We already kn0w Google checks our Gmail to see what ads we might be susceptible to. Advertisers track us from one site to another via retargeting. Hackers want to crack our Wi-Fi, and identify thieves want to steal our online personas.

(They work so well I apparently ordered 13 laptops in 15 minutes from Walmart.com a few months ago.)

And now it turns out that our own government appears to be illegally surveilling us with the aid of major American companies — thousands of them — and British companies as well.

What can you do about it besides march, shout, and protest?

Essentially, you can fight back by making your devices and your data harder nuts to crack, with technologies like VPNs that encrypt your Internet traffic and habits like strong passwords, deleting cookies, and being very stingy with personal information.

For some of us — moi — it’s likely a lost cause. For the rest of us, here’s how we’re being spied upon, and some tips on how to minimize it:

who is spying