Protect Your Online Identity from Government Surveillance

President Trump’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently issued a public notice that indicates the department has expanded the records it retains in immigrants’ files to include “social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results.”  Read about this disturbing trend on the ACLU national website here.

This has raised legitimate concerns that DHS is going to spy on social media and internet usage of immigrants, naturalized citizens, refugees, and citizens who communicate with immigrants.

If you don’t feel comfortable with your personal life and social media information in anyone else’s hands, then here are some tips to protect your privacy.

●     Learn how to protect your privacy online.

1.    Lock down the privacy settings of, or delete your social network profiles. This includes sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tinder, and any shopping sites you may have registered with, like Amazon and others.

2.    Use services like DeleteMe, that can make it easier to delete your personal information from the internet, including from data brokers like Intelius and Equifax who collect this information.

3.    Check with your phone company or cell provider to make sure you aren't listed online.

4.    Contact site webmasters individually to remove content. If they don’t comply, you can send a legal request to Google.

5.    If outdated information is still showing up in search results, send a request to remove it.

6.    Anonymize or delete your email accounts.

For more detailed instructions on these steps, visit:

●     Use TOR to help you safely and securely use the internet. This free software can help you defend against network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy.

●     Using a Virtual Private Network adds a layer of security to both private and public networks.

●     Use encrypted text messaging like Signal, which ensures no one can read your messages or see your calls, or FireChat.

●     See an example of how this could affect your life.

Use these tools to protect yourself from the Trump Administration’s invasive surveillance.

Stay tuned and support the ACLU of Wisconsin as we fight to protect your rights. 

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