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Protecting yourself online

A quick primer on the Internet

How the Internet works

  • DNS: converts a domain name to an IP address
  • You probably work on names. Your computer works in numbers.
  • DNS to IP
  • IP to server

Goes through your service provider’s network, potentially over some other networks too, to your destination. And then finds a route back again.

Who can see what

When you go online — browse the web, send email, or whatever — you potentially share a lot of information with various companies.

Whoever providers your DNS resolver can tell which sites you are going to, even if not every time your visit. And even though it doesn’t get to see anything of the site content — anything in a URL passed the first forward slash — this can still be very intrusive

Internet access provider knows where it is routing your packets — which IP addresses are your destinations (even if they are not your ultimate destination). For example, the local access network provider (e.g. the operator of the Wi-Fi network to which you are connecting).

You can change how your traffic is routed by using a proxy, a virtual private network, or Tor.

Using public Wi-Fi

It can be very tempting and convenient to connect to a coffee shop's Wi-Fi hotspot (or what you think is their Wi-Fi hotspot).

There are some security considerations to bear in mind.

protecting_yourself_online.txt · Last modified: 2021/07/06 10:26 (external edit)