I know many people that just type in the usual Google public DNS when they need to add one to a computer or server. It’s easy right!? Just remember 126.96.36.199 and/or 188.8.131.52 it’s a no brainer! But what are we REALLY doing when we use Google for DNS?
Your chosen DNS servers translate domains (xyz.com) to IP addresses (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx). So your name servers know every domain you have accessed since they did the job of translating them to IP address of the servers hosting the site. This is some pretty juicy information for a company like Google or even your ISP that provides your DSL or Cable Internet access. If you are already using Google services like search and Gmail using their name servers adds to the bounty of information they collect about you.
Maybe you just hate that your ISP hijacks your browser every time you type in an address wrong? Giving your their recommendations that are ad driven.
“How can I not leak all my information!?”
OpenNIC DNS can help solve this issue and give you some added features. It is simple to change the DNS servers.
You can also take it one step further and use DNScrypt to secure your queries. Just choose your closest geographic OpenNIC DNS servers from the list that offer DNScrypt support.
Another added bonus of using OpenNIC is they support Namecoin (.bit) domain names and offers for free a list of their own Top Level Domains (TLDs).
It is hard to wean yourself off of services like Google that are in actuality a key player in what many call the surveillance economy. Which equates to giving your information and privacy away for free services. A simple change like your DNS and using a search engine that does not track you can be a huge step to taking back control of your privacy.
In today’s world where we post pictures of ourselves and pretty much everything around us there is the known risk of people being able to track you by the EXIF data with GeoTagging. But now a picture’s location can be determined by purely the image itself. No metadata needed.
There are many other things that can be a bad idea to take pictures of in your daily life. Namely, make sure you do not go on a live cam or take a picture with identifying information about you in it. Something such as a credit card could leave you exposed to a lot of grief.
NEVER have your keys of any kind in pictures since they are easily duplicated from an image.
It may also be a bad idea to have your fingerprints in high-res images. No one has come out admitting to the technology but the same that applies to facial recognition could soon, if not already identify you even more than just the facial recognition. Some “hackers” have shown it possible in a very time consuming manner but it is a proof of concept that is over a year old. By taking a “selfie” today you may be adding yourself to a massive database tomorrow. The technology is already being used widely.
Your image could be posted in many cases with no knowledge that a photo was even taken by you. I have seen myself in photos on Yelp where I happened to be in the restaurant when some stranger was taking a picture to post with their review. So at the time without my even knowing I was geotagged there. So between my own posting of images, strangers, public/private video cameras and the information my phone may leak I can go back in time and track my own movements.