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Can you protect yourself against PRISM surveillance?

All hell has broken loose ever since whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the secret of how the NSA has access to your every communication under the guise of its surveillance program. Many claim that it is the biggest scandal after Watergate.

The revelation has prompted many people to think about how they can protect themselves against PRISM surveillance. Can the common citizen protect himself or herself against the mighty resources and manpower of the government?

Although you cannot fully protect yourself, there are many ways you can make their task difficult. Now, when you think of surveillance, you need not necessarily feel uneasy about it. Unless you are involved with some “out of the ordinary” activities, nobody’s bothered what type of e-mails you are sending and receiving and what sort of Skype chats you have. These activities are primarily geared towards tracking terrorist activities. Nonetheless, they are infringe upon people’s right to privacy. What has bothered people particularly in this case is that the government cannot monitor your communication without a warrant.

The tips shared on this PC World article on how to protect yourself against surveillance drives such as PRISM may not guarantee complete protection, but they may keep you out of reach for a longer period of time. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Avoid using popular web services: It isn’t that popular web services like Google and Bing are easy to monitor, it’s just that the majority of people use them and hence if the government surveillance departments are looking for shady characters, they are more prone to using known and popular services.
  • Stop using smartphones: Smartphones from companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are being tracked by PRISM.
  • Encrypt your data and e-mails: This might not be easy if you haven’t been keeping up with such technology on a regular basis. The above linked article reviews some tools that you can use to encrypt the data on your hard disk as well as the e-mails you send.