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Privacy Tips and Tools

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I thought you all might enjoy a few tools to help privacy.

As I suspect most of you know, our lives online cast a "digital shadow"... cookies: track our browsing, phones: our location, Alexa/Siri: some of our spoken word.

While convenient, it creates more data that can be used to grow a picture of you, and that's worth money when sold and aggregated. Since the value of the data is lower when it is less specific, this creates incentive to use poorer technology to anonymize data. Commercially, the US spends over 12 billion a year on marketing data, and governments have growing budgets to purchase our information... an example: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/opinion/dhs-cell-phone-tracking.html

 

I thought I'd share a few of my favourite applications and a couple tip websites, for those interested:

 

Electronic Freedom Foundation Tips: 

 - https://ssd.eff.org/en/module/protecting-yourself-social-networks

- Signal, an app that encrypts text messages.

        When used, texts no longer appear on your phone bill (must be used by both sides of the text): 

        https://ssd.eff.org/en/module/protecting-yourself-social-networks

 - - Privacy badger: General cookie and tracking cleanup: https://www.eff.org/privacybadger

- Blur: Generates anonymous mailboxes, credit cards and a virtual phone number, all of which point to your real stuff. I like the credit cards especially, as I can create low $$ limit, single use cards for specific websites.

  - https://www.abine.com/

 

"The Onion Router" TOR Browser lets one surf onion/hidden services, sometimes called the dark web, and makes you anonymous (when used correctly) on the regular web. https://www.torproject.org/download/ 

 

 

Enjoy. I hope folks find this useful.

 

-cbs

 

 

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Signal is an amazing app, I use it daily, but as you mentioned it only provides encryption and "protection" when both parties are using it.

 

Getting others to adopt it in the face of Apple's messaging solution, FB messenger, Android Messages etc has been a hurdle for me, and probably will be moreso for providers.  

 

Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic app and it would be great if all providers and all clients would adopt it, but alas, it's unlikely 

 

 

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On 2/11/2020 at 5:11 PM, OldandNerdy said:

Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic app and it would be great if all providers and all clients would adopt it, but alas, it's unlikely

Two things that can be done.

Providers can advertize that it's an acceptable way to communicate, if they want (the ones who aren't keen on texting probably won't). That may get clients and even other providers to check it out.

Clients can ask providers whether they're OK with it for communication. That might prompt the providers to offer it, even if they don't right now. But again, probably best to only ask the providers who use texting, because the ones who prefer email or calls probably won't like Signal either.

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