Privacy on the Internet
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Privacy on the Internet



Privacy on the Internet - some thoughts on issues and tools that you can use to keep your data private.

Privacy on the Internet - some thoughts on issues and tools that you can use to keep your data private.



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Privacy on the Internet Privacy on the Internet Presentation Transcript

  • Privacy Phil Bradley Internet Librarian International 2013
  • But I’m doing nothing wrong! • Does that mean you let people peer in at your windows? • Does it mean that you want to be bombarded with adverts? • Does it mean that you’re happy constantly being monitored? • Does it mean that you’re happy with other people making money out of you?
  • (c) Chris Potter (2012) Title: Scales of Justice -
  • Which is more important to you? • • • • • • • • Ease of access to data Convenience Speed Tailored content Special offers Advanced notice Keeping up with friends Reduced hassle Privacy
  • A few facts • 21% of internet users have had an email or social networking account compromised • 12% have been stalked/harassed online • 11% have had important data stolen • 6% have had their reputation damaged • 4% have been led into physical danger because of something that happened online –
  • Headline bad news • The US Postal Service is involved with the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program – 160 billion pieces of mail are photographed annually • GCHQ handled 600m ‘telephone events’ each day in 2012, had tapped more than 200 fibre optic cables and could process data from 46 at a time • The National Security Agency can reach 75% of all US Internet traffic
  • Continued • Commercial software exists which can spy on mobile phones (Flexispy) • Mobile phone pictures can be used to track locations • The microphone and webcam on your computer can be remote activated • “America has no functioning democracy” Jimmy Carter, July 2013
  • And more... • Gmail users have no "reasonable expectation" that their communications are confidential – • Microsoft has admitted that anything stored in its cloud services, eg Outlook or Office 365 can be accessed by the US Govt under the Patriot Act of 2001 or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978
  • And a little more • The UK’s National Physical Laboratory has developed a walking gait recognition system that can be used to help track a person through a CCTV-monitored area by analysing the way that they walk. –
  • And a tiny bit more • 145 of the top 10,000 websites track users without their knowledge or consent – ‘Digital fingerprinting’ circumvents legal restrictions imposed on cookies – Flash based fingerprinting can uniquely identify specific machines based on computer properties such as screen size, fonts, plugins and installed software » Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Newsroom
  • Recycling bins can track your phone
  • Who you are
  • Google
  • Google Account Settings
  • Account activity
  • Google Profiles
  • Facebook • Always sign out of Facebook – Closing the tab doesn’t sign you out • View your timeline as it appears to ‘nonfriends’ – Click the cog wheel – Timeline and tagging settings – Who can see things on my timeline? – View as
  • Check your privacy settings • Who can see my stuff? – Future posts – Review all your posts – Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared • Who can contact me? – Who can send you friend requests? – Whose messages do I want filtered? • Who can look me up? – Using the email address or phone number – Do you want other search engines to link to your Timeline?
  • Deleting a Facebook account
  • Deleting an account • This can take up to one month • Some data may be retained for 3 months • Some content will always remain • Download a copy of your Facebook information first!
  • Facebook shadow profiles • A friend looks for you, or installs an app on their phone – Facebook now has your phone number and email address • Seen the ‘people you might know?’ A 3rd party uses the ‘Find friends’ option, has your details (new or old) and can link old addresses together
  • Can you stop this? • Not really • Theoretically illegal in Europe • Tell all your friends never to refer to you on Facebook, don’t install Facebook apps, don’t put your details into their smartphone....
  • Delete me!
  • And for newsletters
  • Email addresses Abine MaskMe:
  • Email addresses
  • Where you are
  • Plugging the leak!
  • • Disguise your IP address with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tool – Spotflux – Hotspot Shield • Remove details from 192 – ‘Removal of personal details’ • Go ex-directory with BT • Add WHOIS privacy via your domain registrar
  • Opt out of directory services with
  • UnlistMy.Info
  • What is your browser saying? • • • • • • IP Address JavaScript Java Applet Content filters Flash Player Geolocation
  • Plugging the leak!
  • You should: • Disable Javascript and Java • Use a VPN tool (previously mentioned) • Stop using Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari • Use Tor as a private browser, or Firefox, Opera
  • Tor
  • ‘The Onion Router’ • Software you can install to hide your identity while you browse • Originally developed for the US Navy • Your communications take a random pathway through several relays to cover your tracks, and these are encrypted
  • Who uses it? • Family and friends – To protect themselves, children and dignity • Businesses – To research competition, keep business strategies confidential • Activists – To report abuses or corruption • Media – To protect their research and sources
  • Where you go • You can be tracked by cookies, the ‘Like’ button and Google +1 – Regardless of whether you click on the buttons or not • Your browser also tracks you • Location services in Facebook and Twitter can track you
  • ‘Ready or not?’
  • Plugging the leak!
  • ‘Do not track’ • Browser option ‘Do not track’ – Not entirely effective • Disconnect – Prevents sites inc. Facebook, Google, Twitter and Yahoo from tracking your activities
  • Disconnect
  • More ‘do not track’
  • Browse websites secretly
  • Firefox
  • Searching • When you search and click on a link your search term is usually sent to that site, along with browser and computer information. • Those sites may have third party adverts which build profiles about you, and those adverts can then follow you around. • Your profile can then be sold on.
  • Searching cont. • Google stores your searches • Which can then be legally requested /userdatarequests/
  • Plugging the leak!
  • Search engines that don’t store data
  • Search engines that don’t track you
  • And some more
  • Oh, and a couple more
  • http V https • Without ‘https’ your traffic is unencrypted • This leaves you open to government monitoring and persistent 3rd party cookies
  • Hints and tips • Do not accept search engine cookies • Do not use email options with a search engine • Use a variety of different search engines • Avoid using terms with your name attached
  • Removing yourself from results • Ask the webpage owner/author • Ask Google to remove the cached version – • Ask Google to remove content on Blogger, G+ – • Bury bad content with BrandYourself –
  • Removing yourself from Google maps
  • Cloud Storage
  • Live Chats
  • Downloading
  • Prevent access to your data by apps
  • Remove data & activities
  • Video chat • Stop using Google hangouts or Skype
  • Video viewing • Stop watching YouTube
  • Cloud Storage • Forget Google Drive or Dropbox
  • Fake name generator (.com)
  • Useful organisations • Open Rights Group – • Big Brother Watch – • Electronic Frontier Foundation –
  • Questions? Concerns? • Email me at • Or •