About two weeks ago I was contacted by Sophie Hunt from Comparitech. To be honest I had never heard from that company and so I actually overlooked her first mail in my Spam folder (my apologies). Thankfully, Sophie sent another mail and I realized that for the first time someone actually contacted me because of my blog. My old blog that is, which I now use for personal things. More specifically, she referred to a post from 2012.
It turns out Sophie found this while doing research on how to protect your identity online. In my post I wrote about a service that was supposed to help people assess their vulnerability in terms of privacy (or rather lack thereof). Apparently the service is now abandoned and the site I linked to now spots some very malicious looking links (see the actual article, I’m not gonna link it again here). So in the end, instead of offering people a way to improve their online security I was accidentally advocating a site that ultimately could undermine it.
Granted, it’s more than unlikely someone finds my old article and then blindly falls for any trap the linked site might set up, but you never know. Sophie did find it, after all.
So now I removed the link to the service (and I will actually include a link to this post here). Even better, Sophie offered an alternative article about staying anonymous on the net. It covers way more aspects than just what the service mentioned in my old article tackled, so that’s even better. In fact, this entire things shows that it’s important to not just rely on some service to protect you, but to familiarize yourself with the entire topic of personal security on the web. One helpful tool might fail or vanish, but if you know what this all is about (or at least have a general understanding about the options you have), you can mitigate this.
If you’re in need of staying anonymous at least occasionally, give the article a read (especially whistleblowers, journalists etc. need to know this stuff in my opinion)!