How To Almost Completely Erase Your Digital Footprint

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Although its almost impossible to completely wipe out your entire digital footprint as if you’ve never had access to the internet, but you can get close. If you’d like to make an attempt to completely remove yourself from the internet, we’ve got a few tips and tricks that could help you along the way. 

To go the full off-the-grid route, “it’s cash, barters,” Bradley Shear, a lawyer specializing in social media told The Washington Post. “Do not use any electronic device that can lead back to your whereabouts.”  Which leads us to the first item to consider.

The first thing you want to do is the hardest for some, but its the most obvious. You need to quit appearing online.  Stop posting on Facebook or Twitter and no longer use search engines.  All of those will track your location and Internet usage leaving behind your digital footprint. Of course, just not using the internet isn’t quite enough if you’d like yourself completely gone in full-off-the-grid fashion.

The next step would be deleting your online accounts. Every single one of them. Having a social media account is, more or less, ensuring your active participation in letting the Internet learn more about you. Facebook, in particular, knows a lot about you and is very good at tracking what you do across the rest of the Web, even when you’re not actively using it. If you need help deleting your accounts, consider JustDelete.Me, which provides tips and links to remove accounts.  But you can’t just remove your accounts and expect that it’s done and over with. You will also need to remove any and all information and content that is posted about you by others.  This can get a little trickier, but you could consider trying Abine’s DeleteMe, which for a fee can assist in removing your personal contact information and your photos and will provide you with a regular report and updates.

Next, you want to search for yourself on the Internet.  This will help you discover if there are any old accounts (does anyone even remember MySpace?) that you may have forgotten you had just lingering around. If you happen to come across an account you cannot delete, just start falsifying the information.  Change the name on the account to whatever you want it to be, that’s different than yours, obviously. Change the city and state and leave the gender “unselected” if possible.  The less information you put in, the less you have to falsify.

You are also going to want to unsubscribe from all of those mailing lists you’ve accidentally signed up for during your Internet travels. That’s usually pretty easy to do.  Go into your junk folder and open up the advertisements.  Scroll to the bottom of the email and click the tiny word “unsubscribe.”  When it directs you to, make sure you choose to no longer receive ANY email that you’d consider “junk.”  Afterall, that’s why it was in that folder, to begin with anyway, right?

If you still need the Internet for work, you may have to stop here.  Having removed social media and cleaning up your email will go a long way in minimizing your online trail.  But for those who wish to continue on and “go dark,” your next step would be deleting search engine results. Google has a URL removal tool that could help. The next step would be contacting webmasters of websites you have no control over.  Be kind, and let them know you’d like your information and comments removed.  Be prepared to be told by some that all public information should remain public, in which case, you may be out of luck.  You’ll also need patience.  Not every single webmaster will get back to you in a timely manner.

Once you’ve completed everything listed above, you should consider removing your information from data clearinghouses.  Many companies track your online behavior and sell that data to others.  Intelius, Spokeo, and People Finders are a few examples of such data clearinghouses. In order to remove your information from these, however, will take up a lot of your time.  You’ll need to make a lot of phone calls and fill out tons of paperwork.  A paid service called DeleteMe could be considered if you’ve got some extra cash laying around.  For all others, you will need time and patience and determination to get through this step.

Once you feel you’ve gotten yourself removed from data clearinghouses, you should contact the phone company and be sure to make your phone number unlisted.

The last step would be to delete your email. “Every time you access it, they have your IP address,” Shear said.  This is last simply because, during the completion of the previous steps, an email address is likely going to be required at some point.

If you’ve decided you cannot completely “go dark” as far an internet use is concerned, consider protecting your data and information by using an encrypted email service such as ProtonMail. And if you want your activity not to be tracked across the Web, you would have to essentially use a virtual private network, or VPN, every time you access the Internet unless you exclusively access the Internet from public machines (such as those at a public library). For searching online, you can use sites such as DuckDuckGo instead of Google or Yahoo, or any other search engine that tracks you. Also, consider Signal, a text and phone-call encryption app that comes with a recommendation from Edward Snowden himself.

Although it seems it may be futile to attempt to “go dark,” you just might be successful. Best of luck to those who have the desire to disappear from the Internet, because you’ll need it, and all the patience you can muster.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Social Network!

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The Social Network
James Walton “I Am Liberty ” Audio player below!

Are you concerned about social media? Do you wonder about your privacy on sites like Twitter and Facebook? It has been made painfully clear that these businesses aren’t afraid to silence those they disagree with and promote those they do not. On this show we explore the ever growing world of social media and how it has changed our lives.

Continue reading The Social Network! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Combating Cyber Warfare

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Combating Cyber Warfare
Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below!

Are you afraid of being hacked by a nation state bent on Cyber Warfare? Have you ever been the victim of a hack attack, Ransomware, or identity theft? Join me on the next Reality Check as we discuss Cyber security.

This week we will be talking about some common sense things you can do to stay safe online like keeping a reliable anti-virus up-to-date, keeping your OS updated, not clicking on links in emails, changing your online passwords on a regular basis, using complex passwords or passphrases, making regular backups of your data, and putting a freeze on your credit reports.

Continue reading Combating Cyber Warfare at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Internet Security Software : Which Antivirus Do You Use On Your PC?

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Everyone should be running some sort of internet security software / antivirus software on their computer to help protect or firewall against viruses, malware, phishing, tracking, ransomware, identity theft, and to help protect your privacy to the extent that you can on the internet. There are all sorts of bad things that can (and probably will) happen to your computer if you have no internet security protection. Looking back over the years I have used a wide variety of FREE and PAID antivirus / anti-malware software products. Every now and then (about once a year) I reevaluate what I’m running

The post Internet Security Software : Which Antivirus Do You Use On Your PC? appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

Net Neutrality And The Law of Unintended Consequences

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I sometimes wonder if Congress is capable of doing anything good in today’s modern society. As best as I can tell, the legislative branch of the government, which the framers of the Constitution specified as being the only branch of the government to create new laws, has lost much of its original function.

Between the courts creating law from the bench and the (former) president using Executive Orders, it seems that Congress is passing less and less laws, with less and less impact, these days.

Now it seems that they are more about spending money and increasing the size of government, than they are about actually creating new laws. Much of that ends up doing little more than causing problems, especially giving the various agencies in the Executive Branch an opportunity to create new regulations to control our lives and hamper businesses.

Part of the platform that President Trump ran under was the promise to reduce government regulations. One of his earliest actions upon assuming the presidency was to issue an executive order stating that for every new regulation any government agency promulgates, they must get rid of two old ones.

Trump is a businessman above all so, much of what he is doing is being done from that viewpoint. His war on regulations is a prime example of this. All regulations cost individuals and businesses money, so by reducing regulations, he is trying to reduce the cost to businesses, thereby creating a better business environment.

Government regulation has become the bane of businesses, especially small businesses. Large corporations can afford staffs of lawyers to read all those regulations and determine what actions the corporation must take to follow them.

But the small business owner can’t afford that. They have to depend on their own ability to understand the miles of red tape the government produces, a task at which they are usually woefully inadequate.

Yet the largest part of our economic growth, especially the creation of new jobs, comes from those small businesses. So by creating mountains of regulations, government agencies are stifling the very businesses which we need the most; those that are growing the economy.

Yes, there are places where we need the government to create laws and regulations, but the idea of the government putting their sticky fingers in every aspect of life and business is counterproductive. At a minimum, they hurt the economy, and at the worst, they destroy people’s lives.

Here’s Why We Can Never Win This War!

Trying to protect one thing, like the environment, with more regulations, usually hurts some other part of society. Often an area that the creators of the regulations never even thought about (usually because that area is not part of their purview).

Herein lies one of the biggest problems of big government. In an attempt to protect society, government agencies actually stifle the very society they are supposedly trying to protect. They do it by not taking everything into consideration, when they create the new regulations.

I have to say, while a lot of the blame belongs to government agencies creating regulations, a fair amount of it belongs to Congress as well. Bills are getting longer and longer, becoming more and more complicated all the time.

Remember Nancy Pelosi’s comment that the House of Representatives would have to pass the Obamacare bill, so that they could see what was in it? The bill was literally too long and complicated for the members of Congress to read and understand. And look where that’s gotten us.

Like much of what comes out of Washington these days, Obamacare is a perfect example of the Law of Unintended Consequences. There have been countless problems with the rollout of Obamacare and countless people hurt by it. Have people been helped? Yes, especially those who had pre-existing medical conditions and those who were newly eligible for Medicaid. But it probably hurt as many people as it helped, if not more.

Did the creators of Obamacare know that it was going to hurt millions of people? We’ll never truly know. The cynical side of me says that they knew and didn’t care, purposely lying so that they could take that step towards socialized medicine. But my cynicism isn’t proof of anything and shouldn’t be taken as if it is.

Each and every law; each and every regulation, has unintended consequences. That alone seems to be adequate reason to avoid passing new laws and regulations, especially the massive ones that Washington is becoming infamous for. Maybe short, simple laws can be passed without a lot of that happening, but the monstrosities that we’re seeing today clearly can’t.

Enter Net Neutrality Bill

Of course, every major law being presented in Congress is becoming a media circus today, rather than a serious action on behalf of our government. Bills are being given deceptive names and descriptions, in order to gain public favor and push our elected representatives into passing laws that don’t do what their public image promises they will do.

The media, too lazy to really read the proposed bills and regulations, grabs hold of those printed sound bites and runs with them, creating a false narrative that is more propaganda than anything else.

Net Neutrality was one of those. Two years ago, during Obama’s second term in office, Net Neutrality was pushed through, not as a bill in Congress, but as a regulation promulgated by the FCC. To do so, the FCC had to take the stand that internet access was a public utility, giving them the right to regulate it.

But why was this even considered? Was the internet broken? Was there something seriously wrong, which Net Neutrality sought to correct? Or was this just one more example of the government meddling in things they didn’t need to meddle in?

The core of Net Neutrality was the idea that all information crossing the internet should be given the same priority and be sent along at the same speed.

Video first seen on TheBlaze.

Big companies shouldn’t be given any preference over small companies. At least, that’s the way it was sold to the American people. The whole propaganda campaign associated with Net Neutrality was to protect the little guys on the internet from the big guys.

But here’s the kicker; many of the biggest internet companies actually supported Net Neutrality. How does that fit in with reigning them in? You can be sure that those big companies didn’t support the idea out of altruism. There must have been some benefit to them, or they would have been speaking out against it.

There was an advantage. Net Neutrality only dealt with ISPs, Internet Service Providers. The big internet Corporations are their own ISPs, so they can readily avoid anything having to do with Net Neutrality.

But the little guys are controlled by it. So, the advantage actually goes to the very same companies which are supposed to be reined in by Net Neutrality.

This past week the FCC undid Net Neutrality, taking it back off the books and making things like they were before. I’d have to say, in today’s political climate, that was an incredible act of moral courage.

All too many times, bad laws and bad regulations stay in place, just because everyone is afraid to eliminate them and catch the political backlash for doing so.

What This Really Needed?

Of course, those on the political left have been going bananas over this, with each one trying to outdo the other in their declarations about the internet apocalypse that is about to occur. Internet apocalypse? It seems to me that the internet was working just fine before Net Neutrality existed.

But it’s easy to sell a narrative like that, when the people who are consuming the propaganda are ignorant to the issue. And if there is anywhere where the average person has plenty of chance to be ignorant, it’s the internet. The colossus we refer to as the internet is too complicated for most people to understand. It takes years of study and training to even get to the beginning of truly understanding it.

My son is a high-level network engineer, working for an ISP. Even though I used to be an engineering manager, when he talks about his work, the bandwidth is so high, that I’m barely catching the bottom edge of it. The things he needs to know, in order to do his job, are so technical that there’s no way for me to follow.

Yet we have lawmakers and pundits trying to act as if they are experts on this highly technical field. They’re not. In many cases, all they are doing is spouting off their party’s talking points, while mixing in a little fear mongering for flavor.

Let me give you just one simple example of how Net Neutrality hurts everyone; the telephone. Today, most long-distance phone calls travel over the internet. Unlike movies, which are able to stream faster than they are viewed, spooling on the user’s computer to avoid interruption, phone calls can’t do that. They aren’t pre-recorded, they’re live. So they can’t spool. They have to go out in real time. What that means is that if telephone calls aren’t given priority on internet lines, there will be pauses in the call, caused by other traffic butting in.

Here’s another one for you. One of the major corporations who have supported Net Neutrality is Netflix. It just so happens that they are one of the biggest consumers of internet bandwidth, as high-definition video takes an enormous amount of bandwidth to transmit. What this means is that your search for anything on the internet is slowed down, at least to some extent, by Netflix streaming video to your friends, neighbors and others you don’t know.

Should Netflix have the same priority as someone who is trying to make a few bucks with their blog? Should they have a higher priority? Well, since they are such a big customer, they don’t have to work through an ISP. That means that Net Neutrality gave them an advantage over the small guy, trying to run his blog. Is that fair?

Eliminating Net Neutrality is going to have unintended consequences; I guarantee it. I’m sure that we’ll be hearing stories of it, compliments of the mainstream media. They were against the elimination of Net Neutrality from the outset, just because that’s the liberal point of view. So you can be sure that they’re already chomping at the bit to tell us all what a disaster its elimination has been, even if they have to stretch the truth to do so.

Even so, eliminating Net Neutrality is going to have positive effects as well, specifically for the consumer. Any time regulations are eliminated, it frees up businesses to be more competitive. So, chances are we’re going to see new products coming out of ISPs in the next few months.

I can’t tell you what they’ll be, because I don’t know. But they should save consumers money, by giving them what they want and need, rather than what someone else tells them they want and need. And that’s a good thing.

What do you think?

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

How To Disappear Online And Fly Under The Radar

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There was a time when you didn’t have to look over your shoulder to see if you’re watched. Privacy was as normal and real as paying the bills at the bank, or buying milk from the grocery. Those days are gone. You don’t need to go to the grocery to buy milk or enter the bank for paying the bills. Thanks to internet, they are just one click away.

But even if you can’t see anybody standing right behind you, you know they are there, watching every page you visit, every payment you make, and following your traces through the virtual world. Then they could easily steal your data, empty your card, build your profile and scan your everything till you have nothing private left.

Are you ready to face these scammers and protect your right to privacy? Here’s what you need to know!

This is why conventional survival defense won’t work!

To make it short, there are four things you should keep in mind about going under the radar on internet. Keep reading the article to see what’s to be said about each of them.

  • Privacy isn’t typically compromised due to poor SOP, it is typically compromised by human error, complacency, short cuts and failure to adhere to SOP.
  • Compartment identities, devices and where you use them. Have separate devices for each identity and use them at different locations.
  • Emails, credit cards, phone numbers and even addresses can all be masked at low cost by services such as Blur.
  • Tails is an OS that enables you to use TOR to access the internet, and send encrypted email and text messages from virtually any computer or phone by connecting a multiport USB flash drive, leaving no trace that you were there.

Manage Your Expectations

For most, compartmenting identities mitigates the need to disappear completely, even online. If your needs go beyond compartmenting identities, you will need to learn more than it is possible to teach you in an article, even just to disappear online, but I will touch on the more general aspects of this undertaking.

Make sure your expectations are realistic. Even if you opt out of programs, scour the internet and are successful in getting everything deleted that is currently online, there may still be copies saved in historical internet or government archives.

You may need to ask, petition or compel entities to delete information that you consider to be sensitive, but you will not likely be able to get data deleted from secret archives that you may or may not even know exist.

Nonetheless, though you may not be able to get all your sensitive data deleted, you can still slow it or stop it from spreading and keep it out of the hands of most people by reducing your online footprint.

Privacy May Not Be Convenient, But It Is Worth It

Privacy reduces stress and keeps you free. One thing privacy is not, is convenient. Many people are addicted to convenience these days, but reclaiming your privacy, like most things worth doing, is neither easy nor convenient.

When I was a kid, long distance phone calls out of country were extremely expensive. So was air mail! So, we sent letters by surface mail and then we would wait over a month for a reply.

I have read journals of my immigrant pioneer ancestors in the old West. They would have thought I was spoiled as a kid because it was not uncommon for them to wait years for letters from family. Now, if the power grid or the internet hiccups, even for a minute, folks just go nuts. In emergencies, people often endanger themselves for a chance to get information that is often nothing more than rumors!

If you are addicted to convenience, you will never know privacy or freedom until you overcome this addiction. The best way to do this is to sufficiently commit yourself to the cause of privacy right from the start.

If you fail for want of motivation, it will not likely be because you lacked self-discipline, but because you were not sufficiently dedicated to the cause. If your motivation wanes as the battle drags on, revisit the reasons why privacy is so important.

Disappear Online and Fly Under the Radar

Develop a Privacy SOP and Stick to It

The quality of your IT OPSEC/PERSEC SOP and the competence and discipline with which you execute it are, far and away, the two most crucial factors in determining whether you will be found or successfully disappear online.

If you are a smart, that’s great, but genius hackers get caught all the time.

Identify Who You Are Hiding From

Who are you hiding from and how much money, time and human resources are they willing to invest in finding you?

These are huge factors, because hiding from a stalker with limited financial resources, intelligence and contacts is very different from hiding from an evil genius billionaire or a superpower willing to create entire departments dedicated to your capture.

If the entity you are hiding from can, and is willing to, allocate satellite time and Santa Clause budgets to teams of analysts, you truly have your work cut out for you.

The more money and resources those searching for you are willing to invest in finding you, the more likely it is that they will eventually find you. Will they spend $50, $500, $5K, $50K, $500K, 5M, 50M or more?

It helps if you can estimate that number because every tier, it becomes exponentially harder to hide from them. Up to $500, you will probably go to your grave without being found. 5K gets tougher if they hire a competent professional. At 50K their reach extents well across international borders and they can pay for a lot of IT analyst time. At 500K you are in serious trouble.


How deep you take it is up to you, but compartmenting is an effective and somewhat idiot-proof way to keep from screwing up the execution of your SOP. Compartmenting should go much deeper than we will take it here, but it will give you the idea and you can extend it to other areas (banking, mailing addresses, vehicles and so on.)

  1. Identities – Criminals have aliases. Good guys have alternate identities, pen names, stage names, travel names, undercover names and call signs. Separate the identity with which you deal with the government from other identities, including any other identities that you use to access the internet.
  2. Hardware – You can use the internet and talk on the phone using your legal name and alternate identities, but using separate phone(s) and computer(s) for each identity is a simple and robust way to compartment. This way, the IP for the online identity you want to keep under the radar has different Mac and IP addresses from the person your neighbors know.
  3. Locations – You can use computer(s) and cell phone(s) with each identity, but do not use them in the same place! Every time your cell phone connects to a cell tower, analysts have an opportunity to get a pretty good idea of where you are at. If your device has a GPS and it is enabled or able to be enabled remotely, they know right where your phone is at, and for most folks nowadays, their phone might as well be surgically implanted, because it is always with them.

The IT forensics bag is a great tool for maintaining compartmented locations because you can drop a phone in one of these bags and its heavy EM shielding prevents it from communicating with cell towers, wireless routers, skimmers and any other wireless technology that could tie the location of the device to locations frequented by your other identities. If two of your identities frequent the same place or their paths cross, that would be a good place to setup surveillance, search for a dead drop, etc. and connect the two.

Make Your Computers and Devices Hard to Track

1. VPN (Virtual Private Networking) Service

VPN establishes a point to point connection from your computer to another computer somewhere on the internet. Information is then sent and received through an encrypted virtual tunnel, protecting your privacy.

Because the data is encrypted, even if it is intercepted with a packet analyzer, without the correct encryption key the intercepted data will just be a bunch of meaningless characters.

VPN Service is a paid internet service that establishes a VPN connection from your computer, to a random computer at your VPN service provider. This way, when you surf the internet, the websites see the IP address for the computer at the VPN provider, not your computer.

If you choose a VPN service provider that owns vast banks of IP addresses in many countries, all with laws that do not allow good cooperation with your country, even getting your address out of your VPN provider as part of an investigation becomes problematic and expensive, helping to protect your identity and privacy.

Criminals, web sites or stalkers will not likely be able to get you address and private investigators would have to spend a lot of money and time and likely break a lot of laws get ahold of your IP address.

2. TOR (The Onion Router)

It is free software maintained by volunteers that can enable you to share information over public networks, like the internet, without compromising your privacy.

It does this by connecting through a series of virtual tunnels, using the computers of other TOR users instead of connecting directly.


This is TOR for Android.

4. Blur

Blur is a service by an online privacy company called Abine. A very common need online is to provide an email address, which needs to be verified to open an account. Blur solves this problem by giving you the ability to create an unlimited number masked emails and forwarding the mail sent to them to another email address that you designate.

If that email is used to spam you, you can block it with a single click. The free service gives you an encrypted password manager, masked emails, tracker blocking and auto-fill, which greatly simplify account creation, which you will be doing a lot of if you maintain multiple identities.

The paid Blur service adds masked credit cards, a masked phone number that also works with text messages and a backup and sync service. If you get unwanted phone calls, you can block them. If you don’t want to give your banking information to some shady vendor on eBay, give them a masked card, email and phone number.

Blur is not the only free service that provides masked emails. Some other services are not based in the US, which is a plus, and do this in an even more secure fashion where the email only exists for a short time and is then gone forever without creating any records to subpoena, but Blur is the most comprehensive service I have tried so far.

5. Tails (The Amnesiac Incognito Live System)

A magnificent privacy tool, Tails is a live operating system built on a Unix-like OS called Debian built with one thing in mind: privacy. Tails can start from most USB sticks or a DVD, uses TOR to access the internet anonymously, leaves no trace and includes tools to encrypt files, email and instant messaging … built in. Best installed on a multiport flash drive with iPhone, MiniUSB OTG, and USB connectivity.

So, why aren’t you downloading it yet? If you aren’t or haven’t you should.

6. Panopticlick

A tool by the EFF that tests the uniqueness of the configuration of the internet browser you use to access the site. If you have a very unique browser configuration, this can be used like fingerprints or DNA for your browser, identifying your computer with a certain probability like 1 in 500K. Or 1 in 200 … even over VPN!

Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt

Think of encryption as a final layer of defense in the even that your privacy measures are compromised.

Click here to get your guide to a layered survival defense!

I truly believe that one day, professors will refer to our time as the “Neo-encryption Era” … and that they will point at us and laugh.

You see, they will dig up hard drives and M-Disks in landfills, buy them from junk dealers or study them in museums and still be able to read the data as much as a thousand years later. They will have a look at our lives in unprecedented levels of detail.

They will have HD video, medical records, credit card, bank and other financial records. Customer loyalty records will tell them everything your bought from the grocery store and they will examine it, and likely draw conclusions out of context.

They will have phone records and ISP records that may show everyplace you ever go with your cellphone turned on, every email, every text and secret government records that you probably don’t even know exist. They will have records created every time cameras mounted on patrol cars and tow trucks image your license plate in parking lots.

From these records, they will determine, where you go to church and how often. Where you eat and where you shop. Meetings, work days and gun shows will be analyzed, as will everyone you knew who was also there. They will probably draw all kinds of conclusion that may or may not be correct about why you were there and with who or that that some place you went to regularly was within walking distance of where a friend’s spouse worked or a gay bar or mosque, and so on … and they will do this, in part, because we were too ignorant or lazy to encrypt our data.

Some encrypted email providers, like Countermail in Sweden, support hardware (USB) encryption keys and even accept cash payments through the mail. If you don’t have a little encrypted server space in another country and the ability to create untraceable email addresses, today would be a great time to start.

Reduce Your Online Footprint

DeleteMe! – DeleteMe! Is a another service by Abine that removes personal info from the major online data brokers, substantially reducing your online footprint. The service ranges from $69-$129 per person per year with discounts if you add additional people or pay for more years. But you can do the same thing yourself if you have more time than money and Abine has a great resource page to help you do just that for free right here. Some data clearinghouses do not make this process convenient, but you are going to need to do a certain amount of legwork even if you pay for some services.

Privacy Badger – Blocks spying ads and invisible trackers.

DuckDuckGo – Search engine that doesn’t track you.

Firefox – Internet browser for those concerned about privacy. Firefox has many plugins, such as NoScript, HTTPS Everywhere, Ghostery, Cookie Monster, AdBlock Plus and others that contribute to safer, more private browsing experience.

EFF Surveillance Self-Defense – A great collection of tips, tools, tutorials, overviews, briefings and how-to articles you can use to education yourself about privacy. Study it and fill in the chinks in your armor.

If you’re tired of all the stuff every employer, cyber stalker, or online criminal can find out about you and your family, this is the right moment to protect yourself and go unnoticed. It’s one big step to a secure existence and stay safe in these turbulent times!

This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia.

Can You Survive Below Radar? Off Grid Tips And Tricks

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Lately so many people are getting so fed up with pervasive totalitarian spying on literally everything we say and do, that they’re wondering whatever happened to the American Dream?

Add in out of control greed municipal intrusions with building code tyranny for exorbitant property tax profits, not to mention a noticeable increase in strangely nosy parasitic neighbors, all combined in a world starting to crumble under the weight of its own violent insanity.

Truth be told, is it even remotely possible anymore to enjoy the wonderful freedom of personal privacy, the peaceful solace that this great land, and our precious Constitution, once held for us?

Let’s take a closer look at the cold, hard reality.

It’s not what you think…

Where Did All the Freedom Go?

 “We tried so hard, and came so far, but in the end it never really mattered….”

The sadness of this discussion is that we should not even be having it in a truly Free country. The first important revelation here is that “We, the People” screwed up big time in the last generation with our mass passive acquiescence to the government nanny state.

We allowed Them to brainwash us into relinquishing our rights of self-determination to a point where they now control every facet of our lives in exchange for a specious promise (not even in writing!) to take care of us, and make us all little happy faced cherubs, bouncing blissfully on big daddy government woo woo’s cushy knee from cradle to grave.

Then they threw us a few bare bones in the dirt and we licked them up like the obedient State sponsored lap dogs we became.

The history is clear, but our own innate weaknesses ultimately caused our own libertarian demise because the mouse never resists the free cheese on the mouse trap. I don’t know if we even deserve liberty salvation anymore, or whether we can ever get it back…but that’s another depressing topic.

In any case, here’s what’s left of the whole idea of the off grid under the radar privacy situation today:

“You can run, but you cannot hide!”

First, I hope everybody realizes, or at least most Liberty minded Patriots, that if you want absolute, complete privacy from any kind of government or private sector intrusion, it simply doesn’t exist anymore. Nada, Zippo, Zero, No Mas! And all of YOU, my beloved, let them get away with it!

This is because the so-called ‘Grid’ is now everywhere. The Grid is now life itself! Therefore it stands to reason, if one desires to indulge in the solace of private seclusion, one must first escape the dreaded Grid itself? Unfortunately, there isn’t anywhere to go… where the grid ain’t.

The last nail in the coffin of human privacy, ironically, which replaced the Patriot Act, was the American Freedom Act, which allows the FISA courts and the government dark state agencies to casually violate our 4th/A protections.

Toss in ubiquitous surveillance/location/tracking technology (also 4th/A violating in usage) so advanced that I’d need several more pages to even begin describing them here. Think of it like this, all despotic power elite totalitarian regimes need the same control as farmers have over their cattle.

They need to know where they are and what they are doing at all times. The more Big Brother/Minority Reporting the government becomes, the more of a slave you wind up being.

So before we go any further, realize and accept the following as FACT. If a government agency or one of its oxymoronic private contractors wants to find you, They Will.

Unless you just go somewhere so remote and deep in the jungles or mountains. and disappear yourself, one way or the other, permanently, which is really an optimal below radar off grid style of living, even if they don’t get you physically, as in someone like Assange or Snowden (who traded their freedom to travel for a prison sentence by escaping to sanctuary in other countries), they will be tracking every move you make, every day of your life, and then some.

Even Jason Bourne, today, couldn’t evade them or disappear for very long. Not with the latest biometric facial recognition and location tracking techniques. Not with the specially trained seek and capture teams assisted by inhuman god-like AI computers with seemingly mystical sources of information and telepathic powers! And just by being alive, we all generate some type of electronic trackable footprint.

Ironically, the only real effective way to disappear off grid is to let the government do it for you. Just like they recently did with the September 17th illegal street arrest and due process killing disappearance’ of attorney and activist dissident, Andy Ostrowski.

Oh, you thought they did that only in Russia! The true history is that The American Dark State INVENTED it along with the formation of the CIA and the Soviet Union merely copied it. Apparently, you’ve never heard of the infamous Homan Ave police detention center in Chicago? Where it was impossible for your lawyer to find you after you were arrested?

Instead of just arranging for you to be an “unfortunate victim” of an armed robber and shot dead like Hilary’s campaign staffer Seth Rich, who some say knew way too much about something that could kill her campaign (still not solved). Or a suspicious suicide like Vince Foster, remember that one related to Shady Clinton business dealings? (still not solved).

But if you’re merely a vocal dissident with a growing political following, there are less violent tricks of the trade totalitarian authorities use such as simply remove you by arranging for you to be “picked up for your own safety” (same way they’ll eventually get all our guns) as well as the public’s safety, because you are obviously mentally ill if you talk too much toward the government to where it might incite people to vote.


This is Why Conventional Preparedness Wisdom is Deadly!


There was some recent law maker talk about anti-gov speech being made into some kind of prohibited law!

Then you will be lost in the matrix of bureaucratic red tape, never to be found, until they feel like letting you go after their government psychiatrist prescribed sedative drugs they treated you with left your brain with little desire to activate over any cause ever again.

And you still wonder why so many people have “visions of bushcraft homesteading dancing” in their heads?

Currently our so-called free society here does have some current and growing levels of below radar existence if you consider living like an illegal immigrant or a sleeper cell ISIS group or something like that. You could say these are pretty far off grid, but it would not be in a good way.

They cannot step out of their social status into what authorities call “going deep dark” or “lone wolf”, which is a misrepresented term. Just to maintain such a meager sustenance these types of people need others to depend on and things like fake I.D.s and unreliable associates. Once they do, they’re on radar again, and the authorities will be hot on their trail.

But can’t I just opt out of society and live my own life the way I want? I’m not a criminal fugitive or anything, I just want to be left alone and live as quietly and privately as possible.

Isn’t there a way just to be law abiding, but minding my own business and avoid contact with anybody and not be a constant victim of their agenda based for-profit rip-off abuse on my personal life and money, without getting into all that radical stuff???

It Depends

One of the advantages in a capitalistic society is that money goes a long way towards fixing personal problems in any venue and any scenario. The wealthier you are, the easier it is to disappear and virtually never be bugged by anyone including the government (as long as you pay your taxes).

On a bare bones budget level it’s more difficult but it can be done. But probably the first thing you would need to do, is realize that you would have to change your lifestyle, and especially your location.

And for some it might be fairly dramatic and emotionally troublesome. But for most, just the sheer inconvenience and work outside of your normal life ritual would be too much of sticker shock of a life transition and an automatic deterrent.

Still, some people have valid reasons to go below radar off grid and often no longer have any choice but would even welcome an escape from the typical 8 to 5 lifestyle with a heavily mortgaged three bedroom two car garage home with 2.5 kids, and 1.5 pets.

But hurdles would still exist. Mostly economic. And because of the sub-culture of literally one third of the workforce adults barely existing hand to mouth from pay check to pay check, it is no longer considered a “such a shame” to reconsider a major life change. In any case this requires very pensive rumination.

Because you need to understand what off-grid really means.

But let’s say you simply can’t stand it anymore! You want to cut the twisted umbilical cord to the nanny state womb, and you made up your mind that you seriously want to give it a shot anyway.

What Should We Do?

Okay, here’s the main tricks, tips, and flips.

1. Get Off the Radar Screens

If the government or anybody is NOT LOOKING for you, you won’t be found! Remember, they CAN find anybody if they really want to, but they are not actively looking for everybody.

So don’t let them target you. Don’t buy form 4,473 guns every week. Buy them privately and pay cash. Don’t do anything that will make them come after you and you’re pretty safe from scrutiny.

It’s a shame we have to be so “defensive” like this but we made our own beds and now have to sleep in them. I still wax fondly reminiscent of the days when They knew they had NO business violating our private lives. Now it’s BIG Business.

However, if you think you’re going off the grid and below radar so that you can skip your student loan debt, IRS tax liens, child support payment, etc. then forget about it. All this kind of stuff comes back to your driver’s license, especially the new National I.D Card ones we all MUST have now, by unconstitutional illegal law.

Unless you are hiding primitively up in the mountains like some weird Sasquatch eating grubs, roots, and berries all day and only peddling your bike down the trail every few months for emergency supplies, sooner or later you’ll be rudely dragged back in the grid from that remote mountain paradise, when some bored sheriff’s deputy with nothing better to do than check on strangers takes a second glance at you.

2. Become Untrackable

This is probably going to be the hardest thing to do to consider yourself really off the grid. And it’s a lengthy process to untangle yourself from a spider web Grid.

Everybody knows that being on Facebook or Twitter or everything else is directly reporting your life’s activities and thoughts to the big “cloud” in the sky where the big all-seeing NSA, CIA ‘EYE’ lives. To really become off grid and under the radar you must unplug yourself from the mainstream computer.

Remember, there are specialty resources for this. One really doesn’t need to get this deep into it. If you just want to homestead and self-sustain somewhere private and get off the conventional power grid, you don’t have to get so primitive that you don’t even have a computer.

But it’s not a bad idea to read one of those “how to disappear” books on Amazon to get an idea how thoroughly you are connected to society.

3. Find the Right Off Grid Location

This will likely be the biggest challenge. The problem is that municipalities are often ugly little siblings of Big Brother.

I seems like they stay up late at night trying to figure out new ordinances and ways to tax or fine you into compliance in everything from size and type of housing you MUST have, to what you can do in terms of growing or hunting or recreating on your own private land.

And it gets worse if your land is close to wetlands or has a pond or stream through it. The Feds are usually in on that tyranny as well. This is because county municipalities are going broke due to excessive patronage jobs provided by the town officials to their feckless friends, and recalcitrant relatives who otherwise would fall to the laws of natural selection by themselves.

So many do not allow full time living on your own property in a nice modern travel trailer, for instance! And restrict you to minimum square footage requirements on new built construction so you pay more in property taxes.

And many will allow you—if you file special paperwork/permits and pay an inspector–to have a solar or other off grid power system, but you STILL must be connected to the conventional power line grid besides! Obviously because there’s a monthly base charge whether you use their electricity or not as long as you’re connected.

So this is an important first step. You must determine an off-grid friendly location in which to purchase your own piece of land. These are out there.

The problem is they’re not advertised as such and you have to search them out and find out the local codes. And most of the time they’ll be pretty remote. Deep in the Yukon you can probably find some land at a good price where there’s probably no building codes. Also up in the Canadian Wilderness.

And they say you can find heavenly peace and solitude “Down in the Bayou” Country where the climate might be more hospitable if you don’t mind snakes and alligators and who knows what else?

So make up your mind only after you decide exactly what the extent of your off grid life actually will mean to you, and how much privacy you can afford.

If you are on a fixed retirement income, then that will be your determining cost factor. If you are still stuck in a job that’s location locked then the next best thing is to start prepping for your retirement off grid location.

Or do like some people I know who found themselves a suitable location away from where they must live now, bought at least the land and will begin the steady set up of their off grid retreat as an ongoing project for a future transition.

4. Get a Trust or LLC as an Alt Identity

It’s too complicated to explain here why this is a very good idea for privacy and off-grid security. If you pay cash for your retreat location and have ownership in a Trust or registered in a business, this is the best way to go. Especially if you are into unplugging yourself as much as possible from the New World Order. Even your vehicles can be owned by the Trust or LLC or Nevada type corp. And nobody can just ‘check’ on your property anytime they want to see who owns it.

5. Last but NOT the Least…

…stop dreaming about it and get proactive!

If you’re one of those liberty minded free choice loving hold outs who can’t stand all this government overbearing authority, and truly don’t want to lose every last single bit of privacy (even smart toilets are coming), it would be best to start working on your emancipation from the grid ASAP.

Once a few final straws whack the collective Camel’s back, like the imminent elimination of cash (and illegalization and prohibition of using gold as alt currency) in favor of an all digital daily commerce system, it will become more and more difficult to get comfortably off grid and below radar if you haven’t already done so.

As this is being written the UK has the world’s first food store where customers use their palm finger vein scans as a credit card and facial recognition scans as identification. China is expanding fast on this.

In the U.S. distance radar scanners with biometric facial recognition (linked from your National I.D. card drivers license holographic photo) are being installed to instantly search and identify anyone just walking around an airport or train terminal.

So if you’re going to go off grid and below radar, better get started NOW!

This article has been written by Mahatma Muhjesbude for Survivopedia.


Internet gone!

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With all of the hurricanes and wildfires going on here in the USA, we haven’t been plagued by any of those tragedies, but we have had our own little hiccup, it was just a taste of being out of communication, a reminder of what can happen when things go wrong. In the middle of last week, our internet suddenly quit working, no advanced notice, I was actually online when it happened, it just stopped, something that happens on a semi-regular basis but usually only lasting a very short period. A few days later it was still out, I found out that a large fiber optic line was cut a few towns away, it was affecting most of our towns, I heard that stores were not accepting credit or debit cards, possibly not even checks, only cash. I assumed that the problem would be fixed rather quickly because of the number of stores not able to fully do business.

As the weekend rolled into Monday, a holiday, I was still waiting for my internet to come back on, I was learning that my neighbors internet was back up and running, but mine was still out. I had tried to troubleshoot my system, one thing I discovered was my antenna/receiver was full of water from some sideways rain we had earlier. I drained it and could see that it was getting power, the green light that indicated power as well as a separate light indicating that the LAN was working. The other lights that indicate the strength of the signal, were not on.

Once Tuesday arrived, I was finally able to get a-hold of my internet company, sure enough, our internet to the neighborhood had been restored, it was just mine that wasn’t working. I knew I wouldn’t be home all day on Tuesday, an unusual set of circumstances would result in the SkyCastle being empty for the majority of the day (something I’ll tell you about in a future post, link to be added once it is live), since our place is not near the road or even really visible from the road, it is not easy to find so the internet tech folk would not be able to visit on Tuesday. I figured they would be able to arrive on Wednesday, but the day passed with no tech visit. Another phone call later, it would be later in the afternoon on Thursday before it would be fixed.

Needless to say, I have been really missing our internet, I was able to check my email at my neighbor’s house, but it’s satellite internet and painfully slow, my cell phone does not work where I live (no one can use cell phones out here), I could do a little when I was out on the road, but honestly when I’m out, it’s because I’m working and don’t really have time to play with the internet, and using the internet on a smart phone is not easy or convenient.

Our internet was finally restored, turned out the water that had gotten inside the receiver had indeed caused the unit to reset itself and it was no longer connected to or receiving a signal from our neighborhood antenna/repeater. This was just a little taste of what it may be like in the case of an emergency, whether it is caused by nature, bad weather, sun spots, CMEs, or man-made, cutting a fiber optic line, hitting a utility pole and the such, when the power or communications are interrupted, you quickly realize just how isolated you are, at least that is true for us living out here in such a rural area.

Fortunately, I did have some backup, I could check my email at my neighbor’s house, though that was about all I could do because of that system being so slow. I did have other neighbors who offered the use of their internet. I could do some things on my smart phone while I was out on the road, I had considered taking my larger tablet and using my phone as a hot-spot, an option if things get really bad.

What is your backup if your internet goes out at your home? I suspect many of you who live in town can use their smartphones for internet access, I have mixed emotions about our ability, or lack of ability to use a cell phone out here… we have had the opportunity in the past to have better cell phone coverage out here in the neighborhood, but most people out here really do not want it, mainly because of the ugly cell phone towers that would need to be installed. I know that eventually it will happen, and quite frankly I’ll probably get over the look of the ugly cell towers for the convenience of being able to use my cell phone on my property and at my house. It will also open up the ability to use the internet through my cell service.

I use my internet as my main source of communication, education and entertainment. I use the Google voice for my home phone, I rely heavily on YouTube and other sites for entertainment as well as education, and for my main source of entertainment, I use Amazon’s Prime videos, right now I’m binge watching Star Trek The Next Generation and I just signed up for a free week of Britbox and I’m watching as many Britcoms as I possibly can this week, will probably keep it for a few months.

That is how my last few weeks have gone, how about you? Anything interesting going on?


The post Internet gone! appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

7+1 Survival Video Games To Play For Training Your Skills

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What do video games and survival have in common? The simple answer is: not much.

However, considering the fact that we’re in 2017 A.D. and basically living inside of the (digital) matrix, maybe we should consider that it’s entirely possible for you to play video games, and at the same time, hone your survival skills.

That’s an interesting concept, isn’t it?

I don’t pretend to have a definitive answer to the fundamental issue of whether it will work for you. However, since prepping and survival are now mainstream things, as opposed to let’s say ten years ago, I’ve noticed an interesting trend: survival-based video games are actually becoming popular with the new generation.

I’m not a hard-core gamer (not a gamer at all, to be perfectly honest), but I’ve played my share of video games back in the day and this new idea has made me curious.

Another thing that video games and prepping have in common is that survival has been an intrinsic part of every gamer’s DNA since the days of old-school Atari.

The point of Frogger was to get across the road without dying. Basically, in almost any video game, if you’re still alive at the end, you’ve won. There are a few exceptions to that rule, but survival and video games are almost synonymous.

However, are there lessons to be learned from playing video games? Survival lessons that is?


The SEAL Survival Guide to Staying Alive in the War Zone Called “New America”


Well, the short answer is yes, there are things to be learned about survival/prepping even if you’re a pro-gamer who doesn’t get out much from his mother’s basement.

I’m kidding a little bit there, but there are a lot of games which make me remember my first survival book: Robinson Crusoe. Since survival revolves around the holy trinity of food, water, and shelter, Robinson Crusoe can be described as the quintessential survival book, as it makes for a fascinating journey inside the mind of a guy stranded on a remote island.

Survival in such conditions requires exploring, living off the land, scavenging for resources, hunting, fighting the elements, huddling around a fire, and so forth and so on. And if you think about it, all these trials would make for the perfect premise for a (survival) game.

Here are 7+1 games that I’ve picked for you and suggest you should try.


To begin with, I must confess that I firmly believe Minecraft to be the quintessential survival game. Yes, I am aware of the fact there are people in this world who have not (yet) enjoyed this thing of beauty, but that can be remedied easily, especially for preppers and survivalists. The thing is, your only excuse for not playing Minecraft is the fact you did not know it’s a survival game.

Minecraft can be best described as a castaway game which includes all the perks of Robinson Crusoe (the book) and incorporates all the cool elements required from a survival game. Minecraft is the legend of the 21st century, a phenomenon into itself, and before it got famous, it was, first and foremost, the first true-blue survival game.

Playing Minecraft will teach you the importance of building a home/shelter for yourself if stranded in the wild, of gathering resources, and of knowing how to defend yourself (well, against zombies in the game, but that can be extrapolated to anything else less other-worldly). Minecraft was also the first video game that started the modern trend of incorporating survival elements into basically anything.

Video first seen on TeamMojang.

Truth be told, Minecraft can be anything you like, but if you’re a prepper, you’ll definitely enjoy venturing into the wilderness trying to conquer the elements, hiding in the night,  and fighting for survival tooth and nail. In my humble opinion, it remains one of the best games to date in the survival genre.


Another must-try survival video game is Miasmata, a game that will teach you a little bit about homeopathic/traditional medicine.

The thing is, in Miasmata you’ll find yourself alone on an island whose population was affected by a deadly disease/plague, and of course, you’ll have to cure the disease via research. The trick is, the island is bursting with medicinal plants and your job is to find that particular species that will cure the disease.

The atmosphere is very jungle-like and playing Miasmata will make you a wannabe botanist if you’re not already one. Learning holistic medicine is a very important survival skill, at least in my opinion, and Miasmata would make for a great game to play with your kids.

Video first seen on


Rust is another hugely popular survival game. The game is cruel, harsh, and even bullish, but it will teach you a little bit about outdoor survival basics.

The game begins with your spawning into the Rust-World. This is a multiplayer game unlike Minecraft and Miasmata, both of which can also be played in single-player mode.

In the beginning, you have basically zero tools on your person (you’re a naked caveman), besides a rock. The game will teach you the importance of building a shelter and quickly gathering resources in a SHTF scenario (outdoors), along with other survival essentials like, you know, staying alive.

Video first seen on Surge.

Don’t Starve

If you want to learn about the importance of finding food in a survival situation, I must recommend the Don’t Starve video game. I just love it when a game’s title matches its game-play, and Don’t Starve is the perfect example of that philosophy.

The whole experience in Don’t Starve revolves around survival essentials such as finding food/resources for staying alive in the wilderness for as long as possible, but the game also captures one of mankind’s primal terrors, the fear of the dark, which I find to be a quintessential component of a survival video game.

Video first seen on Workard.

The Flame in the Flood

Another cool survival-based video game is The Flame in the Flood, provided you don’t have a problem with being a girl.

The main character in this game is a little girl named Scout who travels/stumbles upon the collapsed society of the United States together with her dog-companion Aesop. They’re trying to stay alive, obviously.

When playing The Flame in the Flood, you’ll learn basic survival skills necessary while traveling mysterious territories, i.e. rafting, gathering resources off the land, fending off wild creatures, how to avoid dying from exposure, and how to seek shelter.

Video first seen on GameSpot.

The Long Dark

If you’re into hunting/tracking/trapping/survival in the wintery wilds and the whole nine yards, in other words, if you’re a survival wilderness freak, you really should check out The Long Dark. While playing this baby, you’ll learn how to keep your calorie intake on the up and up in a wilderness survival scenario.

The game is basically a wilderness simulator in a post-apocalyptic world and it will teach you about the importance of having hunter-gatherer skills, with a focus on the former. Hunting is the name of the game in The Long Dark, together with avoiding being hunted by bigger predators than you.

Video first seen on Eurogamer.

Metal Gear Solid 3

Metal Gear Solid 3 is a good survival game onto itself, as it teaches you how to catch and eat wild animals and how to patch cuts and heal broken bones. For tricks to picking up those skills, it’s almost perfect.

Video first seen on José Mellinas.


Last but not least, let me tell you about DayZ. The early version of the game’s best features were its gritty realism and realistic shooting mechanics as the hero is thrown in a post-apocalyptic world packed with aggressive zombies.

Video seen on Olga Okuneva.

Playing DayZ you’ll understand the importance of gathering basic essentials, including clean water and non-rotten/spoiled food, together with warding off diseases like hepatitis, cholera and dysentery.

There’s a big chance your character will get hurt during the game, but you’ll see that recovering from illnesses and injuries such as a gunshot wound is not that simple; i.e. you’ll have to bandage up the wound if you don’t pass out in the first place and so forth and so on.



These are what I choose, a selection that it’s far from being perfect or complete. Now, it’s your turn. What are your favorite survival games you’d like to share with us?

Feel free to comment in the dedicated section below. And don’t forget: play hard, go pro!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

Cyber Attacks: Your Ransomware Wake Up Call

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Cyber Attacks: Your Ransomware Wake Up Call Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player at bottom of this post! Last Tuesday, the latest global ransomware attack struck, focused primarily in Ukraine and Russia. If you have been looking for the perfect event to get through to your non-prepping loved ones, the Petya ransomware attack is … Continue reading Cyber Attacks: Your Ransomware Wake Up Call

The post Cyber Attacks: Your Ransomware Wake Up Call appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Your Own Prepper Website! 8 Ways You Can Make Your Mark in the Preparedness Community!

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Starting Prepper Website was one of the best decisions I  ever made.  I saw a need in the Preparedness Community and I acted to do something about it. Prepper Website has been a real blessing to me and my family in so many ways.  I am truly grateful for everyone who has supported Prepper Website and my other sites throughout the years.

Like I’ve said before since I scan hundreds of articles a day to find the best to post on Prepper Website, I’ve noticed many great websites come and go.  The sad thing is all their great content seems to disappear off the internet.  I recently wrote an article, Do Dead Preppers Tell Tales, to address how someone who is interested in finding an article from the TAG Cloud that “seems” to not be there, can find it.  But, that requires a link.  There are so many articles out there that go to Prepper Heaven because no one has their links.

The fact is that new preparedness websites need to come in and take their place.  This opens up a great opportunity for those who want to start their own Prepper Website!  I want to share some of these great benefits with you in this article!


You Learn More When You Teach (write) – When someone “wakes up” and realizes how fragile our world is, they start to learn as much as they can to prepare for an uncertain future.  There is a lot of content out there to learn, but nothing will ever take the place of someone able to learn a skill and then teach it.  In fact, this is a teaching strategy that good teachers employ.  They know if their students can learn something, and then teach it to someone else, that they will really learn and own that content.  When you research, experiment, and write your own articles, you tend to learn that content or skill better than just reading it on a blog somewhere.

You Build A Tribe – As you build your audience, you’ll also build a tribe or followers who will stay with you.  Preparedness can sometimes be a lonely endeavor.  In a recent Prepper Website poll, 47 percent said that when it comes to their preparedness, “It’s just me and my immediate family – spouse, kids.”

Preppers are always looking for ways to connect.  Some of the preparedness sites out there really take the time to engage with their readers through the comment section.  Sites like The Survivalist Blog, Ask A Prepper and American Preppers Online have a great following.  Having a tribe helps others not feel so isolated as they prep for the future.

You Can Earn Money – Now I want to be careful here.  Having a website doesn’t mean you automatically start earning money.  You need to build readership.  And as your website becomes more popular, you will be able to make money in affiliate sales and advertisements.

Affiliates – An affiliate is a group or organization you partner with to sell a product or products.  As you do, you earn a percentage of everything that is sold.  The best affiliate, in my opinion, is Amazon.  When someone reads an article that has a product from  Amazon linked to it, then they go to  Amazon and purchase it, you get a small percentage.  It doesn’t cost the reader anymore.  The percentage that you receive is already averaged into the price of the product. The beauty of it is that if someone goes to Amazon off of your affiliate link, but purchases another item, you still get credit for that purchase. NOTE: A word of caution.  You don’t want to fill up your articles with affiliate links.  In fact, I often skip over articles that look like all they have done is insert affiliate links on every line.  You don’t want to have one big linkfest article.

Advertisements – You can also earn money when someone with a business or product approaches you to place their ad on your site, or you approach them to get their advertisements on your site.  In order to have this, you have to have a website that is bringing in traffic.  Advertisement money is something that can be a consistent monthly income for you.


Get a Domain Name and Hosting – There are some free options for hosting, but if you’re going to be serious about this, you need to have your own domain name and hosting. Take some time to think about your name.  You’ll want to make sure that you can get your domain name and the same or very similar name on social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The hosting company that you go with is important.  When I started out, I chose GoDaddy because they were a big company and they had very good prices.  But, you get what you pay for.  GoDaddy’s support sucks and they rarely admit they have done anything wrong.  I recently switched Ed that Matters over to EMWD (affiliate link).  This hosting provider starts you off with a free domain name and hosting for a little more than $100/year.  There are some big advantages here.  First, the support is great.  They answer support tickets pretty quickly.  But more importantly, they offer free SSL certificates on all their hosting.  That means that your address will be HTTPS instead of just HTTP.  HTTPS is more secure (notice the green SECURE lock at the left of the address bar).  Google has said that they are going to start penalizing sites that don’t have the HTTPS in their search rankings.  Like I said, I moved Ed that Matters about two months ago and I plan on moving Prepper Website later this month.  Prepper Website is bigger so I need all hands on deck when this one is transferred.

You Need a Website Platform – After you have your domain name and hosting setup, you’ll need a website platform.  I use WordPress.  Wordpress is so easy to use and there is tons of help online, including websites, Youtube videos, and Facebook groups.  With WordPress, you have access to free themes and a whole host of plugins that can be configured to do what you want.  It truly is a great platform to use!  If you choose to go with EMWD, they will install WordPress for you after you submit a simple ticket.  They make it so simple!

Start Writing Content – This is important.  What I have found is that preppers will gravitate to sites with great content!  This usually means that you will go a little deeper than surface type articles.  The best articles, the ones that are most valuable to preppers, are those that actually describe how to do something.  General overview information is good.  Preparedness theory is good.  Opinions are good.  But what preppers really want to know is how to do something.  One site that does this very well is Survival Sherpa.  Todd’s site is not the only site, but it is one that just immediately comes to mind. Sites like Survival Sherpa will make you want to get out there and try “it” for yourself!

Like I mentioned earlier, when I started Prepper Website, I saw a need and filled it with one site that would link to the best content out there.  If you notice a need and start to fill it, it will benefit you too.  Two needs that I currently see in the preparedness community are websites that cater to older preppers and websites that focus on wilderness survival/bushcraft.

The demographic research that I have done is that a great number of preppers are older.  They see the writing on the wall and desire to be prepared just like everyone else.  But they are dealing with barriers that younger people won’t have to deal with.  If a few sites would start to target these older preppers, I feel that it would be a great blessing to them and the preparedness community.

There used to be a bigger emphasis on wilderness survival in the past.  It’s not as prevalent anymore.  Yes, you can find an article here or a Youtube there, but I feel a site that is dedicated to just wilderness survival and bushcraft skills would be very popular.


Write for Others – One of the things I did when I started Prepper Website is to start writing articles for other sites.  This would seem counterproductive, but it does work.  When you do this, you are providing a great article for another site to use and you are linking to your own articles and websites within that article.  It is a win-win.

Now with that said, I will say that many people are starting to do this.  It is a backlink strategy.  The problem is that there is a bunch of CRAP out there!  I usually delete 4-5 offers a week of people who want to write guest posts for me.  I have become so disenchanted with these types of emails that I delete them without even reading them.  They are usually all the same, a form email.  When I do respond, it is usually met with disappointment because I get an article with no real depth.  It is usually a 500-word article with no real content.  A 13-year-old could do better!

So I’m writing this to tell you to not offer CRAP!  If you do offer content to another site, write an AWESOME article!  That will get you more respect and traffic than you realize.

Get on Prepper Website – Another way to get noticed is to start showing up on Prepper Website.  There are two ways to do this.  The first is to let me know that you have started your site.  I will grab your RSS Feed and start monitoring your feed for great articles to link to on Prepper Website. The second way is to ask me to display your article in one of the categories on the bottom of Prepper Website.  For example, if you are a Preparedness website, I would put your website listing under Preparedness.  And if you choose to link to Prepper Website or place the PW graphic on your site, I will place asterisks beside your listing, moving you up in the category.  Here is more information about that – CLICK HERE.

Get on The Prepper Website Podcast – Yet another way that I try to help Preparedness websites is to read their articles on The Prepper Website Podcast.  Allowing me to read your articles brings attention to your website.  I always mention your website and link to your site from the show notes.  If I use your article, I will tag your Twitter and Facebook social media accounts when I push out the episode on my social media accounts.  For more information – CLICK HERE.

Get on Top Prepper Websites – Another way that I want to bless the Preparedness community and where you can promote your website is through the Voting Website – Top Prepper Websites.  This site is a place where the Preparedness Community can vote for your site and rank you up higher.  But the other side of it is that preppers visit TPW and then usually link to other sites, even the newer, smaller ones.  You can register your site by clicking on one of the empty fields at the bottom of the page.  If there are no empty spots, send me an email.  Sometimes websites register because they want the traffic, but they don’t follow the rules and don’t place the voting link on their site.  In that case, I delete them.  I try to do a good job of catching everyone, but some get by or remove their links later.  Again, I have no problem deleting them when they don’t follow the rules.  😉

Get Involved with Other Preparedness Bloggers – There are groups out there that can help provide advice and help with link sharing.  Many of these preparedness bloggers are just like you and want to help others learn while they learn themselves.  Every niche has these groups, but you’ll want to get with a group of preparedness bloggers and website owners for sure!

Learn to Make Graphics – You don’t NEED to do this, but it helps.  When you post your articles on social media, you will want to be able to display a nice looking graphic.  There are FREE websites online that will help you to do this.  Websites like Canva, PIXLR Express, and PicMonkey are easy to use.  If you are familiar with Adobe Photoshop but don’t own it, you can use a FREE site called PIXLR Editor.  And if you are looking for FREE high-quality graphics to use, you can get them at Pixabay.


If you are preparing for an uncertain future, if you are planning and trying to help yourself and your family prep, then you have something to offer to the Preparedness Community.  You are learning and growing as a prepper.  You have ideas and opinions that are beneficial.  Let the Preparedness Community know what you have to offer.  You never know how doing this will wind up being a blessing for you, your family and others.


Separating Fact from Fiction on the Internet

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Separating Fact from Fiction on the Internet Bob Hawkins “The APN Report“ Audio in player below! “3 out of every 5 statistics are made up on the spot” – Abraham Lincoln Did you know… You can have someone transmit a signal from your spare remote key via cell phone & unlock your car door? Or … Continue reading Separating Fact from Fiction on the Internet

The post Separating Fact from Fiction on the Internet appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Worldwide cyber attack 2017

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A fast-moving and devastating wave of cyber attacks is sweeping the globe, reportedly exploiting a flaw exposed in documents leaked from the US National Security Agency.

Protecting Your Online Communications

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Protecting Your Online Communications There is going to be a boom in counterintelligence. With the advent of the NSA and other intel agencies overstepping their bounds the American people are going to change their motivations. The online presence of each individual is continuously growing. This means that security in the online world is becoming just …

Continue reading »

The post Protecting Your Online Communications appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Congress Just Allowed Your Browsing History To Be Tracked, Stored & Sold

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Congress Just Allowed Your Browsing History To Be Tracked, Stored & Sold

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WASHINGTON — Internet service providers will be able to store your browsing history and sell that data to advertisers and others under a bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday.

The House bill, passed 215-205, gives the Trump administration power to block Obama-era Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules that were written, in part, to prevent companies from tracking and selling browsing history. The bill already passed the Senate.

President Trump intends to sign the bill, which is known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA) and is designed to keep the Obama-era rules from taking effect, The Guardian reported. Blocking the rules will allow companies like Verizon to sell advertising (based off consumers’ browsing history) in competition with Google and Facebook.

The FCC, during the Obama administration, had introduced a set of rules, the Broadband Consumer Privacy Proposal, which would have required broadband providers to get permission from customers before tracking them and selling the data.

Discover How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

“Give me one good reason why Comcast should know what my mother’s medical problems are,” said U.S. Representative Michael Capuano, a Democrat. “Just last week I bought underwear on the Internet. Why should you know what size I take? Or the color?”

Evan Greer of the non-profit group Fight for the Future said the new law will kill privacy.

“Gutting these privacy rules won’t just allow internet service providers to spy on us and sell our personal information. It will also enable more unconstitutional mass government surveillance, and fundamentally undermine our cybersecurity by making our sensitive personal information vulnerable to hackers, identity thieves, and foreign governments,” Greer said.

Said Carmen Scurato of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, “With the approval of the president, corporations will now be handed the ability to share the sensitive, personal information of millions of Americans without their consent and hinder the FCC’s role as a consumer watchdog far into the future.”

Supporters of the bill argued that the Obama regulations were an overreach and that oversight of the Internet should fall under the FTC, not the FCC.

AT&T, which owns DirecTV, was trying to sell such targeted advertising before the Obama-era FCC rules were proposed, The Guardian reported.

What do you think? Share your thoughts about the new law in the section below:

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

Prepper Website Founder Todd Sepulveda!

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Prepper Website Founder Todd Sepulveda! Host: James Walton “I Am Liberty” Listen in player below. There is something about a man alone with his mic that really makes me excited to podcast. I cannot help but enjoy the journey we take each week together. Every so often though I happen upon a guest that is … Continue reading Prepper Website Founder Todd Sepulveda!

The post Prepper Website Founder Todd Sepulveda! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

She Went An Entire Year Without The Internet. Here’s What She Learned.

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small farm

Imagine going an entire year without using the Internet – no Facebook, no Twitter, no YouTube, no email. Not even Google or Amazon.

Sound impossible?

Perhaps it is for some, but this week’s guest on Off The Grid Radio did just that – and she learned a lot from the experiment. Her name is Esther Emery, a modern-day homesteader who spent 365 ways away from the World Wide Web. She even got rid of her smartphone!

Emery discovered things that nearly all of us – those who spend regular time on the Internet — miss each day of the week.

Emery, whose book What Falls From The Sky details those 12 months, tells us:

  • Why she decided to spend a year away from the Internet.
  • How long it took before she no longer craved it.
  • What traditional old-time activities she learned to love during those months.
  • How the experiment dramatically changed how she views the Internet.

Finally, Emery shares with us what she discovered – lessons that can’t be learned while staring at a bright screen.

We were inspired by her story … and we think you will be, too!

How to Unplug from the Digital World

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Erase yourself from the Search Engines

There is plenty of information out there about how to physically move off the grid, but what about going off the grid in the digital world? For many off-gridders, a social media or digital presence is still necessary – to remain plugged into the world around us, at least socially. But as the ease with which the government – and landlords, potential employers, even strangers – can track our movements online increases, so too seems to be the interest in disappearing from the digital world and becoming truly invisible. But how do you vanish from the internet?

Bradley Shear, a lawyer who specialises in social media and privacy, warned that it wouldn’t be easy. He said if you really want to step away from the internet and leave no digital trace, it would mean giving up using all electronic devices.

“[To go the full off-grid route] it’s cash, barters,” Bradley said. “Do not use any electronic device that can lead back to your whereabouts.”

Social media backlog

Bradley suggests deleting your social media accounts, or at least cleaning them up. Social media accounts, more or less, ensure you actively participate in letting the internet learn more about you; Facebook, in particular, is very good at tracking what you do across the rest of the web – even when you aren’t actively using it. The site stores your search information to suggest particular webpages, news of interest and advertisements.

“You have to think about the digital accounts you currently have,” Bradley said. “You have a Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, old Myspace? Anything that has your name on it. You want to either delete content from them or delete the accounts altogether.”

Although when you delete your accounts many of the companies will still keep the data you previously gave them, at least it won’t be publicly shared.

Bradley pointed out that Gmail in particular has to go – and you can’t use Google or Yahoo, because these programs all track your access location.

“Every time you access [Gmail], they have your IP address,” he said.

If you want to make sure your activity isn’t tracked across the web, Bradley said to use a virtual private network, or VPN, every time you access the internet, unless you only login from public machines (such as those at a public library or internet café). To search, Bradley suggests using sites such as DuckDuckGo instead of the traditional engines that track you.

If all that sounds too painful to deal with, at the very least consider deleting unnecessary content from your social media accounts. Twitter and Facebook let you download an archive of your data on the platform, in case you’re worried about losing any of those utterly amazing early tweets. And beyond the in-account settings for each service, third-party tools such as TweetDelete allow you to erase years of content automatically. But even that, Bradley said, doesn’t provide perfect results – the government probably already has your tweets on file.

“Using a service that deletes old tweets is helpful,” he said. “However, the Library of Congress is cataloguing every single tweet ever.”

JustDelete.Me provides a good starting point for people who want straightforward links to the deletion pages of a ton of accounts, along with a bit of guidance on how easy or hard it is to delete each one.


For those who can’t stand to go completely off the grid – which is probably most of us – Bradley said one of the most valuable things to do is litter the internet with misinformation about yourself.

“Never have a real birthday,” he said. “Always use a throwaway birthday when signing up for social media accounts or pretty much any other service online. Use a throwaway email. If a site or an app is asking for a bunch of information that you think it doesn’t need from you to provide you with whatever service it is promising, don’t do it. If that personal information is required to use that service, then make up some stuff. You want to provide as many alternative facts as possible.”

Of course, most of us will have already provided a lot of the information to a bunch of sites – so try to change it. On many sites, you can change your birthday, your likes and dislikes, past employment experiences, place of residence and other personal details, although some have a limit on how many times you can alter information (like Facebook).

Bradley said he knows that he’s essentially advising people to ignore the terms of service for these sites, and he’s okay with that.

“Feel free to protect your privacy and violate their terms of service,” he said.

Data leaks

Anyone who’s ever self-Googled knows that there are a ton of “people search” sites out there that promise to host valuable information about individuals. Usually, this information – phone numbers, social media profiles, addresses, anything else available from public records or through data collection on the internet – is sold for a fee (but not always). These companies are known as data brokers, businesses that collect information to sell it to other businesses. Bradley warned that trying to fully disappear from their databases is like “whack-a-mole.”

“Look at the first five to 10 pages of your Google results and see who has your name,” Bradley said. Your information will probably be on sites such as Whitepages, Spokeo and Intelius, for example, and each of these sites should have a way to opt out – but Bradley warned that sometimes the opt-out process can be a scam. If the site requires users to verify their identity before opting out by giving more information or providing a government ID, get out of there.

The second part of keeping your information out of the hands of data brokers involves plugging any digital leaks. If you’ve ever signed up for an account by linking it to a Facebook, Google or Twitter account, you have a leak, and should undo it if possible.

The other thing to think about is your phone – and what permissions you have given your apps.
“Most apps ask for way too much information,” Bradley said. “If you want to keep your phone, go ahead and delete every single app you don’t actually need.”

Of course, even doing all of these things won’t completely disappear most of us from the internet – particularly those who are older or have been using it for all our lives so have an extensive digital trail. So, the question becomes: Can you really disappear from the internet?

Bradley said it doesn’t matter if it’s futile or not – it’s important to try as much as you can, and do it properly, as if it’s going to work.

“You might not get perfect results, but it’s always worth the effort to try.”

The post How to Unplug from the Digital World appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Winter project Build a computer

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Winter project Build a computer Bob Howkins “APN Report” Audio in player below! Snow on the ground, snow on the roof, ice on the roads, winter’s set in. As Preppers, wintertime is a inconvenience, but it’s also downtime. Want something to do? As the desire to get out and about is tempered by the desire … Continue reading Winter project Build a computer

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The Entire Internet Will Shut Down For 24 Hours In 2017, Major Company Predicts

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The Entire Internet Will Shut Down For 24 Hours In 2017, Major Company Predicts

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BOULDER, Colo. – A prominent American company that helps companies guard against cyber threats is predicting that the entire Internet will be shut down by hackers in 2017 – and that portions of the power grid will go down, too.

LogRhythm, headquartered in Boulder, Colo., released its seven predictions for 2017 just before the New Year and said it believes the “internet will be shut down for up to 24 hours.”

“We’ll see a rise in attacks on fundamental protocols of internet communications. We already started seeing it with DNS,” the company said, referencing a Domain Name System attack that brought down Amazon, Netflix and Twitter in 2016. “In 2017, we’re going to see it hit big sometime, somewhere. If the internet goes down, financial markets will tank.”

James Carder, LogRhythm’s chief information security officer and vice president, said the attacks that brought down Amazon “were really just tests.”

“If you can prove that you can take down massive sites and a large chunk of the US internet for a few hours, a 24-hour outage seems pretty easy to do,” Carder told Business Insider.

LogRhythm also predicted that “portions of the U.S. power grid will be shut down.”

Discover How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

“If portions of the power grid go down, there will be lack-of-confidence and trust issues with the government, which will have long-lasting ripple effects,” LogRhythm said.

The Entire Internet Will Shut Down For 24 Hours In 2017, Major Company Predicts

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The company has offices in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Mexico, France, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.

Following are LogRhythm’s seven predictions:

1. A decidedly overt attack from a nation-state will likely occur, in an effort to force an equally public retaliation.

– The public nature of this action will force the hand of NATO or the U.S. government to retaliate, whether they choose to do so publicly is not clear.

– This will lead to an increased focus on offensive cyber capabilities and bolster the demand for cyber weapons on the black market. Countries will covertly arm their allies with cyber weapons, and encourage disguised attacks on their enemy.

2. The internet will be shut down for up to 24 hours.

We’ll see a rise in attacks on fundamental protocols of internet communications. We already started seeing it with DNS. In 2017, we’re going to see it hit big sometime, somewhere. If the internet goes down, financial markets will tank.

3. Portions of the U.S. power grid will be shut down.

– We already saw hackers mobilise vulnerable IoT devices in the recent DDoS attack. Similarly, they could target and impact aspects of critical infrastructure.

–  If portions of the power grid go down, there will be lack-of-confidence and trust issues with the government, which will have long-lasting ripple effects.

4. Hackers will target and silence major media sites — such as CNN, FOX News, etc. — to influence what is reported and attempt to keep people in the dark.

– There will be more focused IoT botnet attacks, like the largest DDoS attack ever committed (Oct. 2016), which was all done using embedded systems/IoT devices. We’ll see a larger botnet attack, powered by the hundreds of thousands of IoT devices that still have malware running on them.

5. Ransomware will get more personal, as 2017 will mark the rise of mobile ransomware.

Simon Howe, Director of Sales for ANZ at LogRhythm said, “Attackers will use pre-authenticated tokens to disseminate malware. Because so many Apple devices are interconnected, the malware could very quickly spread.  Attackers will target consumers and hold their personal data hostage. For example, attackers will threaten to send out or delete a user’s photos unless a ransom is paid. Just think, how much would you pay to recover your photos?”

6. There will be an uptick in Psychological Operations (PSYOPs), where hackers will use social media platforms to manipulate messages and influence people.

–  A study released by Stanford in late Nov. 2016 found that US students from 6th grade through college – presumably the savviest social media users – are unable to accurately evaluate the credibility of information presented in tweets, comments and articles.

– Malicious actors will use algorithms to gauge the effectiveness of their social media efforts, and refine their PSYOPs to further manipulate people of all ages.

7. Every country and region in modern nations will come up with their own cybersecurity governance, and start enforcing compliance with those mandates.

We initially saw this with GPG-13 (Cyber Security Framework) and GDPR (Data Security Framework) in the US.  We’ll likely see an uptick in other countries establishing their own brand of cybersecurity and data security frameworks.

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below: 

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

Data Storage for SHTF Emergency Bug Out

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Data Storage for SHTF Emergency Bug Out Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” Audio in player below! The thought of bugging out is a real threat. Have you thought of the data you have and how you would store it, take it with you or use it on the road? The world today offers us many … Continue reading Data Storage for SHTF Emergency Bug Out

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The Benefits of Social Media in Prepping

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The Benefits of Social Media in Prepping Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” Listen in player below! In past shows I have talked about the dangers of social media and the internet. This episode I will flip the switch and talk about the benefits of social media in prepping. We often see the dangers of the … Continue reading The Benefits of Social Media in Prepping

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Someone Is Practicing For A ‘Global Blackout’ Of The Internet, Expert Says

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Someone Is Practicing For A ‘Global Blackout’ Of The Internet, Expert Says

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The cyberattack that disrupted a number of major websites including Amazon, PayPal, Twitter and Netflix on Oct. 21 certainly was no accident. In fact, a renowned security guru thinks someone is learning how to take down the Internet.

That expert predicted several weeks earlier that it would happen.

“Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet,” Bruce Schneier wrote on September 13. “These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down.”

Internet infrastructure companies noticed a big upswing in attacks in recent months, Schneier wrote. Those attacks, in fact, were similar to the one that knocked out the company Dyn, which provides critical services to Amazon and the other companies that went down. On Oct. 21, hackers launched a massive distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on Dyn, overwhelming the system and causing it to crash.

Discover How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

Someone Is Practicing For A ‘Global Blackout’ Of The Internet, Expert Says

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“If you want to take a network off the Internet, the easiest way to do it is with a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS),” Schneier wrote on his blog and at “… Basically it means blasting so much data at the site that it’s overwhelmed. These attacks are not new: hackers do this to sites they don’t like, and criminals have done it as a method of extortion. There is an entire industry, with an arsenal of technologies, devoted to DDoS defense. But largely it’s a matter of bandwidth. If the attacker has a bigger fire hose of data than the defender has, the attacker wins.”

Recently, “some of the major companies that provide the basic infrastructure that makes the Internet work” have seen an increase of such attacks, wrote Schneier, who is chief technology officer of IBM subsidiary Resilient Systems Inc., a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and a board member at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

“These attacks are significantly larger than the ones they’re used to seeing,” Schneier wrote. “They last longer. They’re more sophisticated. And they look like probing. One week, the attack would start at a particular level of attack and slowly ramp up before stopping. The next week, it would start at that higher point and continue. And so on, along those lines, as if the attacker were looking for the exact point of failure.”

The attacks, in fact, are so strong that the “companies have to use everything they’ve got to defend themselves.”

“They can’t hold anything back. They’re forced to demonstrate their defense capabilities for the attacker,” Schneier wrote.

One of those companies is Verisign, which is the registrar for many popular websites.

“If it goes down, there’s a global blackout of all websites and e-mail addresses in the most common top-level domains,” he wrote, referencing .com and net.

Verisign’s latest public report said that attacks have “continued to become more frequent, persistent, and complex.”

Who is doing the attacking? Schneier believes it is a nation.

“It feels like a nation’s military cybercommand trying to calibrate its weaponry in the case of cyberwar,” he wrote. “It reminds me of the U.S.’s Cold War program of flying high-altitude planes over the Soviet Union to force their air-defense systems to turn on, to map their capabilities. … The data I see suggests China, an assessment shared by the people I spoke with. On the other hand, it’s possible to disguise the country of origin for these sorts of attacks.

“The NSA, which has more surveillance in the Internet backbone than everyone else combined, probably has a better idea, but unless the U.S. decides to make an international incident over this, we won’t see any attribution.”

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

Did Obama Just Hand Control Of The Internet To The U.N.?

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Did Obama Just Hand Control Of The Internet To The U.N.?

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NEW YORK — Americans’ right to free speech online might be threatened by the Obama administration’s decision to transfer U.S. authority over Internet addresses to an organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), critics say.

ICANN was set up by the Clinton Administration in 1998 to oversee the assignment of names and addresses on the World Wide Web. ICANN replaced the U.S. Defense Department, which created the Internet in the 1960s.

Until October 1 of this year, ICANN reported to the U.S. Commerce Department. But now it is only answerable to its stakeholders, according to The Washington Post. Those stakeholders consist of representatives of 164 national governments around the world in a set-up critics say is similar to the United Nations, with representatives from free countries but also from repressive regimes like China and Iran.

Under that arrangement, the repressive countries have the same amount of sway as does the United States.

“Our country faces a threat to the Internet as we know it,” U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said last month, days prior to the transfer. “… If Congress fails to act, the Obama administration intends to give away the Internet to an international body akin to the United Nations.”

Discover How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

Cruz went further in a press release, stating that Obama “intends to give increased control of the Internet to authoritarian regimes like China, Russia and Iran.”

“Like Jimmy Carter gave away the Panama Canal, Obama is giving away the Internet.”

Critics like former Wall Street Journal publisher L. Gordon Crovitz charged in an August 28 op-ed that this means U.N. control of the Internet.

Did Obama Just Hand Control Of The Internet To The U.N.?

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“But because of the administration’s naiveté or arrogance, U.N. control is the likely result if the U.S. gives up Internet stewardship,” Crovitz wrote.

U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) made similar arguments in a speech in the House, Politico reported.

“Think about this,” Blackburn said. “We cannot allow control for Russia or China over U.S. free speech.”

Threat to Freedom or Boon to Free Speech?

Others, though, say an independent ICANN would actually increase freedom online.

“This is not a handover of control of the Internet to some U.N. body, as much as he [Cruz] tries to make it sound like ICANN, which is an American corporation registered in California, is some international body,” U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware) said. “It isn’t the U.N. or anything like it.”

Coons continued: “The way that China or Russia could have greater influence over the naming function of the Internet is if we delay this transition. Lose our credibility internationally that we do intend to privatize this function, and give them the leverage to make stronger arguments at the United Nations that the U.N. … should begin preparing to set up their own DNS function. I think there is a very small risk that this transition will lead to any increased role for any country, including those that censor the Internet in their own country.”

Still others fear that an independent ICANN would let giant companies like Alphabet, the owner of Google, dominate the net. Cybersecurity expert and ICANN advisor Garth Bruen told the Chicago Tribune that’s he afraid ICANN will be accountable to no one.

Attorneys General from Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada and Arizona filed suit to stop the transfer, but their effort ended when a federal judge in Galveston, Texas, threw out their request on September 30.

For better or worse, Uncle Sam has relinquished control of the Internet.

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

Internet Money on I Am Liberty!

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Internet Money! James Walton “I Am Liberty” Listen to this show in player below! Its very rare we take the time to talk about income but lately I have been looking for ways to change that. The motivation behind this is two fold. One is the fact that I am looking to take control of my world … Continue reading Internet Money on I Am Liberty!

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4 Ways You Can Prepare For A World Without The Internet

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A world without the internet

A world without the internet

A world without the internet

4 Ways You Can Prepare For A World Without The Internet

       Can you imagine a world without the internet? Consumer Affairs posed the question What goes up when the Internet goes down?  In the infographic below they have some answer’s. I don’t think that the world will ever go without the internet for long. Humans like to be conceted. Many young adults have never known a time without the internet. 

       The internet we know today is based on APRAPNET and has been around since 1969. It was built to be resilient with redundancy. The info sent over the internet is broken into tiny pieces called packets that do not have to travel on the same route. At the end, they are reassembled. Not to geek out on my networking background. Not to even mention alternative networks like ServalMesh.

But it could be down in areas for periods of time. There are some takeaways you can learn from a world without the internet. 

Work On Real Life Conversation

So you are casanova on Same plate and Tinder but can you talk to anyone in person? In a world without the internet, you are going to have to learn to socialize. Now is a great time to start doing. It doesn’t have to be profound. Try saying Hi. Work on making connections and growing your personal tribe offline. I’m not saying to unplug completely from the internet. There are great friends and communities online. Like the Survival Punks group. Just work on Balance.


 Have Cash

Cash Is King. More so in a world without the internet. Many debit card terminals use the internet to process payments. So if the internet, or power, is down you ain’t buying a thing. That is just one of many reasons to carry at least some cash on you. 

I have had several times where I was able to buy stuff in a power outage because I had cash on me. 

Take Breaks

Sometimes you just need to unplug from the internet. Whether it’s a few hours or a month detox from the net. I mean the internet has some really cool people. It also has a lot of assholes. All the negativity can get you down. So take a hike in the woods. Go play frisbee in the park. Go camping. Get off the internet and go outside. 

Have Information On Hand

If the internet goes down you can’t google or Wikipedia information. Well in the case of this project you can actually have Wikipedia in your pocket. Which is definitely worth having. Having books on hand will be very important in a world without the internet. Both for entertainment and knowledge. How else will you prove your friends wrong?




World Without The Internet

World Without The Internet


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The post 4 Ways You Can Prepare For A World Without The Internet appeared first on Survival Punk.

5 Things You Better Get Off The Internet Before The Grid Goes Down

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5 Things You Better Get Off The Internet Before The Grid Goes Down

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We rely on the Internet for nearly everything in life, but in the wake of a natural disaster or large-scale collapse of the power grid, it is possible that the Internet could become inaccessible.

Even a few days without it could cripple American society’s ability to manage money, practice commerce, and communicate.

Because of that, it is a good idea to reduce your dependence on the Internet by moving more of your needs offline.

Here’s five areas to get your started:

1. Banking. Out of convenience, most Americans do at least a portion of their banking online. There’s no harm in using an online account to manage some of your bill payments and financial transactions. Just don’t rely on it to maintain your records. Monthly or quarterly, download a paper statement from your bank, print it, and file it away. Additionally, make sure you have paper records for all of the accounts you hold. Do the same thing for any stocks or important records of assets; record them on paper. Better still, do most of your bank transactions in person, at a local bank; you’ll have greater security and get better customer service.

2. Maps. Relying on GPS or Google Maps to tell you how to get around your local area is foolishness. Purchase or download updated local maps and keep them where they can be easily referenced or found in case of emergency. GPS won’t be a reliable source of navigation if the power grid is compromised.

3. Reference materials. Whether you read books on a Kindle or tablet, follow websites relevant to your interests, or just get the news delivered digitally, it is important to keep a paper trail for the information you’ll need in the future.

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You may not always be able to Google your way to an answer. Buy reference books relevant to setting up and maintaining a homestead, including home improvement encyclopedias and farming manuals. Printing information from often-referenced websites and filing it appropriately will ensure you’ll have the knowledge at your fingertips long after you can’t get it online. Best of all, develop your skills now so you will not need as many reference materials to accomplish tasks around the homestead.

5 Things You Better Get Off The Internet Before The Grid Goes Down

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4. Email. Discussing plans and making decisions by email has become commonplace. Create a personal file of email correspondence for each family member and for your business activities. When agreements are solidified by email, print the message and file it accordingly. In addition to backing up your knowledge of what was decided, the written correspondence is an important record in your family. Just as our prior generations preserved old letters, so we must preserve meaningful emails in order to tell the story of our families.

5. Contacts. Many people scarcely know their phone numbers, let alone those of their families and other close contacts. Maintain an address book containing all the contact information and locations of anyone you care about, as well as resourceful peers and acquaintances.

New Survival Energy Product Makes Every Window A Powerful Solar Charger

Knowing where to find someone important to you is the first step to reconnecting, and you don’t want to be left high and dry by an inability to access your contacts.

Bonus – Unplug These, Too

Photos. Of course, this is a little sentimental, but there’s more to life than practicality. Don’t simply store precious family heirlooms “in the cloud.” Kids today are being raised with very few printed photos documenting their lives. What a shame if all of those digital photos were lost! Create a photo album for each member of your family, or a family album documenting your lives together. The small investment of time and money could reap rewards for the rest of your life and become an important piece of your family’s heritage.

Entertainment. Learn to amuse yourself without surfing the web, clicking through Facebook, or playing online games. Part of being resourceful is being able to find and create entertainment with ready supplies — paper and pencil, card, and dice games are a great way to connect with your family and have a great time without plugging in. Invest in a book of activities and start gathering around the table more often, and you won’t miss the Internet so much in times of outage.

What would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:

Are You Prepared For A Downed Grid? Read More Here.

News and Finding What Matters!

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News and Finding What Matters! James Walton “I Am Liberty” Can we have a moment of complete and total honesty? There is too much news. There is simply too much. No one is capable of the input. Much of the news out there isn’t much at all. In many cases it’s a collection of stories … Continue reading News and Finding What Matters!

The post News and Finding What Matters! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

New Report: Sabotaging America’s Power Grid Is Far Easier Than We Were Told

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New Report: Sabotaging America's Power Grid Is Far Easier Than We Were Told

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Hackers wanting to sabotage the US power grid or other critical infrastructure can do so with a simple Internet search, primarily because some critical systems are outdated and lack even password protection, an NBC News investigation has found.

The shocking findings mean that dams, traffic controls, stadiums and America’s electricity are in far greater peril than previously thought.

The weakness was underscored when it was discovered that Hamid Firoozi, an Iranian hacker working for the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, was able to gain access to a dam in New York with a legal search engine, the network found. Firoozi has been charged with hacking the Bowman Avenue Dam in New York in 2013.

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It is believed he and his fellow hackers were experimenting with the system to plan for something far bigger.

“This stuff has been happening undetected for years, and now this is one of the first times that it’s surfaced publicly,” former F.B.I. computer crime investigator Mike Bazzel said. “We’re getting close to a threshold where something must be done. The more this type of activity becomes popular and well-known, it will get worse before it gets better.”

New Report: Sabotaging America's Power Grid Is Far Easier Than We Were Told

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Private cybersecurity experts have been able to take control of traffic lights, police license plate reader networks and water plants.

Additionally, former Google cybersecurity expert Billy Rios found that control systems at a dozen major stadiums in the US were vulnerable to hackers – meaning they could create panic and stampedes in the venues.

So, how do the hackers do it? In a practice called Google dorking, hackers use Internet searches to find unsecured ports that can let them into critical infrastructure. The biggest problem is that much of the computer systems behind America’s infrastructure was built long ago, before cybersecurity was a need – and those systems are now going online.

Some of the infrastructure still contains the default username and password – such as “admin” and “admin.” And some of it has no password at all.

The water sector, which includes dams, tunnels, bridges and water supply systems, is one of the most vulnerable to hacking.

Produce Boiling Hot Water, Anywhere, Anytime With Absolutely No Power Whatsoever…

Experts estimate that around 6.4 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by the end of this year. By 2020, 21 billion devices could be connected.

Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said a simple iPhone could be used to hack and shut down the electric power grid.

“You have these big control systems that have a straight shot to the Internet – that’s the fundamental security flaw,” security researcher Tod Beardsley told NBC.

Some of the current cybercrime laws actually make it illegal for the good guys, or white-hat hackers, to search for and expose security flaws.

“Fear of civil or criminal prosecution under these vague laws can have a chilling effect on the kind of services we could provide,” security researcher Joshua Corman told NBC.

Do you believe America is prepared for a major cyberattack? Share your thoughts in the section below:  

Are You Prepared For A Downed Grid? Read More Here.

Cyber security, preventing attacks!

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Cyber security, preventing attacks!
Highlander “Survival and Prep Techs

Cyber security, preventing attacksIn the program below we revisit the need for cyber security not only on your devices but in the real world. I discuss what measures we need to take in our everyday lives that we should and must put in place if we want to maintain security within our lives.

Cyber security, preventing attacksThere is so much to consider when it comes to security, every prepper preps for security in some way but most of us neglect the computer/device side of things. We will discuss what security measures you need to use on your pc such as antivirus, popup blockers, basic operating skills that will protect you from intruders that want to get your information and use it for nefarious purposes. I will discuss the absolute need for opsec (operational security) when you are online. What we want is to not share your details on social media, in emails, or in forms you fill out.

4-4-16 imagesThe biggest causes of identity theft and infections are caused because of poor security practices. I will give you a few tips on what to look for, what to do in case you think you are compromised and how to prevent it in the first place. With the looming threat of cyber terrorism just over the horizon our own technology can be used against us if we are not careful. Routine maintenance and common sense is what will protect you from attacks.

Hopefully I give some pointers and make your lives a bit easier and less worrisome over this, even though it is on a lot of our minds. We hear of china posing a larger threat when it comes to cyber-attacks. Don’t let your devices be used to attack another, this may sound crazy but I will explain during the show what this entails and what to do about it. So enjoy the show and as always questions are welcome!

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The post Cyber security, preventing attacks! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

How to Protect Yourself as We Approach the Limits of the Internet

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The Survival Place Blog – Staff Writer 

The Internet. As boundless and infinite as space. Or is it? Though spending time online has become one of America’s favorite past times — nearly 75 percent of U.S. homes have Internet access, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — it has also become the backbone of countless businesses, organizations and government agencies. Since the dawn of dial-up, the main goal of providers and the main demand of users has been faster, faster, faster. However, that horizonless hub of information may now be facing some very real limitations.

The World Wide Web may be intangible, but users still require very tangible methods of connecting to it. Analysts in the U.K. warn that the fiber optics and cables necessary to send data to our devices are rapidly approaching their limits. Data handling is not the only issue at hand, either — there also exists a power problem. With Internet accessibility and usage increasing everyday, in the country of the Britain alone, internet usage has the potential In just 20 years to consume all of the U.K.’s power supply. These troubles have many expressing very real concerns about Internet usage caps and even the possibility of collapse.

At the risk of such devastating consequences, backing up one’s data and protecting sensitive information from security breaches in the wake of an Internet collapse is more important than ever. Here are a few tips:

Create a partition

For Windows users, by default, the files you create are stored in your My Documents folder. This folder then categorizes the files based on the kind of files they are. This is great for an organization, but the My Documents and all of its subfolders inhabit the most vulnerable area of your hard drive: the Windows partition. If you create a different partition to store these files, when it is time to reinstall Windows, you do not overwrite the files, making it easier and safer to back up data.

Use an external hard drive

Naturally, as handy and convenient as cloud storage is, it will do you no good if you cannot reach the cloud. For your most sensitive information, like tax documents and identity data, or for your most treasured files, like family photos and videos, maintaining a separate hard drive allows you to have digital copies that aren’t “plugged in” to the Web. It is basically a catalog of your files that you can hold on to for safekeeping but hook up to a computer if you need access, no online transmission required. So if the Web unravels, you still have your data.

Be informed

In 1998, a group of hackers known as LOpht attempted to warn a panel of senators of the threats that lurked in the shadows of the Web. LOpht spoke of the vulnerabilities within programs and software and encouraged the statesmen to take action, yet nothing was done to ensure the safety of Internet users, and the burden of security falls on the shoulders of the users even today. Cybercrime is constantly evolving. With every security measure businesses and individuals take, the black hats seem to find new ways around. Being educated on cybersecurity vulnerabilities is your first line of defense in online security.

As engineers scramble to find solutions for the limitations of optic fibers, and as countries begin to understand the power demands swelling internet usage requires, it’s time to begin your own line of defense against the consequences of finding the end of the Internet frontier.

The Survival Place Blog: How to Protect Yourself as We Approach the Limits of the Internet

Filed under: How To Prepare, Prepping

ISIS’ Plan To Destroy The Internet And ‘Panic’ The World

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ISIS’ Plan To Destroy The Internet And ‘Panic’ The World

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ISIS could be in the middle of trying to take down the Internet – and it may have tried doing so last year.

According to International Business Times, a major attack took place late last year on 13 root name servers – considered the backbone of the worldwide Internet – and it apparently came from the “IS Amaq Agency” app that is used by ISIS to spread its propaganda around the world. The app would have created a botnet to perform a massive “distributed denial of service” (DDos) on the servers.

At the peak of the attack, the servers were receiving 5 million queries per second. It would have taken as few as 18,000 smartphones using the app to conduct the attack. Users would not have known their phones were being used that way, IBT reported. The app is not available in the iPhone App Store or in Google Play.

“I feel certain that the IS news app was the source of the DDoS attack,” cybersecurity expert John McAfee told IBT. “One of my researchers has discovered encrypted packets being sent to the Amaq Agency news app.

Be Prepared For A Downed Grid With A Solar Generator!

“We found the 13 Root Server Addresses in the app memory while the app was running. The addresses did not appear inside the static app. The addresses therefore had to be decrypted at run time. Why would they encrypt the addresses inside the app unless they were trying to hide the true purpose of the app? This is the smoking gun we were looking for.”

The attack, which took place between November 30 and December 1, wasn’t successful, although experts caution that a much larger attack could do damage – even taking down the Internet worldwide.

Cyber security expert Eddie Mize said a downed Internet also could impact the power grid.

“Imagine if the Internet went down for several days. I believe we would see significant power grid failure and potentially loss of emergency services,” Mize told IBT. “This could mean the failure of dams and flood controls, power and water distribution, natural gas distribution and control failure, and more.

“Perhaps the most alarming aspect would be to the financial sector. I believe that loss of the Internet for even a two-week period could cause enough disruption to financial institutions that consumers would lose confidence and this could be catastrophic to the markets. All of this could set up a chain reaction that could send the public in to a panicked tailspin.”

Does ISIS’ plan concern you? Share your thoughts in the section below:

More Than 90 Percent Of Customers Won’t Get Their Money When There’s A “Run On The Banks.” Read More Here.

The Internet Guide to Survival and Self-Reliance

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You could search the ‘Net for weeks and not find half of the expert survival sites in this unique guide, which comes with its own Web site to put all this information just a click away. The book, The Internet Guide to Survival and Self-Reliance teaches you how to supply your own food, power and […]

The post The Internet Guide to Survival and Self-Reliance appeared first on Shepherd School – Home for DIY Prepper Projects.

Online Actions That Spark NSA Monitoring

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The Browsing Habits That Spark NSA Monitoring

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Simply using certain encryption services or investigating alternatives to Microsoft Windows could get you placed under surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence organizations, according to a new report.

Utilizing encryption solutions such as TOR could result in monitoring by the NSA and its allies, including Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), according to the report in the German me­dia out­let Ta­gesschau.

The NSA tracks people with a surveillance tool called XKeyscore.

“Anyone who is determined to be using Tor is also targeted for long-term surveillance and retention,” Corey Doctorow wrote at the blog.

The German outlet said computer experts watched the XKeyscore code and found that the NSA was constantly monitoring TOR users on servers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the National Journal reported.

Learn How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

TOR is a program that lets a person stay private by routing communications through computers and servers all over the world. It makes it much harder for the NSA and other agencies to track.

Other Behaviors the NSA Regards as Dangerous

The German report listed a number of seemingly innocent and harmless behaviors that can trigger NSA surveillance, the National Journal said. They include:

  • Going to Linux Journal, a popular forum for the open-sourced operating system Linux. The NSA apparently regards Linux Journal as an extremist forum.
  • Searching for information about Tails, a popular operating system used by human rights advocates.
  • Searching for information about any Windows alternative.
  • Searching for information about online privacy.

“The better able you are at protecting your privacy online, the more suspicious you become,” National Journal’s Paul Tucker wrote.

NSA buildingDoctorow, writing at, said the NSA surveillance goes beyond the explainable.

“Tor and Tails have been part of the mainstream discussion of online security, surveillance and privacy for years,” Doctorow wrote. “It’s nothing short of bizarre to place people under suspicion for searching for these terms.”

The NSA, he added, isn’t being honest about its surveillance.

“It’s a dead certainty that people who heard the NSA’s reassurances about ‘targeting’ its surveillance on people who were doing something suspicious didn’t understand that the NSA meant people who’d looked up technical details about systems that are routinely discussed on the front page of every newspaper in the world,” Doctorow wrote.

One expert Doctorow spoke with “suggested that the NSA’s intention here was to separate the sheep from the goats” – that is, to separate people who don’t care about their privacy from people “who have the technical know-how to be private.”

XKeyscore apparently tracks individuals online by using fingerprint triggers that activate whenever certain information is detected.

Do you believe the NSA is constantly monitoring our Internet behavior? Do you support NSA surveillance? Share your thoughts in the section below:

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

BREAKING: Russian Submarines Plotting Attack On U.S. Internet Cables?

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Russia Submarines Plotting Attack On American Internet Cables?Russia’s navy may be plotting a secret submarine attack that would shut down the world’s financial markets, disrupt the global economy and paralyze communications by cutting cables deep underneath the sea, Pentagon and intelligence officials say.

As reported by The New York Times, officials are worried because Russian spy ships and submarines are operating near undersea fiber-optic cables that carry much of the world’s data. In a sea thousands of miles wide, such maneuvers are rarely coincidental.

The cables carry business transactions worth more than $10 trillion a day, the newspaper said. Additionally, more than 95 percent of communications each day takes place on the cables.

“I’m worried every day about what the Russians may be doing,” Rear Admiral Frederick J. Roegge, the commander of the US submarine fleet in the Pacific, told The Times.

The data going through such cables includes stock and commodities transactions, banking information, news, financial data, and email.

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If the cables were to be cut, major financial markets including those in New York, London, Tokyo and Shanghai would shut down. Major banking transactions, including credit card purchases, would be severed.

During World War I, one of the first actions of Britain’s Royal Navy was to cut undersea cables that connected Germany with the United States, Africa, and South America. The British cut the cables so they could control the flow of information in and out of Germany.

In September of this year, a Russian spy ship, the Yantar, cruised off the East Coast of the United States on its way to Cuba, where one major cable resides, The Times reported. The ship carries two deep-sea submersible craft.

“The risk here is that any country could cause damage to the system and do it in a way that is completely covert, without having a warship with a cable-cutting equipment right in the area,” Michael Sechrist, a former researcher at Harvard and MIT, told The Times.

He believes that the Russians could cut the cables with undersea drones and nobody would notice.

Naval officers are concerned because the Russians appear to be searching for vulnerabilities in the cables deep below the surface of the ocean. Cables get cut “all the time,” Sechrist said, although those accidents take place close to the shore and are easier to repair. A cable cut deep in the middle of the ocean would be different.

“Undersea cables tend to follow the similar path since they were laid in the 1860s,” Sechrist said.

What do you believe the Russians are doing? Share your thoughts in the section below:

More Than 90 Percent Of Customers Won’t Get Their Money When There’s A “Run On The Banks.” Read More Here.

Six Tips For When Communication And Information Go Silent

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radioInstant communication. If you are like me, you have become used to it, actually expect it. You have instant communication with your family and friends not just through phone calls, but email and text messages. In addition to that, if you are like most, you also communicate instantly what you are having for lunch or […]

The post Six Tips For When Communication And Information Go Silent appeared first on Vigil Prudence.

It’s Easier Than You Think to Encrypt Your E-mail and Shared Files

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I’ve been dinking around with electronic encryption for about 30 years. In spite of the fact that secure communications would be useful to me professionally for more than one reason, up until now I’ve never gone beyond “dinking around” to “using” encryption.

One reason encryption hasn’t become part of my every-day experience–and I’m guessing this applies to millions of others as well–is that it’s just too much hassle for too little reward. My favorite tool up until now has been some variation of Pretty Good Privacy. It’s robust: the NSA could crack it, but it would take way more resources and cost way more than it would likely be worth. It’s open source: any geniuses out there who want to inspect the encryption algorithms or software implementation are able to do so, and if they can’t find any real problems, then I’m not going to complain. And it’s free; I like cheap. Unfortunately, it is just complicated enough (with all its talk of public keys, private keys, trusted keyrings, etc.) that the “where can I find the file I just downloaded” crowd won’t use it unless their really mean boss absolutely forces them to. In other words, I can’t use PGP to send encrypted messages because nobody else I know uses PGP (which also explains why I’ve never received an encrypted message).

Encryption technology is not exactly a growth industry, unless you’re working for The Man. Governments really don’t like not being able to snoop on the things we say to one another, so often when somebody comes out with encryption in some sort of useful form, the government makes them an offer they can’t refuse: Put in a back door that lets us read that stuff, or don’t do business in this country. Apparently it’s not just people wanting to protect trade secrets or exchange naked pictures of Marty Feldman who use encryption, but also international terrorists and drug dealers. This government arm-twisting might be no problem if it came only from Tonga, but when it comes from places like China or the USA, well, problem. So encryption start-ups typically end up spending a lot of their time trying to fly under the radar, to justify why their secure applications should be legal, or building back doors.

A lot of us think of encryption algorithms when we start thinking about communications security. But it turns out that hackers don’t bother actually trying to crack encryption so much as intercepting our private keys and using that to decrypt our information, or they might simply grab our information directly before it’s encrypted or by reading ghost data left on our hard drives or in memory. And if even that is too tricky, there’s always the time-proven expedients of blackmail or coercion to make us just give over the information free and clear.

Image courtesy xkcd |

Well, recently a need arose for me to communicate securely with a person in a very insecure country, and I looked into things some more. I found an app that I’m really starting to warm up to: Peerio. Peerio looks like a cute little chat application. One must login to the app using a longish pass phrase (this can be shortened to a password, but the password is only good for that specific device), then simply message or e-mail in what appears to be clear text. One may also upload files and share them, in which case they go out as attachments to a message. Attachments received can be dragged to a local folder and opened, viewed, edited, etc. In other words, anybody that can chat or drag-and-drop files can communicate and share files with Peerio.

What’s going on in the background–that users don’t need to be educated about or see–is some pretty strong encryption and decryption. When a contact is added to one’s address book, so is that contact’s public key. Peerio uses the pass phrase to generate a user’s private key each session, then when a message is sent it is encrypted before sending; the private key is not stored anywhere, and disappears when the user logs out. No clear-text messages or files ever hit Peerio’s servers. When the message is received, the recipient’s app decrypts it using the public key found in the address book, and presents the message in clear text. Shared files are likewise encrypted on the sender’s computer and decrypted on the receiver’s computer.

Here are some things that drew me to Peerio:

  • It’s so simple. Unlike every other encryption application I’ve ever used before, I already have people I know in my contact list and I’ve already used Peerio to communicate with them and share files. This is the biggie for me.
  • It uses end-to-end encryption rather than server-based encryption; if a Peerio server ever gets breached (accidentally or by a disgruntled employee), all people get is a bunch of encrypted data.
  • The encryption algorithm and software is open-source and peer reviewed. I can’t tell good encryption from bad, so it comforts me that those who can tell are able to check what Peerio’s doing. If you want to check it out for yourself, you can. Peerio actually hires third-party experts to check it out every so often, just in case.
  • Peerio will actually pay you $1,000 if you find a bug or exploit in their software.
  • This one I’m not really counting on so much, but Peerio claims that if the government ever asks them for my data (they’ll know the name and e-mail I supplied when I signed up, though they don’t check to see if they’re real), they’ll require due process and will notify me before releasing the information in case I want to challenge the request.
  • Peerio is portable, meaning I can run it under Windows or Mac from the USB thumb drive that’s part of my everyday carry (EDC).

Ultimately, there’s no such thing as complete electronic security. If someone carries Federal ID in their pocket, assume all your data are belong to them. If someone who knows what they’re doing gets their hands on your actual computer, assume they have access to all your data. If someone doesn’t know what they’re doing, but can sneak this USB keylogger into a slot on the back of your computer, they’ll have all your passwords, pass phrases, and anything else you type e-mailed to them on schedule. And of course there’s always the aforementioned blackmail, drugs, and threats of violence.

I’m totally happy to have found Peerio. Are there other apps out there I may have missed? Security concerns I need to be aware of? Let me know in your comments below.

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