In the age of Edward Snowden, NSA spying and international incidents, the public's awareness of Internet privacy has never been higher. The thought of governments, corporations and hackers snooping on your online habits is more than just a little scary. Yet nearly everything you do online, every website you visit, every download and every email leaves your virtual footprints that tech-savvy spies or hackers can follow.
Whenever you visit a website, it can record details about who you are, where you are and even what computer and software you are using. Those details include your unique IP address that can be traced back to your exact location, often times even without your permission.
You're basically broadcasting your identity to anyone who might care to look. But there are ways to hide your Internet tracks. Though it may sound like some high tech spy gear, there is free software available right now that bounces your Internet signal around through so many different computers around that it becomes untraceable.
If this seems very cloak-and-dagger like, maybe it's because this was originally designed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory to protect government communications. But it will work as well for your computer. Journalists, activists, military and government agencies use this software. But this isn't just an exclusive club. Regular folks like you and me can also get those benefits.