The TOR network, better known as “The Onion Router” network is mesh of “endpoints” all over the world, interconnected by a encrypted connections. Much like a network of Wormholes, traffic can go in on one end and leave the TOR network in a completely different (and random location) to “go on the internet.” I know some of you might be wondering what this is for, so , imagine being in China and wanting to watch something on Youtube. The Chinese government does not only block a lot of “Western” websites, it also keeps track of the traffic its citizens generate. Enter the TOR network. Using this network our Chinese Youtube enthousiasts sends his traffic through the TOR network. The actual request “emerges” onto the internet in some random country (where Youtube is not blocked) AND its encrypted along the way. So he gets to watch his favourite catvideo AND the government does not have a clue what he is doing.
So how can this work for you ? Whenever you are on a public hotspot or on a network you do not trust, you can use the TOR browser. Your browsing behaviour will not only be completely opaque to whoever is trying to watch your movement on that network , it ALSO will circumvent URL and content restrictions.. because if they look at your traffic .. they will only see an encrypted tunnel between you and whatever TOR endpoint you are connected to. Nobody can sniff you, Nobody can block you. Eat that Starbucks Script-kiddy !
The TOR browser is a “mutated version of Firefox” that lets you surf DIRECTLY on the TOR network. It is available for Windows, Linux and the Mac and is COMPLETELY PORTABLE (you don’t even have to install it). So carry it around with you on your USB stick and be absolutely sure that, next time you are logging in on that Wifi network in the Hotel Lobby .. nobody can “follow along”.
Download the TOR BROWSER BUNDLE here.
This week is “Privacy Week” on Knightwise.com where we are going to focus on applications, tips and tricks to keep YOUR data safe from prying eyes. “Why ? ” you might say .. “I have nothing to hide”. Are you sure about that ? Then lets strip the blinds from your bedroom so your neighbours can enjoy the saturday-night “bow-chicka-bowow” action with your spouse .. or since we are at it , remove the doors from ALL public bathrooms … You won’t mind to squat in plain sight, do you .. you had “nothing to hide”.
The point I am trying to make is that privacy is not only a basic human right, “Keeping your privacy” is also becoming a very personal statement in this world where everybody seems to spy on everybody. In this series of articles we won’t teach you how to stay out of reach from the NSA or stuff, but will give you some basic pointers on how to keep your personal information away from script kiddies, nosy network administrators and the small minority of malevolent hackers that might actually be out to get YOU. The fact of the matter is : Getting your hands on other people’s information is just too darn easy these days. What if that nerdy kid in the coffee shop is keeping track of all the url’s you are visiting. What if the stalky network admin at work has an extra special interest in your traffic, what if there is a Pinapple hotspot in operation without you knowing it (Check out the special we did on this interesting device HERE ) “So WHAT ? WHAT can they see ?” you ask ? lets illustrate with a little video here.
So you see : Your privacy is not always guaranteed. Tag along on our privacy week and pick up some pointers on how to keep your privacy .. private.
Traveling around with a bunch of tech stuff in the car is always a little tricky. You might need that laptop with you on your roadtrip, but you are surely not going to drag that 17 inch Macbook Pro all the way up the 298 stairs to visit that random monument of William Shatner along the way ? So you need to leave stuff in the car. Here are a couple of tips on how to do that … safely.
- Store them out of sight. : Leaving your Tomtom gps stuck to your windshield as you walk away from your vehicle is just plain dumb. Don’t even leave your gadgets in plain view.
- Don’t store them in the “Obvious” locations : Leaving your Cellphone on your passenger seat or in your glovebox is also something thats a little tricky. If anyone pops into your car to grab your gear, these are the first places they are going to check. The trunk is tricky but a little better because its completely out of sight.
- Park in sight. : Did you see a parking spot in an alley somewhere ? One of those places where nobody walks by and your car is completely out of sight of passers by ? Don’t ! Make sure you park in a place where somebody smashing your windshield might get “noticed” by other people.
- Take your gadgets “undercover”. : A friend of mine had a greasy pizzabox parked on his passenger seat. When I asked him if he just had dinner, he flipped open the lid and revealed his laptop and smartphone nicely stored inside He had even made nice compartments and had used some Velcro to keep everything in place. With the lid down it was a pizza fest in progress, with the lid UP it was a little datacenter. A cool hack !
- Cloak your gadgets. No matter how hard you hide them .. some of your gadgets might still be detectable… How ? They are actually screaming “I’m RIGHT HERE”. Leaving bluetooth enabled (and having your devices detectable via bluetooth) gives any passer by (with evil intention) a pretty good idea if there is any tech stored nearby. If you leave the “default identification” on , your smartphone might actually be telling them what kind of loot they expect. Its hard to determine where exactly stuff is stored .. But if your car is the only one around … they might have a pretty good chance of scoring if they smash your window. So : Airplane mode !
These are just a couple of tips to keep your tech safe in the car. Do you have some more ? Or perhaps you want to share YOUR secret hack with us ? Do so in the Comments Section below.
The Knightcast episode 31 : Tips for the mobile geek.
Direct link to the show : http://www.knightwise.com/podcasts/kc290506.mp3
An episode jam packs with tips for the mobile geek. How to carry and organize your tech equiptment as easy, light, convinient and efficient as possible. What to take with you, where and how to store all your geeky goods. Furthermore we talk about the Ubuntu-Granny incident and let you hear ' The Knightcast Signal".
- News and events.
- MUSIC The Knightcast signal as preformed by Noplasticinside .
- The Knightwise.com website gets 11000 hits over the weekend.
- The Ubuntu story on Digg .
- Part 1 : Tips for the mobile geek.
- Why this podcast.
- Dividing everything into zones.
- Zone 2 : The "Bag"
- Groundrules.- What to put in your bag.
- Zone 3 : The car.- Groundrules.
- What to store inside your car.
For more information or to send feedback , please visit our main website www.knightwise.com