By: Michael Sutton

Sutton on Security: Viewing Online Privacy through PRISM

The revelation of the NSA PRISM program has a lot of people talking about online privacy. I recently spoke with USA Today and American Public Radio about PRISM and online data privacy, which got me thinking about some practical advice to stay secure and protect your privacy online. I have recorded a video to share this advice, which you can view below.

The revelation of the NSA PRISM program has a lot of people talking about online privacy. I recently spoke with USA Today and American Public Radio about PRISM and online data privacy, which got me thinking about some practical advice to stay secure and protect your privacy online. I have recorded a video to share this advice, which you can view below.

 

 

 

 

 

To recap, people will share virtually anything online under the belief “only my friends will see it.” However, you aren’t sharing with a friend, you are sharing with an account – and accounts can be compromised.

Additionally, avoid placing any trust in public networks at coffee shops and airports. Open networks are open to be sniffed and scanned – even encrypted traffic – by man-in-the-middle attacks.

However, this does not mean to disregard encrypted communication. Encrypted traffic is still very difficult to decipher if it is intercepted by techniques other than man-in-the-middle attacks. You can tell that your traffic is encrypted by looking for the “lock” icon in your Web browser or for HTTPS in your address bar. The EFF has a great browser plug-in called “HTTPS Everywhere” that can help.

Speaking of locks, make sure to lock your smart phone with a password and enable additional security features such as tracking and remote wipes.

Finally, take advantage of the native security features in online services, such as two-factor authentication for online banking to protect access to your accounts.

It is important to recognize that there is no silver bullet for online security, but following these steps can go a long way in keeping your personal data private.

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