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How to be secure on the Internet, really secure

If you are tired of leaving a trace as to where you have been on the Internet, so any would be attacker can find you, then you want to consider the software known as “Tails.” The Verge is reporting about the unique features of this software and today it is releasing its 1.0 version.

NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander Speaks At Cybersecurity Summit
Photo by Alex Wong

Tails which was released June 23, 2009 and aptly named “Amnesia”. It is open source and leaves as little a trace as it is the maturity of a free software project. Glenn Greenwald depends upon this software as he writes his “Intercept” column on the online media “First Look”.

Tails' website states that its member users have increased its wide-world adoption in the last 18 months by a multiple of 4. Its user members include Freedom of Press Foundation, Reporters without Borders and Bruce Schneier, security expert and writer who assisted Greenwald on how to read and digest the NSA documents. The NSA is a member user of Tails.

The reason that it is considered an amnesiac system is that every time you boot up it is fresh, like the first time to enter any information. You begin blank until you power down. Every day you have a new computer.

It does require some work to set up the Tails system. Before you download the system, you need to review the information on the website what is secure and what is not anonymous. There is a series of download instructions, a support site and a chat line. The site will explain what can be run and not run. Tails works by booting your computer off of an external disk, as a USB drive, an SD card or a CD.

DVDs are read-only so your Tails can't be altered by a virus or an attacker. They are also cheap but you will need to burn a new DVD each time you update your version of Tails. You must use a DVD-RW. Note that an attacker with physical access to your device or through a virus could alter your Tails. If you use a USB or SD card, they are small and easily carried so you can upgrade future versions of Tails.

Most of the Apple computers cannot accept Tails, as they have their own security system and it is the reason that computer users buy the Apple Mac series of computers. You can check on the website which OS will not accept Tails, also.

If you buy online, then a purchase will release you from the protection from Tails. You will need to decide what you want the system to achieve for you and how you will continue to view the Internet. A change in purchasing habits and renewal purchases will need a different approach. It is this method of transaction that will have you consider Bitcoin and bitcoin purchase payments, perhaps as an alternate.

There is a messy problem with open-source as the Tails' developers have had issues with attempts and holes in the system. The annual budget during the past five years has been a very low $60,000 annually and recently Tails received a $50,000 grant. This is a very small amount of money to keep up with the threats. The Tails' developers remain anonymous and work from the site off a group email or chat session.

The bottom line to Tails is that if you are faced with attempts to enter your computer system, then you need to review your options. You may find other ways to ensure your privacy, too.

You can step back and look at CloudFlare's website. CloudFlare’s technology automatically detects new attacks on any of its members' websites and can begin to mitigate the attack. Once one website is blocked from a cyber attempt then the whole member community is blocked. The community grows stronger and you are more protected in the future from cyber attacks.

There is the option of purchasing a phone from FreedomPop with encryption. This will assist you with purchases and conversations. For the person who wants privacy from surveillance and thieves, you can purchase a Privacy Phone for $189 which includes unlimited voice and text, plus 500 MB’s of data for three months then costs $10 a month after that. You can check out the FreedomPop website and determine if any of its features would be of benefit to you.

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