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How to Stop the NSA From Spying on You

It’s no secret that the NSA uses mass surveillance to spy on you. But is there anything you can do to block the government agency’s prying eyes? Yes and no. Though you can’t entirely stop the NSA from spying on you, you can reduce your chances of being targeted. Learn how NSA surveillance works and how to detect and stop certain spy methods—then use Clario AntiSpy for comprehensive protection against cyber spies.

Table of contents

How NSA conducts surveillance

The NSA’s primary mission is to collect and analyze foreign communications and data in the interest of national security. Though the government agency has played an integral part in the security of the United States and other parts of the world, some of its surveillance programs have raised privacy and civil liberties issues.


Does the government spy on us? Let’s see. In 2013, former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower, Edward Snowden, leaked classified documents that exposed a mass data collection program that monitors private citizens. But that’s just one of the many spy methods the NSA employs.


Here are the general ways the NSA conducts spying:

Let's get into the specifics of these NSA spying methods:

Mass surveillance programs

A majority of NSA surveillance is conducted through records from private companies. Through the PRISM program, the NSA collects digital communication from at least nine major companies, like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo!, AOL, and YouTube. Though this data is collected for commercial purposes, if the NSA asks for it, these companies are obligated to share it.


Data collected by companies may include:

  • Emails
  • Text documents
  • Photos
  • Location information
  • IP addresses
  • Browsing history
  • Video call content.

The PRISM program is the primary source of information for the NSA’s reports. The revelations from Snowden’s leaks exposed the unsettling extent of digital surveillance. Considering the popularity of the websites involved, it indicates that the government agency has personal data on a large volume of individuals.

Signals Intelligence

Signals intelligence (SIGINT) involves the interception, collection, and analysis of electronic signals and communications. With the help of telecom providers, the NSA can intercept phone calls, text messages, and internet traffic. The agency also collects and stores a vast amount of bulk metadata, including phone records and internet traffic information.

Cooperation with foreign intelligence

The NSA collaborates and shares information with foreign intelligence agencies and exchanges information via alliances like Five Eyes (U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand). These co-operations help the NSA surveillance programs have a “longer reach” in the world.

Legal framework

Though the NSA’s activity may seem questionable, they (mostly) operate under the law. Through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the NSA is allowed to collect intelligence on foreign targets.

Data analysis and processing

As mentioned above, the NSA collects vast amounts of data—often randomly. The NSA uses advanced technology and algorithms to analyze the data it collects. Their methods employ AI, data mining, and pattern recognition.


Are you wondering: how do I stop the NSA from spying on me? Though you can’t stop them completely, there are ways to minimize spying. But first, let's learn how to detect the signs of NSA spying.

How to tell if the NSA is spying on you

Considering the scope of NSA surveillance programs, there’s a likelihood that the NSA is spying on your online data. But how does the NSA spy on us? As mentioned above, they mainly focus on mass surveillance programs, like PRISM—as well as other data collection methods. However, it’s also possible they have other classified methods for spying.


Understanding the signs of electronic spying can help you tell if the NSA is spying on you. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Unusual network activity: Keep an eye out for unexpected network or data activity, including unexpected uploads or downloads, unusual data usage, or frequent network drops.
  • Unusual device behavior: Signs of surveillance can include unexpected shutdown, rapid battery draining, or unusual messages.
  • Strange electronic interference: Is someone spying on your phone? Signs of call monitoring can include strange hums or echoes while on the line.
  • Physical interactions: Are you seeing unmarked vans or suspicious people around your home or places you frequent? Perhaps you and people you know are being questioned by people claiming to be government officials? These are big signs that the NSA is spying on you.

It’s not always obvious when you’re being spied on. That’s why it’s crucial to supplement vigilance with a dedicated cybersecurity app like Clario AntiSpy. Our app includes a Safe browsing feature that will automatically detect and notify you of tracking attempts of your online accounts.


Online tracking detection is one of many advantages. Safe browsing includes anti-malware, ad blocker, and web security software to guide you through safe browsing paths.


Here’s how to use Clario AntiSpy’s Safe browsing:

  1. Download Clario AntiSpy and set up an account
  2. On the dashboard, click Safe browsing
Click Safe browsing on the Clario AntiSpy dashboard to enable Clario's web extension

3. Install and enable the Clario AntiSpy extension for Chrome or Safari

Follow the on-screen prompts to install and enable the Clario AntiSpy web security extension

4. Once enabled, Clario AntiSpy will notify you of any danger you might face online.

Ways to stop NSA from spying on you

Though you can’t keep the NSA from spying on you entirely, you can limit their attack vectors. Here are ways to protect yourself from NSA spying:

  1. Remove browser extensions
  2. Keep devices and operating systems up to date
  3. Avoid online shopping and social media apps
  4. Search using a private browser
  5. Browse with a VPN
  6. Use encrypted chats
  7. Pay with cash or bitcoins

Now let’s delve a little deeper into these tried and tested methods to boost your online anonymity:

1. Remove browser extensions

Though browser extensions can introduce nifty features, they can also access your browsing history. Some can also serve you ads and use tracking scripts to steal your data. Most extensions aren’t necessary, deleting them will help ensure that your data doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

2. Keep devices and operating systems up to date

Many spies rely on software vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to your devices and data. Device and OS updates can include patches to newly discovered vulnerabilities. Clever spies are always finding new ways to access systems—updates ensure you’re on top of the latest threats.

3. Avoid online shopping and social media apps

Online shopping and social media apps are understandably popular. But consider the amount of personal information that can be found in these apps, including photos, financial data, location info, etc. This highly compromising data can be sold for financial gain or given away to others, including the NSA.

4. Search using a private browser

Most of the well-known browsers will not cover your online trail when you search—this includes when you use private tabs, like Incognito mode. Most browsers track and store user activity. Though it’s mostly used for advertising, if the NSA were to ask for this data, companies usually oblige them.


To ensure your web searches won’t be intercepted, use a privacy-focused browser like DuckDuckGo or Thor. Make sure your browser does not track you and that they have a strong commitment to user privacy.

5. Browse with the help of a VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts your entire internet connection and masks your IP address. It’s one of the most effective ways to boost your online privacy. Hide from your internet service provider, companies, trackers, and other snoops. But make sure you use a reputable service. Sketchy VPN services may compromise your security—defeating the whole purpose.

6. Use encrypted chats

Many of the standard messaging services, like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, keep logs of your conversions—which could be handed over to the NSA through its PRISM program. Encrypted messaging services will not keep logs and they’ll prevent others from intercepting your private conversations.

7. Pay with cash or bitcoins

Credit card and PayPal transactions are easy to trace for the NSA. They can track what you are purchasing, as well as your locations. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin makes sure that your online transactions are totally private. And when possible, cash also guarantees there is no electronic trail between you and your purchases.


Unfortunately, there’s little you can do to totally block the NSA from spying on you—but you can minimize the data that you expose. In general, having less of an online trail can help limit damages from potential spying incidents. You can also take a proactive approach with an antispy tool, like Clario AntiSpy.


The data breach monitor will check your online accounts for spies and notify you if your data has been leaked. The AntiSpy scan will let you know if your device has been compromised. Safe browsing will stop ads and tracks—while protecting you from phishing attempts. Being a lawful citizen, you have the right to privacy. Protect it with Clario AntiSpy.

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