In a post Edward Snowden era it is no secret that all of our communications are being monitored and assimilated in a vast collection of “big data”. Often this data is then fed into predictive software and advanced calculators to determine predictive behaviors and associations with other data or data sources.
This information you do not always agree to share is then kept permanently and stored in big facilities around the world such as NASA’s Utah Data Center is, over 1.5 million square feet and four stories tall shown above. While this is not always made publicly available, every system can be penetrated and most likely will be at some point in the future. NASA is not the only collectors of "Big Data" there are many large copmpanies dedicated to coolecting and processing. In fact many have contracts with the government to supply data for ay number of purposes.
Some data we freely give out such as that which we post to google, facebook, instagram, twitter, bing and many others collect through using their online tools, email systems and search engines.
While we often chose the convenience, proliferation and usability of the many new cloud based tools there is a trade off.
Here are a few tools you could use to protect your privacy while interacting online:
Tor Browser: https://www.torproject.org/
This system masks your location while you surf the internet.
Off The Record - Chat Proxy: https://otr.cypherpunks.ca
This system adds a proxy to your chat conversations.
You can avoid ads and mask your location by using a VPN app on your phones and these tools below can also encrypt your mobile text messages.
IOS - Signal: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/signal-private-messenger/id874139669?mt=8
Android – SMS: https://whispersystems.org/
This takes a bit to set up but once you have this in place you can send encrypted emails between trusted parties.