Choose Privacy Week 2016 - an American Library Association Initiative
Are you concerned about your privacy online? Try the Choose Privacy Firefox web browser, on any of our patron PCs, which will prevent many advertisers from tracking you. This browser has several features to prevent online tracking, including:
- Adblock Plus with Easy Privacy, which prevents ads that track you from loading.
- HTTPS Everywhere, which forces all websites that are able to do so to load as HTTPS websites, to encrypt the data you share with these sites.
- DuckDuckGo as the default search engine, so your search terms won’t “leak” to the sites you click on.
Choose Privacy Week is an ALA initiative to raise awareness about online tracking, and how few consumer protections we have from big data. It takes place every year from May 1-7. In addition to our Choose Privacy browser, there will be three public presentations on online tracking at the Tremont Road branch of the UAPL:
- Who is Watching You?: Sunday, May 1 at 1 PM. You might be surprised to learn that a lot of companies are tracking your movements online, from the websites that you visit to the search terms that you use. Learn more about who might be watching you online, and what you can do to protect your privacy.
- Forgot Your Password?: Wednesday, May 4 at 7 PM. Remembering all your passwords is tough, especially when creating strong passwords that are harder to break. We’ll cover strategies for creating strong passwords, tools and tips for remembering them and some basic information about keeping your information safe online.
- Cryptoparty: Saturday, May 7 from 10 AM to 4 PM. Let’s work together to install encryption programs for greater privacy! If you bring in a functional laptop or smartphone and, optionally, a new USB flash drive, we can help you set up some important privacy tools like Tor, Signal, Tails, and some everyday tools to prevent tracking by advertisers. If all of this is gibberish to you, you’re especially invited - we can help people at any level to protect their privacy online!
Why is the UAPL participating in Choose Privacy Week?
Social media companies, third party advertisers, and the NSA are tracking a great deal of what you do online. Who gets to see what you buy, which websites you’ve been to, who you contact frequently, what you’ve searched for on the web, and the photos you’ve posted online?
Unfortunately, more parties may be privy to this information than you’re aware of. Even worse, none of these parties are required to tell you exactly what they know about you, or where they’re getting their information from.
Keep in mind that the Choose Privacy browser can’t protect you from all tracking on the Internet, although it will help. Be aware that logging into a popular social media account like Facebook or Google from one of our Public PCs may allow that social media account to track what you are doing in the same browser. You can avoid this tracking by:
- Logging into your social media accounts from a different browser than the one you surf the web with. For example, logging into Facebook in the Chrome or Internet Explorer browsers, and doing all your other web surfing in the “Choose Privacy” browser.
- Checking your social media accounts in the “Choose Privacy” browser, logging out, closing the “Choose Privacy” browser, and then opening it again before surfing the internet.
The Choose Privacy browser will do little to stop NSA tracking, however, you can learn more about advanced privacy techniques with our Online Privacy Subject Guide, or at one of our public programs.