking incidents resulting in massive losses of personal data. Online privacy has been lost, leaving users and businesses vulnerable to cyber criminals.


Web Security in the Recent Times

To the inventor of World Wide Web (www) Tim Berners-Lee, the Web is an intricate linking of websites and Web pages meant to serve mankind and life easy. But for some, it is an intricate linking of malicious threads woven to capture victims just like a spider’s web.

Everything done using modern communications equipment leaves a digital trail; a trail followed not just by big corporates, but also by governments as illustrated by Edward Snowden.

What is baffling is that how unconcerned majority of people appear about online security.

Either it is total ignorance to the comprehensiveness of surveillance or too astonished to react to the manacling situation. Snowden’s mind blowing NSA revelations is an example of the capability and scale of surveillance; much greater than one’s imagination.

In addition to encryption technologies (HTTPS, SSL, and VPN), anything passing via Facebook, Yahoo, and Microsoft have been cracked by NSA.

So, does this mean no form of communication handled by corporates is safe? There is no one comprehensive solution for this. But there are certain things that can be done to make communications less insecure and digital trail difficult to follow.


  • Decades earlier encryption was the sole province of mathematicians, but has changed a lot in recent times.
  • Various publicly available tools have made encrypting email and files easy.
  • For example GNU Privacy Guard (GPG), an open source plug-in for Apple Mail program, makes encryption, decryption, signing, and verification of mails easy using OpenPGP.

Web browsing

  • Since browsing is the most common activity done on the Web, it is worth taking Web browser privacy and web security a bit more seriously.
  • To protect yourself from hackers and commercial businesses that track your online activities, configure your Web browser to repel the consequences.

Cloud Services

  • Encrypt all messages that are stored on cloud-based devices.

File Storage

  • Ensure that confidential data on any external device (e.g., USB stick) is encrypted.

Social Networking Sites

  • Be ware of what your are posting and who you are being friends with on Facebook and Twitter
  • Regardless of your privacy settings, you have zero control over the information posted about you by your friends.

Wireless services

  • Disable Bluetooth by default in all your mobiles. Switched it on only when you need it.
  • Also, be wary of using open wireless in public places. Even if you do, ensure that any website you visit uses HTTPS and not the unencrypted HTTP.

Personal Security

  • Generate stronger passwords for mail accounts. Use a combination of alphabets, upper and lower cases,special characters, and numbers.

ssl certificate

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