Jedrzej Pawel Maczan
[12.04.2021] Privacy Regained - In a nutshell
Privacy. I care about it.
I don't believe that you shouldn't worry about surveillance if you have "nothing to hide". Privacy is a basic human law and shouldn't be violated in any case.
Keeping privacy might be quite easy actually. Internet is full of privacy-related information, but amount of data might be overwhelming to some.
In order to help you keep your privacy, I prepared short yet useful list of tips and thoughts:
- If a service is free, then you might be a product. Think about it. Why your email provider shares his service for free? Why are your social media free of charge?
- Quit social media. You can argue, but no matter what - the big company gathers your personal and very sensitive data, including private messages and all your activity, not limited only to social media but even across the internet.
Your data leaks more often than you think. Do you really need be a part of system that exploits you?
You want be a product? It is more than likely that your data will leak. The question is not if, but when.
- Pick secure email provider. I suggest ProtonMail. It's based in Geneva, Switzerland - outside EU and USA. It's the most secure email provider, because both emails and your data are encrypted, so nobody can't read it, including the provider. ProtonMail is open source, so everyone can verify security of code.
- Choose secure browser and use privacy extensions. I suggest Firefox with extensions: HTTPS Everywhere, uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger. Modify about:config file and disable tracking features.
- Change search engine to safer alternative. Consider Qwant.
- Don't store your credentials in a browser. Use password manager to keep your passwords safe. I recommend Bitwarden.
- When asked by website, don't allow cookies unless you really need some certain feature related to storing your data. For most of the time, you don't need it.
- Use Two Factor Authentication. Even if your password leaks, it might save your arse. Authy might fit your needs.
- Use Linux. There are no safer alternatives. Most of the web is served by Linux. Even Android smartphones base on modified Linux kernel. Don't believe in myths, you don't have to be a geek or hacker to use Linux. I suggest starting with Ubuntu. Installation is simple. The Operation System and great amount of applications are free of charge.
- Diversify your providers. If you have to use services that might violate your privacy, then don't rely on single provider. Try to find more secure alternatives to as many services as possible.
- Use free and open-source software. It's powerful and respects your privacy.
- Use VPN.
- Use private messenger. Signal seems to be most secure these days.
- Don't log on other people PCs/smartphones
- Don't be lazy and read, educate and increase your awareness
If you can't apply all the hints, then apply as much as possible. Every single action towards your privacy is expression of care about your safe future.
For more comprehensive privacy resources, visit PrivacyTools.