The recent PRISM scandal has validated both the general public's growing unease with federal law enforcement agencies, and many of the fringe element's accusations about Big Brother's online behavior. Whether or not it's legal under the PATRIOT Act, just knowing that the government can rummage through your online life doesn't sit well with many folks. Here are some simple and effective ways of keeping your digital identity anonymous and your data your own.
Encryption has been around as long as the written word. In fact, written language itself is a form of encryption, albeit with a widely understood and publicly available decoding key (ie the ability to read Mandarin or Portuguese or English). Private data encryption, on the other hand, encodes the information on a hard drive, memory stick, cloud locker, or other storage medium so that without the proper "key" (that hopefully only the sender and intended recipient have access to), all the data appears as gibberish (same as trying to read Mandarin).
For the rest of the story: http://gizmodo.com/three-steps-you-can-take-to-protect-yourself-from-onlin-514329818