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Mitnick In The News


Anonymous Online Shopping Don’t Come Easy—Or Cheap

Apr 3, 2018 - Geek.com, by Stephanie Mlot

To paraphrase Hall & Oates: Tech companies, they’re watching you; they see your every move.

Which makes it difficult to do just about anything on the Web without being tracked.

But one hacker security expert has a few tips on how to avoid those prying eyes while shopping online.

Kevin Mitnick—best known for his high-profile mid-’90s arrest, trial, and five-year prison sentence for computer-related crimes—collaborated with CBS News to outline the steps necessary for evading digital pursuit.

Your first move: Buy a prepaid gift card. The kind Visa and MasterCard sell, pre-loaded with funds. Instead of being linked to a bank account or providing a line of credit, the amount is limited by the value assigned to the card.

If you’re really serious about this whole anonymity thing, go ahead and purchase a new computer. (One not associated with anyone’s Internet history.) Then pick up a hotspot to connect to the Web and a mobile phone to register for email accounts.

“So we’re buying a burner phone to register for things online?” CBS’s Tony Dokoupil asked.

“Right, and also have a call-back number because when you do online shopping, they always want to have a phone number,” Mitnick explained.

The process really requires a clean slate—and a bit of pocket change. CBS reportedly invested some $400 on equipment, just to ensure companies had “no way to associate our real identities with what we were doing online.”

“When you want more security, it’s more inconvenient,” Mitnick admitted.

“People will go to the trouble of anonymizing themselves to protect their privacy,” he told CBS.

But simply opening an “incognito” window in your browser is not enough.

“When you normally go on your computer at your home or office, you’re assigned an IP address by your Internet service provider,” he continued. “And it’s quite easy to, you know, track that type of information.”

The smallest mistake, like shipping items to your home address, could collapse the entire house of cards you so painstakingly (and expensively) built.

This cool article and other interesting ones can be found at the source.