If you have been reading this genealogy newsletter for a while, you probably know that I often write about privacy and security-related topics. These articles usually have nothing to do with genealogy but are topics that I feel strongly about.
I am dismayed by what I see, read, and hear in today’s world. Edward Snowden has revealed the abuses by governmental agencies in snooping on its citizens. Other governments do the same. Cyber criminals frequently hack into servers and individual desktop computers around the world. Corporations snoop on your buying habits, your political and religious beliefs, and more in order to learn about you and to inundate you with “targeted advertising.” Potential employers snoop to find private information about potential job candidates. Retailers do not protect your credit card information properly; we often read about hackers stealing millions of credit card numbers from retailers’ servers.
And then there is Facebook…
Luckily, these problems are easily avoided if the user understands the solutions available.
I first became immersed in security and privacy issues when I spent four years as a cryptographic technician in the U.S. military. On a daily basis, I handled some of the nation’s most secure messages and telephone calls, including war plans, intelligence data, and even messages to and from the President of the United States and very senior government officials and military officers.
The technical details of cryptography undoubtedly have changed since my days in the field but the basics are still the same: even the most casual information can be collected and used by those who wish to do you harm. However, a combination of common sense and encryption can keep your private information just that: private.
I decided to start a new, separate blog to publish some of my how-to articles concerning the protection of privacy today. The Privacy Blog is available now at http://www.privacyblog.com.
This blog will contain suggestions about how you can improve your privacy and keep your security, both online and off. You may notice that I started the blog by republishing some articles that have previously appeared in this newsletter. However, there are a couple of new articles already available at http://privacyblog.com and I expect to publish new articles frequently.
If you have an interest in protecting your privacy, credit cards, address, bank account information, and more, you might want to visit the Privacy Blog often.
As always, suggestions and comments are welcome.