• Which Internet Providers are Most Secure?
  • November 27, 2013 | Author: Andrew M. Hinkes
  • Law Firm: Berger Singerman LLP - Fort Lauderdale Office
  • 2013 may be remembered as the year that users became afraid of the Internet. Instagram made selling your face its business model, only to change its mind. Google is using your face for marketing, too. The NSA revealed that it isspying on your mobile phone, your email and your social media accounts, along with many foreign governmentleaders. The Internet is no longer a safe cuddly place - security and privacy are the new imperative.

    As was suggested by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the best ways to protect your online data is through encryption.

    As discussed in depth by Gizmodo (with thanks to EFF) in this great article, although there are reports that the NSA has busted encryption, encryption remains the best way to protect the privacy of your data. By encrypting data, the government cannot simply “sniff” the traffic and read it. So, which of the major internet email providers and social media companies provides you with the best security? The big winners appear to be Google, Dropbox, SpiderOak,Sonic.net, and soon, Yahoo. Each of those web sites uses HTTPS, which encrypts internet traffic, encrypts cookies, encrypts internal traffic (i.e. communications between internal servers and internal data centers), uses STARTTLS, which encrypts cross platform email over the internet (for example, email sent from a Gmail account to Hotmail account), and forward secrecy, which prevents access to encrypted data even if the encryption is compromised in the future.

    So what’s the legal spin here? It’s simple. If you are concerned about your privacy, use the right tools. If you value your privacy, move your data away from service providers who do not take your privacy and security seriously. If you are a party with a fiduciary duty to protect client data (like a lawyer or health service provider), make sure you store data and communicate with your clients using tools that provide the highest level of security.