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rights are your digital attack

tarekma7Your Digital Rights are Under Attack
Quote:Stand up for yourself on World Day Against Cyber-Censorship

This week we’re rallying around something you can’t necessarily see or feel, and something you definitely can’t taste, but it’s absolutely something you can’t live without. This juggernaut is called the internet, and every March 12 we pause to reflect on our digital rights.

World Day Against Cyber-Censorship was started by the team at Reporters Without Borders, an international non-profit that safeguards the right to freedom of information. They gave rise to this online event as a way to celebrate free expression on the internet. Depending on your location, the idea of “free expression on the internet” may seem like either a birthright and not something you think much about or a challenging problem you struggle against every day.

But what is censorship, anyway?
Censorship is nothing new — it’s the suppression of information by a government, school, private institution, or corporation. But internet censorship is still the wild, wild west because no one quite knows how far it will go, or how bad it will get.

There’s certainly no global consensus about how to maintain transparency online but that’s because the reality is, not all nations are created equal. Many countries face censorship or other assaults on their digital rights — one study by Freedom House, a think tank and research nonprofit, found that 26 out of 65 countries assessed in 2019 experienced a deterioration in internet freedom.

Since 2010, Reporters Without Borders has also published an “Enemies of the Internet” list (more on that below) and awarded a Netizen Prize to recognize a cyber-dissident who has contributed to promoting free expression on the internet. The winners tend to be bloggers and individuals hailing from countries with the least press freedoms (Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Eritrea, China, Vietnam, Sudan, Syria, Djibouti, Laos, and Cuba).

Think about the fact that more than seventy percent of imprisoned journalists were arrested for activities conducted on the internet.

Quote:Here are some steps you can take to stay in control:

Use a VPN. A VPN is good for many things but when it comes to avoiding censors, a VPN will hide your IP address, effectively making it impossible for governments and advertisers to track you online. Hiding your IP address provides you with total online anonymity and a chance to experience true online freedom.
Clear your browser history. Even with a VPN hiding your IP address, it’s still recommended to clear your browser history so there’s no log of your internet activity.
Use HTTPS, not HTTP. Be vigilant about using encrypted websites, both on public networks and at home. This means you want to stay away from any website that starts with “http://” — it means there is no encryption. In fact, using CyberGhost as your VPN will force all your web traffic to HTTPS pages when available.
Avoid “free” wireless hotspots. Never conduct or send sensitive data on public WiFi — including passwords, social media profiles, bank account numbers, or other sensitive information.
Consider a different search engine. Let me Google that for you: DuckDuckGo; Bitclave; Gibiru; and StartPage are some great search engines that do not track or store a user’s personal information. (Unlike Google, which knows a lot about you!)
The fight for digital freedom of expression and limiting censors’ influence in our lives is more essential than ever.

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