Are you secure on the Internet? NO! Will you ever be secure on the Internet? Probably not. Why? Because if someone who knows how really wants to get into your network, then they will. Ultimately things like viruses and malware, much of what might have been written by mathematicians working for organizations that value security the most who are trying to breach the security of their competitors, can be very easily placed on your computer through an innocent piece of email you open when you’re not being completely and totally paranoid – it’s called a phishing attack. What better way to spread intrusive software than something like Windows Updates?
Yes you can encrypt your hard drive with Bitlocker (from Windows) or an OpenSource option like TrueCrypt, you can use VPNs and all sorts of complicated stuff but if you consider that maybe a large chunk of the trained mathematical talent works on Wall Street, and the other half works on encryption technology for military signals intelligence units around the world, then how secure is encryption really? Also consider that VPNs rely on encryption and obfuscated IP addresses, and that there are rumors that many Tor servers are set up, owned and run by security organizations around the world so that they can find and track people who use it for illegal purposes.
The fact is this, the more privacy you seek, the more you will be secure from identity theft, which can be found with available services; however, the more you will attract attention from sources that wonder why you do. So it’s not really government organizations we need to protect ourselves from but individuals with relatively low levels of sophistication, and the key is perhaps like anything else, just do it in moderation.
Is it possible that a solution to the privacy problem is one of turning ourselves all into narcissists and voyeur’s? Can we simply put cameras into all public places, and allow the police, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and also the general public at large to watch? So everyone watches everyone – given that privacy is not going to come back then perhaps me might just as well deny everyone privacy, including the people who watch others now.