While USENET may have been around for upwards of 30 years, there are still a lot of people who are just discovering it. One of the most common questions that users have about the USENET system is whether or not it is secure. The answer to this question, in part, depends upon how you use it. Starting with the basics, let’s take a look at downloading.
Our top eight USENET providers all provide secure and anonymous downloading on their services. This is accomplished through an SSL connection. SSL encryption is the same type of encryption that online payment gateways, banks and other entities frequently use to prevent you from being spied upon while you’re sending or receiving sensitive information.
If you’re downloading off of a paid USENET service that offers you SSL encryption, you can have confidence that your privacy is being protected. There are free USENET services out there, but it’s important to keep in mind that the paid services do give you something for your money. For those individuals who are very concerned about their privacy when using the USENET system, a paid account means knowing for sure that SSL encryption is being used to keep you anonymous and safe.
Uploading to the USENET system is a different story. Anonymity options are limited when you upload, but there are ways that you can upload to the system with increased anonymity and better privacy.
One option involves what is called jurisdictional layering. Jurisdictional layering, from a practical standpoint, simply means getting your USENET service from a provider outside of your home nation. This creates a legal barrier to getting information from your USENET provider about your uploading habits and is a frequent solution for those who are very concerned about remaining private.
Another anonymizing option involves using a public university. Some public universities provide access to the USENET system that does not require you to use any identifying credentials. This is another viable solution to uploading with an acceptable degree of anonymity and privacy.
Most USENET users will simply be downloading from the system, in all likelihood. If this is how you’re using the system, make certain that you have SSL enabled on your connection. In addition to SSL security, you may want to consider downloading with a VPN connection so that your traffic is thoroughly encrypted and so that it is as inaccessible as possible to anybody who would want to try to spy on you while you are using the USENET system.