Category Archives: IP Articles

Can you find me in person through my Facebook?

Griffith, E. (2014). Stay anonymous online.PC Magazine. 91-102.http://proxy.library.vcu.edu/login?

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Stay Anonymous Online

This article written by Eric Griffith is a periodical about tips and tricks about trying to stay safe online. Griffith looks at different software and methods to staying safe online. There is something that speaks out and that is the statement, “… Social networking has led to a culture of over sharing…” One aspect he looks at is the manipulation of posting things online. There are different methods in trying to keep anonymity. A suggested extreme example was the use of a burner phone because this would minimize the GPS tracking because the real name the phone was under is unknown. One thing that is very common as well is the use of IP address. The IP address can pinpoint locations of each device, which can lead to the tracking of many computers. Bottom-line, there are infinite ways of tracking and there is no way to prevent it but only minimize your online “footprint.”

Ultimately, the only way to stay truly anonymous online is to not go online at all. Because that’s not really an option for most of us in the real world, here’s a rundown of steps you can take to minimize the spying, the targeted advertising, and life-damaging ID theft as you explore the world online.

It has been mentioned before throughout my research that to be able to stay anonymous, one must basically go back to a time with minimal technology such as computers, smart phones, and GPS. Griffith and Krebs share the same beliefs when it comes to privacy and its relation to technology. In Krebs words, the only way to have privacy is to either redefine the term “privacy” or to unplug completely. Another thing that my other sources have not mentioned that Griffith has is identity theft; many people can use software that allows hacking into computers and phones giving information access to a stranger. This hacking can lead to identity theft and spying, which already occurs because of the recording of history, cookies, and cache which codes all the online movement. This helps companies advertise each thing unique the online user such as the advertisements on Facebook.

That said, you’re fooling yourself if you think using social networking (or making any post online) is 100 percent safe—all it takes is an “approved follower” to take a screen grab of something you say and share it with the world for it to get out.

One thing people do not take into consideration is what they post online. Griffith makes a point to say that many things that are posted n social media ends up being manipulated by someone, which can lead to a bad result. These manipulations can be used for consumerism such as clicking on an ad and the ad is almost on ever page you ever browsed or it can be used to locate your address and phone number. This is why it is suggested for social media to not share you email address or phone number because there are databases that can allow the tracking of your phone. This shows another way of tracking which lead to stalking.

Watched 24/7, Without Knowing

Krebs, B. (2009). Who’s tracking you?. Popular Mechanics. 86(1), 66-

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Who’s Tracking You?

This article mentions multiple methods of being tracked and how it can be prevented. The author, Brian Krebs, starts this article with a story of a girl who realizes that her camera on her computer had a flickering red light next to it and that her computer’s battery drained out a lot. She took it to an expert to fix her computer only to find out that someone has installed software that allowed the hacker to spy on her. It was interesting because the she was acquainted with the man who spied on her. The author enticed me with that story that made continue to read the article.

There are multiple sources of tracking such as “cookies,” cell phones, clouds, and e-mail. “Cookies” are used to identify the web pages that are browsed the most and are used to provide the ads you see on different websites. As for cellphones, majority of the new cellphone have built in GPS, which allows the tracking of location at any time. What is being said by Krebs, is that many of the things that are being tracked are within 5 feet of us at all times and that many people are not aware that their movements can be traced or are being watched.

Nuggets:

THE ONE FOOLPROOF countermeasure to prevent prying marketers and hacker snoops from digging into your data has always been to yank the cord. Data can’t be siphoned off an unconnected computer. But consumers are increasingly leaving everything from e-mail to photos to documents on off-site data-storage services — a trend known as cloud computing. Tech heavyweights such as Amazon, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Yahoo market the services as everything from disaster backup and recovery solutions to Web-based software that allows consumers to access and work on their files from any digital device on the planet. The advantage of this approach is obvious: If your data isn’t located on any one machine, it can never be lost or corrupted. But when your personal data isn’t on your personal computer, it’s out of your control.

 

David Krebs made an interesting point. It was never thought that, the cloud, what we used as a back up and protection for our data would be less safe when it is not in our control. It makes sense because it is a part of third party server where it is stored and then access by us. The information that was stored was ours until we gave it to them to protect. It is under “their” wing. In this excerpt, he talks about ways to prevent the use of hacking into our data such as turning off our computers. Unlike Cole (from the previous article), Krebs tackles down privacy that is not related to the government but more about consumerism. There are many thing that we think can be safe but are actually not. Data stored in clouds can be access by the company that own the cloud. Many people always skip the privacy policy when agreeing to the system of protection and once we agree to the privacy, we basically give them permission to use our personal stuff whenever they wish.

 

 

None of these technologies ever truly feels like a trap until it’s too late — when your embarrassing photos are posted online by your angry ex, when your cellphone data becomes damning evidence against you in court, or when the ads delivered to your e-mail in box become disturbingly personal. And it may turn out that the technological trade-off is unavoidable — to be a part of our digitally connected society requires a redefinition of privacy. The only other option is to unplug completely.

 

Krebs last statement in this paragraph is very mind boggling because in this day and age you can not get by anywhere without a GPS, an IPhone, or a computer. These thing are needed otherwise you will be left behind in this fast paced world. E-mails are the new formal way communicating with a supervisor or with a colleague. The way to be “off the radar” is to complete shut down on all new technology. This would mean no phone calls, no texting, no Google searches, and no Internet. It shouldn’t have to be that way, one would ideally like to live all this new technology but not have their movements traced or recorded. There is no balance and like Cole said ,in the previous article, the government and companies find loopholes to get around the laws and rules to access information and records.

Loopholes of Privacy

Cole, D. (2015). Privacy 2.0:surveillance in the digital state. Nation. 300, 218-

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Privacy 2.0: Surveillance in the Digital State.

This article talks about how the progress of technology is making the world less private. The government depends on private companies to share people’s personal information. There is metadata collected in which the contents or details are not explicitly stated but things such as location are known. Although the government claims they do not obtain details from each source that is being tracked, they can use whatever resources they obtain from their private sources and are able to puzzle the pieces together. In this article, the government obtaining information was compared in the past to present actions. Previously, there were no computers or smartphones, resulting in government officials to obtain search warrants, which still occur. Now the government can, virtually, find your every move without you knowing it. This primarily happens through your smartphone. What most people do not know is that there has been several court cases that ruled in favor of more privacy. One of the cases questioned the allowance of tracking GPS and the other case was searching a person’s phone at time of arrest. These laws haven’t stopped the fact that privacy is slowly diminishing with all these technological advances used by the government.

Nuggets

 

“Digital technology has exponentially expanded the government’s ability to construct intimate portraits of any particular individual by collecting all sorts of disparate data and combining and analyzing them for revealing patterns. A single phone call, credit-card transaction or location might not tell very much about someone’s private life. But if the phone call was from a married man to a single woman, and the location data showed that the two were together shortly thereafter and then purchased a morning-after pill at a local pharmacy, the implication would be clear.”

 

David Cole wrote this article to make it aware that our technological movements are being recorded. He mainly targets the government and how they can access basically anything. This excerpt is a very valid claim because Cole quoted the NSA on how they do record people’s technological movement such as phone calls but they do not have the content of the phone call but they do have information such as the location of the call, the number that was dialed, and the time of the call. Like the example given above, there is a phone call and a credit card transaction. It can be determined who the phone call was between, where the purchase was, and how much the purchase was. The government can then puzzle the pieces together and recreate the scenario that happened.

“While we don’t consent to share our personal electronic profile with the government, a series of Supreme Court rulings dating back to the analog age holds that what we share with “third parties” like Google is no longer private, at least vis-à-vis the government obtaining that information from the third party. So if the FBI wants to find out whom we’ve been calling and where we’ve been, it can demand our phone and location records from the phone company. If it wants to know what websites we’ve been visiting, it can demand those records from the Internet service provider. Under the Supreme Court’s third-party disclosure rule, the government can obtain this information without any basis for suspecting us of wrongdoing, and without bothering to get a judicial warrant.”

 

It is understandable that the government needs to obtain their information for national security but it is still very uncomfortable that everything on our phones and our computers are being recorded. It seems that the government will create laws that have loopholes. The law is that the government cannot simply go through our personal information but they can go through another private company and see our movements. Just like it is mentioned above, the government uses third parties like Google to obtain records of our searches. Cole made a great observation that led to the conclusion that there are multiple loopholes that allows the government almost do whatever they want.