Online security is important, and while “internet privacy” may be the great oxymoron of the decade, there ARE a few things you can do to sorta, possibly, hopefully, maybe slow down an incompetent NSA agent or zit-faced teenager – but don’t count on it.
The first thing would be the TOR Project. Per the description on their website, “Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.” I have used this myself and while the connection runs very slow, it’s helpful to see websites like http://whatismyipaddress.com/ report back a false location of your present whereabouts.
If you don’t like TOR, there are many free proxies like glypessl which hide your IP address and attempt to provide some internet anonymity.
There are a couple of ways to talk or send messages privately such as PrivNote (messages that “self-destruct” after being read) and a couple of chat options which I have not yet used (see http://www.joconationalist.com/tools-to-send-private-messages/ for more info on these).
Another option is to use the free e-mail service Hushmail which encrypts e-mail sent between Hushmail users, and also allows for a strong passphrase to be used which is more secure than a standard password.
Speaking of passwords, the American Nazi Party’s “Outreach” blog has an excellent post about that which I strongly encourage you to read: Password Security
Now on to a few other things which I’ll run through quickly. Some of you might want an easy way to download YouTube videos, either for your own personal collection or to use clips to make your own videos. I have found “FLVto YouTube Downloader” to be an excellent option for this. You can download multiple videos simultaneously, and in a variety of formats (.mp4, .wmv etc.).
If you want to send someone a file that is too large for regular e-mail (like a video, or zipped .pdf book collection), you can use TempSend. Per the website’s description, “TempSend.com is the simplest way to share files! Uploads and downloads are completely anonymous. By default, links stay active for 24 hours with unlimited downloads. Just upload your file and we provide you with a download link to share.”
Now for antivirus programs. If you browse online you will find plenty of varying opinions regarding antivirus software. What I personally recommend (all for free) are the trio of programs Avast, Malwarebytes, and Spywareblaster. If you’re willing and able to shell out cash for an antivirus, you could use Norton 360 in place of Avast (McAfee sucks, never use it). Avast is a full, active, antivirus program that gets great reviews and is easy to use. Malwarebytes works only when you open the program but detects and gets rid of many viruses that normal antivirus programs struggle with. Spywareblaster works by blocking certain cookies and malicious websites so as to prevent an infection.
There are MANY other useful tools available besides what I have listed here, and if you have anything you have used and would recommend please share it in the comments of this post and ‘ll check it out and update this page.