With recent headlines about NSA snooping on US citizen email, phonecalls, text messages, and social media posts -- its easy to feel that privacy is a thing of the past.
There actually are ways to protect yourself from un-warranted intrusions into your personal communications.
Every time you use a regular search engine, your search data is recorded. Major search engines capture your IP address and use tracking cookies to make a record of your search terms, the time of your visit, and the links you choose - then they store that information in a giant database. Those searches reveal a shocking amount of personal information about you, such as your interests, family circumstances, political leanings, medical conditions, and more.
StartMail will soon be ready for beta testing, and will offer users an secure, encrypted email option, secure from government eavesdropping.
There are probably many other good options depending on your own personal needs.
Regardless of your personal feelings about the NSA privacy intrusions -- we all need to become more aware of ways to protect our personal data from criminals, or those who would use that data to do us harm.
And while lively debate blankets the media, it doesn't hurt to consider options to protect yourself, and your data.