October 24th, 2014

Security Whilst using Online Services

We all know that most of the nowadays internet users could be tracked – that is not a secret, and honesty of Edward Snowden has supported that already several times. While some of us hide all their data in a panic and others rejoice that they are not registered in social networks, and far-sighted people are looking for safe ways to communicate with their friends – Big Brother is not sleeping and trying to track us.

It could be to strong statement, but if you look into data protection industry it is growing everyday by a mile. First, the data on floppy disks and CD’s had to be protected; now it’s emails, messengers and our personal information in governmental institutions. Of course we’ve been told that we are being tracked just to make our life more secure and that governmental security services know everything about us to support us throughout the life. Statements of USA to introduce human microchip implants are only the beginning.

Let us leave the moral story of our question behind, and just give some tips on what could every person to do protect themselves in the Internet world, where everyone sees everything. Practice shows, that it is not too hard to achieve confidentiality.

Hide your conversation

Hide your conversation
Source: thingsthatmadeanimpression.wordpress.com

One of the best options to hide your conversation is to use web services acting on the basis of a cryptographic protocol OTR (Off-the-Record). This protects your messages via the combination of AES algorithms, symmetric-key, Diffie-Hellman algorithm and SHA-1 hash functions. OTR advantage over the other encryption methods is simple – it works on the go, rather than during preparation and actual message sending procedure. On the basis of this protocol a Cryptocat service was built. Messenger can be installed on Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Service encrypts messages in the client and passes them to a trusted server. For each chat a new key is generated and only readers who receive the same key can read the messages. Log correspondence is removed after 30 minutes of inactivity, and the service is running with a constant SSL-encrypted. There are other messengers for mobile phones which work by the same principle.

Secure Email Service

Another service which almost everyone uses is email. In order to keep your company secrets or ideas just inside your company whilst speaking to your work colleagues via emails, you need something similar to Cryptocat, but which will encrypt your emails. Gladly, there are a lot of online secure email services. It could be easily checked how big is variety of such companies – just Google “secure email services” and you will find loads of different ones. The main differences between them are design complexity and encryption methods. Most of them are still in Beta-testing, as it is hard to fully protect our emails from being copied or stored on external servers, whilst they travel from one person to another. We would like to point out an innovative idea of SFLetter mailbox, which doesn’t allow a person who receives an email to forward it in order to disclose its content to a third party, neither an email can be opened in a usual browser – you have to download a special Viewer Program, which will allow to see the email text and attachments. So, SFLetter does not only encrypt the messages like all other secure email services it gives you more than that.

Conclusion

Hopefully after this post you will think more about your personal security on the internet and for those who was trying to find some new information have received that as well. Think, protect yourself and stay secure!

Author Bio:

TarasGorevoi – an Automotive Engineer and SFLetter.com Marketing Manager, whose main hobby is IT Technologies.