After the terrorist attacks on September 1 1, 2001 the government took a big step forward in trying to protect the American people. Today, 12 years later, the government continues to protect the American people online in ways that are questioned daily. The questions remain, does the government really need to be watching us online? What privacy do we have while using our computers? Imagine shopping at your favorite store, you go in and look around and notice a stranger following you around at a distance. You look back and he is writing something down while you check out.
People have the same vision of someone watching them online. They envision that the government is watching their activity on sites and what they download. The big question is can the government really watch us while we are online? The answer to that question is yes, due to the Patriot Act signed into congress. This act allows the government to install wiretaps and perform searches on personal computers. People are no concerned that they will be spied on while they are searching the web whether or not they have done anything wrong or not. It is easy to see why the government would want to watch people while they are online.
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With social media and other forums, terrorism, and other acts of violence can be brought to the surface. Just this year, the Boston Bomber learned his skills and technique online in forums and watching videos on Youth. These kinds of acts are examples of where and how the government can step in stop an act before it is acted upon. No matter the situation, the use of the internet will always be brought to the spot light, because of the power and knowledge that people share online. Although some media outlets lead the American people to believe that they government watches your every move while online, that isn’t true.
The truth you will find isn’t as fighting as you are lead to believe. I am sure you have heard of tracking cookies. You see them all the time while you are online. Tracking cookies are small text files that are store on your computer’s hard drive. They are in no way computer programs that may cause a virus and shutdown your computer. An internet cookies gives Off unique identifier. With this identifier, a website can custom tailor your visit to their site. If you have created personalized settings, the next time you log onto a site you will go straight to the site with the features you had saved.
You won’t have to do back in and change settings. You may be asking why this has anything to do with my security online, but it has an impact on your use online. Congress is considering asking all internet service providers to retain all personal data from all its users that the government could use. If this bill becomes a law, the ISP will have to save information like name, addresses, and internet protocol addresses for all of their users. The government wouldn’t be able to get the information up to date, but they would have to get reports sent to them regarding the use from the ISP database.
These databases would be able to track anyone using a home and work computer The Government wouldn’t be able to Just find information from looking at tracking cookies, they would have to hire a third party venture to come in a provide internet cookies. This is where your security is hanging by a wire. With a third party on board, the government could use their tracking cookies to see if the users have visited on of the sites with the cookies and can see where they went after that. Leading to a chain reaction of sorts to find the finish line.
This is where some internet security advocates onto like the idea of the government using internet tracking cookies at all. They don’t think that a government agency should be keeping information files about internet users. Now that we have learned some of what the government is doing online to protect us from the evil in the world today and also what they are doing to protect themselves, we need to learn how we can protect ourselves from the big brother in a sense. There are many tools out there to protect yourself while you are browsing the web. Passwords and security of passwords are some of the most common helps out there.
Did you know that you shouldn’t tell everyone what you are doing on your social media profiles? Don’t tweet or post if you are going out of town, that could be an easy target for a hacker. Instead post on your profile once you get back home from a family vacation or trip. Another tip could be to make sure that you protect your computer and browser. Make sure your anti-virus is up to date as well as make sure that your internet browser of choice is the current up to date version with all of the security pitches. With all of the uncertainty in the world today, it makes sense that our government ants to make sure that we are protected.
No matter what someone may be looking for, they can most likely find it on the internet in some form or another. It is amazing how easy it is to get information on materials that may cause great harm to another. Not only is there physical harm that the government is watching out for, they are looking for cyber-attacks that could do damage to the entire country. Next time we get on Faceable account or are looking up videos for a class presentation, Just remember that the government may at one point use the information from your activity online.