Privacy Of Communication Via Internet Providers May Have Been Breached By NSA-Silicon Valley Team

Are there teams in Silicon Valley dedicated to providing the NSA with information? According to one author at the New York Times, yes. While the recent news about customer privacy breaches has only named the NSA as the culprit, it’s been claimed that Silicon Valley and the NSA were dealing more closely than anyone ever expected, at times establishing secret teams which made customer data more NSA-accessible. The source of this information? As-yet-unnamed officials in the industry. So far, one company has been identified as having formed one of these teams: Skype.

This comes as unsettling news to many consumers, who have been told by several companies that any data they keep is not passed onto the NSA. Yet, Skype apparently developed a small team to concentrate on the legalities and technical issues associated with making Skype calls available to both the NSA and other law enforcement authorities. Could this mean our internet providers could be passing along our information as well? It could very well be so, considering that voice call and other companies are involved in the handing over of information to the NSA. Some against the spying say that the only possible way to stop this intrusion on the privacy of internet users is to question everything regarding this latest NSA revelation.

What Kind Of Security Can We Expect When Getting Online With Internet Service Companies?

When it comes to online privacy and our internet companies, the answer to how secure we really are can be complicated. Many ISPs offer their customers security tools to help keep their systems and connection safe. But this doesn’t protect us from other dangers that lurk online. One individual was quoted as saying that the internet is a surveillance machine that most of us aren’t even aware is running around the clock.

As far as social media is concerned, many of these sites require us to use our real names when creating accounts. And while some may say that this allows governments to keep track of us, others say this is not the issue we should be concentrating on. They say that it’s what social media users are posting that’s the core problem, because a lot of it contains identifying information such as places they’ve been, the names of the towns where they live, and even their children’s names.

Any hacker who is gathering information will know that, over time, the tidbits shared by social media users can easily be put together like a puzzle. Once complete, the information in the puzzle can be used in any number of sinister ways, from stealing money from bank accounts to stealing identities.

But the using of real names over social media also has a positive side. Using your own name means that there is accountability attached to what you post. Suddenly, everyone will know just who is attached to that derogatory statement or mean-spirited comment, making it much more likely that a user will think twice before they submit their thoughts online.

It’s actually been proven that using a real name vs. a nickname when posting online results in far fewer occurrences of incidences like cyberbullying. Unfortunately, there is no government body which regulates which names we use when signing up for social media accounts, meaning there’s always the possibility that the person you’re communicating with may not be who they say they are.

Probably the best advice for those who are looking for higher security when using their ISP to log onto social media sites is to consider what kind of information they are sharing. Is it necessary to share absolutely every detail of our lives online? Likely not, especially when those details involve telling a contact list about an upcoming vacation, which can be like an invitation for someone who knows where you live to rob your home.

Social media access via our internet service can also be the site of much drama, mostly due to the fact that our perception of respect can be skewed when thinking about the online world. Some say that the best way to curb this is to look on each contact’s page as the online version of their home. When in someone’s home, treating them in a respectful manner is not something many of us have to remind ourselves to do. But a reminder may be beneficial when interacting with those who are on our contact lists on social media sites.