Surfing adult sites securely
Posted May 27, 2010on:
One of the most popular questions we get asked, is how do I surf porn without my kids seeing what I have done? Goes along with, Which browser should I use from Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome or Opera? How do I cover my tracks from the family, friends, work colleagues, Police? What do I do if I think I saw child porn accidentally?
Although controversial with some theologies and moral compasses, here in the Netherlands it is considered a healthy sexual outlet to view adult material. A short walk around the Red Light district gives tourists an insight into this country’s views. Low teenage pregnancy rates, from educating children about sexual and personal health while still young enough for it to help, seems to be the benefit compared to the UK. Children are exposed to adult material from TV, the Internet and the sex industry at an earlier age, so through desensitisation, sex is taken as just another part of human life and no big deal is made about it. The Secure IT Foundation does not take a moral standpoint on adult material, we are interested from the security point of view. Just like sex, if you are going to do it, then do it safely!
The best advice we give is treat your adult surfing and day to day web surfing as separate activities, especially if you have children in the home or you share a computer. You may not want your children to know you like viewing material featuring teenagers not much older than them, or fantasise about being the opposite sex. Our secure approach to adult material is given below:
First the Don’ts!
- Never use your home computer to view adult material directly
- Never store adult material on your home computer
- Never bookmark / add to favourites / save web links to adult material on your home computer
- Never give out your real personal information, family information, credit card details or other financial information
- Never use Internet Explorer, even with InPrivate mode, as you will still be vulnerable from installing malware
- Never use Firefox’s private mode as bookmarks may still be visible to other users
- Never surf adult material in work, unless you are being paid to do it!
Now the Do’s
- Use a Linux live CD – you boot your computer from the Linux live CD e.g. Ubuntu or Knoppix, not your hard drive. It uses your computer’s memory to run and unless you enable it, will not save any information to your hard drive. Once you shutdown your computer, your browsing session is cleared as the computer memory is lost when you shut down.
- Use Firefox as your browser, mostly standard on Linux these days.
- Use an online bookmark service e.g. www.bookmarksonline.org to save your adult favourite websites for Firefox – register for it, using a new web based email account created purely for this service.
- Store files using an online file storage service like DropBox and use an encrypted TrueCrypt volume to keep it private.
- Take care, if you like specialist material as the Internet is widely monitored. If you think you have visited an illegal site or seen illegal material then you should report it to the IWF in the UK, Meldpunt Kinderporno op de Internet in the Netherlands, or see the InHope site for your country. You should do this before you shutdown your current session, as even if you shutdown your IP address will lead back to your home, and you could have law enforcement seizing your computer. They will not find any illegal material directly by looking at your computer, provided that you used a Linux live CD, but your family, friends or work will know you have been arrested. Remember that a one off accidental visit to illegal material that gets reported will be treated very differently to a person who repeats the visit, emails the link, stores the images or videos or pays for a specialist service using their own credit card.
Be safe, have fun but keep it legal and away from children…