Privacy is one of the biggest problems in this new electronic age, Andy Grove
Privacy is an inherent human right, and a requirement for maintaining the human condition with dignity and respect, Bruce Schneier
We are living in difficult times, there is no doubt about it. Privacy is both a human right and a necessity, and big companies, tech titans, governments, small companies, and hackers constantly attacking and diminishing our privacy has a corrosive and perversive effect on all of us.
Unfortunately, there is a plethora of malware, such as ransomware, viruses, spyware, computer worms, and Trojan horses attacking our privacy.
As an introduction you can read our article How to protect yourself and your privacy. This article is designed to illustrate other actions you can take to protect yourself and your privacy in these uncertain times:
Between Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, etc., Google knows too much about us. Alternative search engines that respect your privacy are: DuckDuckGo, Startpage, “the world’s most private search engine” and searx.
Use a privacy-focused browser: Brave, Firefox, and Tor. Google’s Chrome browser is a privacy nightmare. Do not install unnecessary extensions, plugins or themes to the web browser.
Hardening your browser: HTTPS everywhere is an extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure. uBlock Origin is a wide-spectrum blocker. It blocks ads, trackers, and malware sites. It is highly recommended. Privacy Badger is a browser extension that automatically learns to block invisible trackers.
Email services are not safe, they are completely insecure. Do not send sensitive data or information in an email, whether written in the body or as an attachment. Best options are: Proton Mail and Tutanota.
Messaging: Telegram and Signal. Avoid Google, big tech, and social media (Twitter and Facebook); they use and justify censorship to control what information is available to us, and threaten our privacy.
“Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook restricting a story about Joe Biden’s son during the 2020 election was based on FBI misinformation warnings” (BBC). “The FBI colluded with Big Tech to silence news stories weeks before the 2020 election in an attempt to control your access to information,” Kevin McCarthy.
Use free and open source operating systems (Windows is a nightmare; macOS is better; and GNU/Linux distributions are the best), applications (LibreOffice/OpenOffice -Microsoft Office-, Gimp -Photoshop-, VLC, 7zip, Audacity, KeePassXC), and drivers. Besides, there are security best practices for Windows and macOS.
Clean your PC of unneeded data, trackers, cookies, junk files, etc.
OnionShare is an open source tool that lets you securely and anonymously share files, host websites, and chat with friends using the Tor network.
Mobile platforms. Your best options are: Stock Android is the basic OS which is released by Google; iOS; use custom ROMs (Graphene OS). GrapheneOS is the most private and secure mobile OS.
Dumb phones are cheap, they simplify your life, take your mobile experience back to the basics, and can improve your productivity, social life, privacy and security.
Use a password manager to store and manage all your passwords, so you don’t need to try to memorize a bunch of unique, complex passwords for all of your personal and work accounts
Set a password in your BIOS. It ensures that no one can boot your computer and enter it if they do not know the password, thus improving security.
Use laptop locks as an easy and cheap way of securing your laptop at your workplace or in public places.
If you have a computer or laptop with important, private, or sensitive files, data, and information, you should encrypt your entire drive.
Use Linux as much as possible. Install Windows/Linux in a virtual machine, use a double-boot system with both Windows and Linux operating system installed, or use GNU/Linux (Tails, Ubuntu) from a USB drive.
Sign-in using a security key, i.e., a physical security key, e.g., YubiKey 5 NFC or Titan Security Key.
Tails is a portable operating system that protects you against surveillance and censorship. Use Ventoy to create a bootable USB, then drop the Tails ISO inside the USB drive or you may want to use it in a virtual machine created with VirtualBox or KVM.
Protect your router
It is your first line of defense. Protect your router by changing the default user name, password, and network name (also known as the SSID) and using a high level of wireless encryption (WPA 3, WPA2-PSK AES).
Ask yourself if you need Wifi or not. If the answer is no, just turn if off in the router’s configuration settings.
Change the default administrator password.
Turn on WPA2-PSK (AES) encryption.
Change the default SSID ― your network name ―.
If you want to go one step further, enable MAC address filtering, so only the devices with MAC addresses listed in the router will be allowed to connect.
To find out your MAC address type ipconfig /all at the command prompt in Windows or ifconfig in GNU/Linux.
Basic hacking. PhoneInfoga
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