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NYT: Yep, Liberal Tantrums and Identity Politics Are Helping Trump (Secure That Second Term) – Townhall

Posted: February 20, 2017 at 7:44 pm

There is an old story in politics from the 1950s, where Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson is approached by a confident aide who tells him that he has the thinking people on his side, to which Stevenson replies, ah, but I need a majority. Liberalism is rooted in condescension, which is hidden under the veneer of tolerance andsupportingfree speech. It is actuallyremarkable: a group of overly indoctrinated individuals have managed to successfully polish a turd–until now.

For liberals, Hillary Clinton was so amazingly qualified to be president. She could have been the first female president, and she had a long history of publicservice etc. except no one liked her. No one has ever really liked Hillary except hard-core liberals, and theyre not the majority of the country. She was also dishonest, inauthentic, not trustworthy, and overly secretive. These characteristics were hurled at her in the 1990s, and rehashed when her campaign stumbled endlessly trying to explain how her unsecure and unauthorized private email server was okay for her to use for official business secretary of state. The ethical quid pro quo allegations at the Clinton Foundationwere also another source of heartburn for the campaign. Though there was an absence of hard evidence, it appears a pattern as common: good things happened to big donors to the Clinton Foundation. Just take a look at the Rosatom takeover of Uranium One as an example. All feed into the notion that voters couldnt trust Hillary, that she was in it for herself, and that she was a typical politician:all talk, no action. She lost in one of the biggest political upsets in American history.

As liberals deal with ruins of their movement and the Democratic Party struggles to find its way out of political exile, theyre lashing out at Trump voters, even reluctant ones who theycould flip in 2020. Those who out themselves are then besieged by judgment by the urban-based elite, who still haven’t noticed that their way of thinking failed to win over voters. In fact, it was the opposite; millions of Obama voters voted for Trump. Talk about compounding the suck that is Hillary Rodham Clinton.

So, as liberals think theyre gaining ground with a Tea Party of their own (i.e. town hall protests)and continue to embrace identity politics because nothing says insanity than smashing your face against the same wall twice for a different result, they also have to know that its only emboldening Trump voters. The New York Times had an article that showed how even Democrats from the Clinton era are sick of the progressive antics that have taken over their party, namely that fact that BillClinton pretty much reiterated much of what Trump said about immigration. The only difference is that Bill was lauded for it; Trump is smeared as a racist. It also delves into how dating is becoming a game of cloak and dagger for some, with dates lying to their friends about political affiliations to avoid being shunned. While others make it very clear that theyre not interested in Trump supporters. So, in liberal America, your vote is all that defines you. And they say the GOP has an outreach problem.


Mr. Medford should be a natural ally for liberals trying to convince the country that Mr. Trump was a bad choice. But it is not working out that way. Every time Mr. Medford dips into the political debate either with strangers on Facebook or friends in New York and Los Angeles he comes away feeling battered by contempt and an attitude of moral superiority.


Liberals may feel energized by a surge in political activism, and a unified stance against a president they see as irresponsible and even dangerous. But that momentum is provoking an equal and opposite reaction on the right. In recent interviews, conservative voters said they felt assaulted by what they said was a kind of moral Bolshevism the belief that the liberal vision for the country was the only right one. Disagreeing meant being publicly shamed.

Protests and righteous indignation on social media and in Hollywood may seem to liberals to be about policy and persuasion. But moderate conservatives say they are having the opposite effect, chipping away at their middle ground and pushing them closer to Mr. Trump.


Conservatives have gotten vicious, too, sometimes with Mr. Trumps encouragement. But if political action is meant to persuade people that Mr. Trump is bad for the country, then people on the fence would seem a logical place to start. Yet many seemingly persuadable conservatives say that liberals are burning bridges rather than building them.


It is tempting to blame Mr. Trump for Americas toxic political state of mind. He has wreaked havoc on political civility and is putting American democratic institutions through the most robust stress test in decades. But many experts argue that he is a symptom, not a cause, and that the roots go deeper.


The Democratic Party has changed so much that I dont even recognize it anymore, she said. These people are destroying our democracy. They are scarier to me than these Islamic terrorists. I feel absolutely disgusted with them and their antics. It strengthens peoples resolve in wanting to support President Trump. It really does.

Polling data suggest many center-right voters feel the same way. The first poll by the Pew Research Center on presidential job performance since Mr. Trump took office showed last week that while he has almost no support from Democrats, he has high marks among moderates who lean Republican: 70 percent approve, while 20 percent disapprove.

Looks like liberals are doing a bang up job getting Trump that second term, especially those who work in Hollywood.

Milo Now OUT at CPAC After Shocking Video Emerges

Calls to Boycott Wegmans Backfire as Stores Sell Out of Trump Wine

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NYT: Yep, Liberal Tantrums and Identity Politics Are Helping Trump (Secure That Second Term) – Townhall

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City Talk: Following Pokemon Go’s evolution – Savannah Morning News

Posted: at 7:20 pm

After the introduction of Pokemon Go in summer 2016, I wrote a column about the ways in which the augmented reality game might impact local residents and visitors interactions with Savannahs built environment.

What have we learned in the last six months?

Not surprisingly, many players who downloaded Pokemon Go at its launch have quit the game. The breakneck pace of the early days was unsustainable.

But, with the release last week of Generation 2 of the virtual monsters, there has been a fresh surge of interest. In just six months of 2016, the game reportedly earned $950 million for its creator Niantic Labs, and it seems like the game can vault back to the top of the revenue charts whenever new content appears.

In recent months, Niantic has announced several significant sponsorship deals, including with Starbucks. Most Starbucks locations across the U.S. now serve as either stops or gyms in the game.

Pokemon Go generally works best in walkable places with prominent public spaces and notable buildings, so Savannahs older neighborhoods are perfect. The most active local Facebook group for Pokemon Go has grown to almost 2,000 members, and there are hundreds of players in smaller team groups.

I got hooked on the game last summer, so I can attest to a decline in players as the game stagnated in late 2016. Still, there is little doubt that this game and future ones like it have the ability to lure residents into spending much more time in the public realm sitting in squares, wandering along the riverfront, exploring different neighborhoods.

I see tourists playing Pokemon Go nearly every time I walk through Forsyth Park or the Landmark Historic District. Some are catching creatures as they walk, and many pause to battle at the virtual gyms, especially along the Bull Street corridor or River Street.

In the local Facebook group, there are periodic questions from prospective tourists about the state of the game in Savannah. While in New Orleans for Christmas, I looked for information about the game and subsequently spent part of an afternoon exploring City Park.

In November, a special Pokemon Go event lured tourists from around the world to the area of Japan that had been ravaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Given the success of Pokemon Go, we will likely see many games and educational apps that influence the choices of tourists and subtly change the landscape of the city, but I dont have a good guess about the ultimate magnitude of the changes.

City Talk appears every Sunday and Tuesday. Bill Dawers can be reached via billdawers@comcast.net. Send mail to 10 E. 32nd St., Savannah, GA 31401.

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Va. Senate upholds campus free speech – WTOP

Posted: at 7:03 pm

WASHINGTON The Virginia Senate has passed a bill that supporters say promotes campus free speech. But some lawmakers wonder why the law is needed when the U.S. Constitution already provides the First Amendment guarantee.

By a 364 vote, the Senate has followed the lead of the House of Delegates and passed the bill which reads, Except as otherwise permitted by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, no public institution of higher education shall abridge the freedom of any individual, including enrolled students, faculty and other employees, and invited guests, to speak on campus.

I wish this wasnt necessary, said Sen. Mark Obenshain, a Republican representing Virginias 26th District, the chairman of theCourts of Justice Committee.

Weve got examples that abound across the country of colleges and universities that have been unilaterally making decisions as to whats appropriate political speech on campus, he said.

During the brief debate in the Senate chamber, no one could offer an example of any such conflict pitting free speech against political correctness occurring on any Virginia campus, leading some members to wonder whether the bill was needed.

It seems to me that its akin to saying the sky is blue except on cloudy days, even on college campuses, but Im not sure why we need to put that language in the Code of Virginia, said Sen. Creigh Deeds, a Democrat representing Virginias 25th District.

But Senate supporters of the measure insisted that the bill was necessary to encourage healthy debate on the commonwealths campuses.

Free speech is uncomfortable at times, and it has to be a two-way street in order for it to be able to work, Obenshain said.

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Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion for Everyone Everywhere – ChicagoNow (blog)

Posted: at 7:02 pm

By James Kirk Wall, today at 5:35 pm

What if the rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens were global rights? Imagine if the people of Syria were able to protest their government without being massacred Imagine if women in Islamic countries had equal rights and privileges Imagine if nobody was imprisoned or murdered for expressing themselves Imagine if nothing was exempt from criticism be it a king or a cleric

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution is for U.S. citizens, but there is a document which grants these rights to every human being on earth.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948. This document contains the following Articles: Article 18 Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Article 19 Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Isnt it about time that the United Nations started strongly advocating its own foundational principles? Shouldnt any member be required to comply with these standards of human rights? Or does this organization simply serve as an elitist social club?

-James Kirk Wall

Please like my Facebook page at: Secular Philosophy Trumps Theocracy And my YouTube page at: Secular Philosophy Trumps Theocracy

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See Cincinnati from the International Space Station – Cincinnati.com

Posted: at 6:50 pm

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There are so many incredible views of the Queen City’s majesty thatchoosing just one risks not conveyingtheTristate’s true resplendency.

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The Cincinnati view from the front doors of the Wiedemann Mansion, a 1894 Samuel Hannaford & Sons designed mansion was the home of Charles Wiedemann, whose father George founded what was once the largest brewery in Kentucky. T(Photo: Amanda Rossmann/The Enquirer)Buy Photo

There are so many incredible views of the Queen City’s majesty thatchoosing just one risks not conveyingtheTristate’s true resplendency.

Ault Park, Mount Adams, Mount Echo, Bellevue Park and even the Cut in the Hill offer the best vistas. Which one is best? Hard to say, but there is a new contestant: The view of Cincinnati from the International Space Station.

On Saturday,NASA Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, who is currently on his space-age perch 250 miles above the world, tweeted the view of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky: “Hello Cincinnati! Nice view of the Great American Ball Park from @space_station.”

We can see all your houses from here!

Check out all the other views Kimbrough has shared on Twitter.

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Indian censorship board cuts the sex and swearing out of Moonlight – Digital Spy

Posted: at 6:45 pm

It might be one of the leading Oscar contenders, but Indian audiences won’t be seeing the full version of Moonlight.

Barry Jenkins’s critically acclaimed coming-of-age drama follows three periods in the life of Chiron, a young, black, queer man growing up poor in Miami, and his journey has been heavily cut in India.

A document posted to Reddit shows that all swearing is out, with every instance of “bitch”, “bitches”, “motherf**ker” and “dick” muted, and two sex scenes have been cut entirely, including kissing between two men.


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The cuts total 53 seconds, but two minutes and 20 seconds of anti-smoking disclaimers have been added, with one appearing at the beginning and one in the middle of the movie, plus a “static message with scroll wherever smoking scene appears”.

When we saw the full version of Moonlight, we described it as a “moving and visually beautiful film that speaks not only to gay or black audiences but to all of us”.


But will it be walking away with any awards at the Oscars on Sunday (February 26)?

Moonlight received eight nominations, including Best Picture, but was completely shut out at last week’s BAFTA Film Awards, despite being nominated in four categories.

However, last night (February 19) saw it win at the Writers Guild Awards, which makes it a clear favourite to scoop Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars. And Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali is widely expected to beat Lion’s Dev Patel to Best Supporting Actor, despite Patel’s BAFTA win.


Find out if Moonlight manages to defy La La Land at the Oscars on Sunday night. Here’s how you can watch it live in the UK.

Want up-to-the-minute entertainment news and features? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Digital Spy Facebook page and ‘Follow’ on our @digitalspy Twitter account and you’re all set.

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VR Sales Numbers Are Wet Blanket on Adoption Hopes – Fortune

Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:18 am

This time its different, right? Unlike the virtual-reality fad that fizzled 15 years ago, boosters say todays version of VR techbacked by the likes of Facebook ( fb ) , Google ( googl ) , and Samsungis going to be big.

Well, maybe not. Sales figures for 2016 are in, and theyre not exciting: The VR industry shipped 6.3 million devices and pulled in $1.8 billion in revenue, according to research firm Super Data. Thats below expectations, though analysts say it isnt terrible for an emerging technology.

Whats more telling is whos buying. Though VR has promise for business, most customers now are gamers. They love itVR game users reportedly engage in 40 sessions a month on average. But such hard-core fans aside, most people lack a compelling reason to shell out for the gear. Research firm Magid says that while interest in music and virtual travel is growing, theres a lack of clear value proposition besides early adopter enthusiasm.

One field that could drive sales? Porn, which has been a catalyst for other early Internet technologies. But VR may be out of luck there too. Early users have found the depiction of virtual partners strange and almost grotesque, says Super Datas Stephanie Llamas. And the content is still limited.

A version of this article appears in the March 1, 2017 issue of Fortune with the headline “Time for a (Virtual) Reality Check.”

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Museo Amparo – E-Flux

Posted: at 11:12 am

Toujours, the Museum as Witness A selection of works from CAPC Contemporary Art Museum Bordeaux February 18May 22, 2017

Museo Amparo 2 Sur 708 Centro Histrico 72000 Puebla, Pue. Mxico Hours: WednesdayMonday 10am6pm, Saturday 10am9pm

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Museo Amparo presents a selection of some of the most important works from the Collection of the CAPC Contemporary Art Museum Bordeaux, representative of different moments in its history. The show includes pieces from the early years after the Museums foundation as well as from the 1980s, when it became more established; it also highlights its role in presenting new generations of artists and curators that represent the zeitgeist of different periods.Toujoursreveals a collection in constant movement, aware of cultural constructs and the spirit and ideas of its time.

The exhibition titleToujours always in Frenchis taken from the sculpture by Jack Pierson that welcomes the visitors to the show. This word evokes the idea of the continuity of an institution, of a collection and of the works created by the artists that have shaped the history of the CAPC. With its different definitions, the idea of continuity also refers to the time that has passed since the Museums foundation, its activities, the consistency of its programs and the commitment of the teams that have worked there.

How does a piece of art transcend? The wordtoujoursalso alludes to the museums role as witness to history and to its main mission: acquiring, conserving, studying, and exhibiting its collection. This is why the show focuses on a selection of pieces that establish a dialogue between them. Conceptual pieces by artists such as Daniel Buren and Sol LeWitt, closely related to the Museums first program of exhibitions or presented in later shows organized by Harald Szeeman and Marie-Laure Bernadac, coexist with emblematic interventions by artists such as Annette Messager and pieces by more recent creators such as Leonor Antunes, Wolfgang Tillmans and Lili Reynaud-Dewar.

This selection of works seeks to underline the museums role and its historic responsibility in the construction of a collection. Each piece is a witness, an idea, an opinion and it forms part of the history of the period in which it was made. It can thus be said that the pieces acquire a new meaning, because a collection reflects the different ways in which artists are witnesses as well as active participants of their time.

Toujoursproposes an interpretation related to the current socio-political context and the continuity of certain historical phenomena. It also analyzes possible relationships between language, movement, and space. Each piece has its own cultural reference and when juxtaposed with others in a new context, a dialogue is established in which a new analysis can ariseanother point of view about the history of a place (which could be the museum) or about our common history.

Among the works included in the exhibition areWall Drawing no. 2, 196890 by Sol LeWitt that establishes a link between Minimalism and Conceptual Art.Encadrant-Encadr, 3 rythmes pour 4 murs, 1991, created specifically by Daniel Buren for his solo show at CAPC muse that year, occupies an important place in the CAPC collection.Inventaire photographique des objets ayant appartenu au jeune home dOxford, 1973, by Christian Boltanski, a representative piece of his ongoing research on memory, and the most recent acquisition, Somnium, 2011, by Rosa Barba, a film inspired on the novel of astronomer Johannes Kepler, considered the first science fiction novel. The images present an uncertain landscape, inhabited between fiction and reality.

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Barnaby Joyce condemns WA Liberals’ preference deal with One Nation – Daily Advertiser

Posted: at 11:03 am

13 Feb 2017, 1:04 p.m.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has condemned the Western Australian Liberal Party’s unprecedented decision to preference One Nation ahead of the Nationals at the upcoming state election, a deal that has been defended by Mr Joyce’s federal Liberal partners.

Prime Minister and Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull with Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop. Photo: Andrew Meares

Trade Minister Steven Ciobo has defended One Nation’s record defending the government, while Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has warned the deal could cost the Liberal Party government in WA. Photo: Andrew Meares

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has condemned the Western Australian Liberal Party’s unprecedented decision to preference One Nation ahead of the Nationals at the upcoming state election, a deal that is splitting opinion in the federal Coalition ranks.

Striking a different note to Liberal colleagues, former prime minister Tony Abbott agreed with the argument that One Nation leader Pauline Hanson was a “better person” today than when she was previously in Parliament but said the Nationals should be preferenced above all other parties.

While Mr Joyce described the deal as “disappointing”, cabinet colleague and Trade Minister Steve Ciobosaidthe Liberal Party should put itself in the best position to govern and talked up Ms Hanson’s right-wing populist party as displaying a “certain amount of economic rationalism” and support for government policy.

Mr Joyce said the conclusion “that the next best people to govern Western Australia after the Liberal Party are One Nation” needed to be reconsideredand the most successful governments in Australia were ones based on partnerships between the Liberals and Nationals.

“When you step away from that, there’s one thing you can absolutely be assured of is that we are going to be in opposition,” he told reporterson Monday morning.

“[WA Premier] Colin Barnett has been around thepoliticalgame a long while and he should seriously consider whether he thinks that this is a good idea or whether he’s flirting with a concept that would put his own side and Liberal colleagues in opposition.”

The deal will see Liberals preference One Nation above the Nationals in the upper house country regions in return for the party’s support in all lower house seats at the March 11 election.

The alliance between the more independent WA branch of the Nationals and the Liberals is reportedly at breaking point over the deal, which could cost the smaller rural party a handful of seats.

“Pauline Hanson is a different and, I would say, better person today than she was 20 years ago. Certainly she’s got a more, I think, nuanced approach to politics today,” Mr Abbott told Sydney radio station 2GB.

“It’s not up to me to decide where preference should go but, if it was, I’d certainly be putting One Nation ahead of Labor and I’d be putting the National Party ahead of everyone. Because the National Party are our Coalition partnersin Canberra and in most states and they are our alliance partners in Western Australia.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declined to criticise the deal, stating that preference deals in the state election were a matter for the relevant division who “have got make their judgment based on their assessment of their electoral priorities”.

Mr Ciobo joined the Prime Minister and other federal Liberal colleagues in defending the WA division’s right to make its own decisions.

“What we’ve got to do is make decisions that put us in the best possible position to govern,” he told ABC radio of the motivations of his own branch in Queensland.

After Industry Minister Arthur Sinodinos called the modern One Nation more “sophisticated” now, Mr Ciobo also praised the resurgent party.

“If you look at, for example, how Pauline Hanson’s gone about putting her support in the Senate, you’ll see that she’s often voting in favour of government legislation.There’s a certain amount of economic rationalism, a certain amount of approach that’s reflective of what it is we are trying to do to govern Australia in a fiscally responsible way.One Nation has certainly signed up to that much more than Labor.”

When in government, former Liberal prime minister John Howard declared that One Nation would always be put last on how-to-vote cards.

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How to Stay (Mostly) Anonymous Online – Newsweek – Newsweek

Posted: at 10:54 am

It may only be a slight exaggeration that companies know more about you than you do about yourself.

Fire up your cell phone or laptop if you have any doubts. Companies can predict what you want to buy and show you ads for them. They know your birthday. They can even tell when your teenage daughter is pregnant.

(I’m not making that last one up. Target famously made that discovery a few years ago.)

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In a series of recent surveysconducted by the Previous Pew Research Center, Americans consumers say they’re afraid they’ve lost control of their personal information and that companies aren’t doing enough to protect the customer data they collect. A majority of Americans (64 percent) have personally experienced a major data breach, the poll found.

“People are interested in disappearing online,” says Caleb Chen, who specializes in digital currency issues for London Trust Media, a provider of private internet products. “It’s a sign of the times.”

Lowering your profile is possible with a few simple steps and the right technology. But absolute anonymity online may be difficultperhaps even impossibleto achieve.

“The ability to eliminate your online footprint completely is a myth,” says David Cox, the CEO of LiquidVPN, a service that helps protect your location identity online. “However, there are many ways we can minimize our online footprint.”

One simple way to sweep up that trail of electronic breadcrumbs you leave is to instruct your browser to not be promiscuous with your personal information. For example, you can tell Chrome to disallow a site to track your physical location under Preferences and then by clicking Settings, followed by Advanced and Content Settings.

A lock icon, signifying an encrypted Internet connection, is seen on an Internet Explorer browser in a photo illustration in Paris April 15, 2014. Reuters

You can switch to a more privacy-conscious web search engine, like DuckDuckGo.com, that doesn’t collect or share personal information, or use “incognito” mode on your browser, which doesn’t share any personal data with the site you’re visiting.

“Also, stay logged out of online services such as Gmail and Facebook,” says Michael Gregg, president of Houston-based Superior Solutions Inc., an IT consulting firm. “That makes it harder for third parties to track your activity.”

The strategy is sound. If you don’t want everyone knowing who you are, you first have to stop telling everyone who you are. You can start by checking the privacy settings on your favorite social network, which may or may not be easy to find.

For example, on Facebook, you have to click on the arrow next to the question mark on the top left of your screen. Go to “Privacy” to review and change your account settings. On Twitter, you have to click on “Profile and settings” and then “Security and privacy.”

No, they don’t like to make it easyand for obvious reasons. That’s how social networks make their money. You are the product.

It shouldn’t take long to significantly diminish your digital footprint. But there’s still some work to be done before it’s eliminated.

A VPN, or virtual private network, is an application that encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through an intermediary server. As a result, the devices address is masked and third parties can’t track you.

“Most VPN providers utilize shared IP addresses on their servers,” explains Paul Bischoff, a privacy advocate for Comparitech.com, a services comparison site. “Multiple usersdozens, hundreds, and even thousandsare assigned a single IP address. This makes it nearly impossible to trace the activity of a single person in the pool.”

As an added bonus, a VPN allows you to effectively change your location with the click of a button. So if you’re in New York but you want your browser to think you’re in London, you can easily do that.

If you’re serious about eliminating your digital trail, you might also consider switching to the Tor Browser. Tor is a network of volunteer-operated servers that helps improve your privacy and security on the Internet. It works by creating a series of virtual tunnels rather than making a direct connection, which allows you to connect to places online without making a direct connection.

“Think of Tor surfing as taking a flight with stopovers instead of a nonstop,” explains S. Adam Rizzieri, the director of digital marketing for SevenTablets.com, a developer of mobile apps. “The traveler is your internet activity, which is comprised of packets of information. In a direct flight, the traveleryour packet of informationgoes from Point A to B and the originating flight is clear. In Tor browsing, you have layovers. You still get to Point B, but your point of origin is cloaked by layovers at Points C and D.”

And as you might expect, it does make the browsing experience a little slower. But no one will know who you are.

You can also scramble your message securely before sending it, which protects your identity and the information.

“If attackers can’t decipher or read any of the emails, their efforts are largely stymied and the owner of the email address maintains strong privacy and anonymity when it comes to their information being protected,” says Bill Bullock, the CEO of SecureMyEmail, which offers an encrypted email product.

There are hundreds of encryption products, far too many to mention in a single story. But they’re fairly easy to use and often cost little or nothing. For example, a service likeVirtu, which is a simple extension to your Chrome browser, offers military-grade encryption, allows you to control forwarding, permits you to take a message back and even expire an email.

But many of today’s encryption solutions are cumbersome to use, forcing the recipient to download software before they can read your message.

Maybe it’s worth pausing for a moment to ask how we got to this place. How did all of our personal information get carelessly strewn across the internet? While there are many reasons for why companies seem to know so much about us, and why we know comparatively little about them, one explanation seems inescapable: consumers collectively assigned almost no value to their privacy for too long.

And here we are.

In a world without secrets, these steps can ensure that you’ll keep a few more of yours. Checking your privacy settings, switching browsers, using a VPN and adding encryption can certainly help.

“But there’s only one surefire way to be invisible online,” says Ed Brancheau, the chief executive of the digital marketing agency Goozleology. “Don’t go online.”

Consumer advocateChristopher Elliott’s latest book isHow To Be The Worlds Smartest Traveler(National Geographic). You can get real-time answers to any consumer question on his new forum,elliott.org/forum, or by emailing him at chris@elliott.org.

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