I don’t use these programmes myself but I find it reassuring to know that they’re available.
HTTPS Everywhere – HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox extension that makes all requests to websites for their ‘secure’ version. Some sites have both secure (httpS) and unsecure (http) versions. This extension means that you’ll always go to the secure version, if its available. Which should make eavesdropping on your browsing that much harder.
And then of course there’s TOR (who helped make HTTPS Everywhere). This lets you browse the web anonymously without anyone being able to track you. Why would you want to do this? I don’t want to know, but you might. And now you can.
If you happen to run your own server but don’t need your own anonymity consider running a TOR node. Or set one up in the clouds. Help someone who needs it to surf anonymously.
TOR helped the EFF make HTTPS Everywhere. That’s the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sort of an ACLU in CyberSpace. Check out some of the stuff the Electronic Frontier Foundation is involved in and you might find a use for those security programmes after all.
A new one to me is the YaCy (Ya-See)earch engine. I read about it on BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15935550) and, if you have a lot of bandwidth, consider installing it on your computer and running your own search engine server as part of a distributed network. Many hands make light work. – Of course my sister would suggest using a ‘charity search engine’ – like GoodSearch, or EverySearch, or one of the several others you can find with a websearch – where the advertisement kickbacks from your searches go to charity. Make a donation with someone else’s money. What could be better than that?