ONLINE SECURITY 101: TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR PRIVACY FROM HACKERS AND SPIES
This simple advice will help to protect you against hackers and government surveillance.
Got nothing to hide? Think again.
Privacy is what sets us apart from the animals. It’s also what sets many countries and citizens apart from dictatorships and despots. People often don’t think about their rights until they need them — whether it’s when they’re arrested at a protest or pulled over for a routine traffic stop.
Surveillance is also a part of life, and it’s getting progressively more invasive. Government eavesdropping is increasing, carried out in wider secrecy, and it’s becoming far more localized. In fact, the last three presidents have pushed for greater surveillance: Clinton introduced mandated wiretapping laws, Bush expanded mass domestic surveillance, and Obama expanded the intelligence service’s reach — just in time for Trump.
Now, with a new president in the Oval Office, many are concerned about the future of their fundamental freedoms and constitutional rights.
There is no such thing as perfect security. But no matter who you are or where you are in the world, there are a lot of things you can do — many of which are simple — to protect yourself in this turbulent time.
THE SIMPLE STUFF
Your privacy, at its core, relies on your data being secure. There are some professions — such as government workers, journalists, and activists — who face far more and complex threats than the average citizen, who should usually only worry about tech companies tracking them to serve up the best kinds of ads, or government bulk data collection of their personal records. But everyone can take the basic advice and modify it on varying degrees.
While most apps and services nowadays secure your data with encryption on their servers to prevent data from being readable if hacked or served with a government subpoena, many more now are providing it “end-to-end.” In other words, nobody else can see what’s sent, stored, or received, other than you and the person you’re talking to — not even the companies themselves.
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