Privacy! In the age of the predictive-retrospective-biopolitical-panopticon, how do you keep hold of those slivers of solitude? You read our big bumper list and take action, that’s how.
LiquidVPN’s 30 Tips to Enhance your Privacy Online
- Think passphrase, not password. Obligatory XKCD and Ed explaining it for you.
- Treat your passphrase like your toothbrush. Keep it to yourself and change it every three months.
- Use a passphrase manager. Let’s keep this honesty thing going, how often do you re-use your terrible password? It’ll help keep each site compartmentalized, so if one gets leaked your headache won’t be half as big.
- Use 2FA. Two-Factor Authentication adds an extra step to your log-in. You already do this when you withdraw cash. You have your bank card and your PIN. In internet terms, the process usually involves providing a phone number which will receive a text with a code. A better 2-factor authentication system is the Yubikey which supports OTP, smart card, and FIDO U2F
- Don’t use 2FA. For some people, tin foil wearers and the Most Wanted using 2FA might be counter-intuitive. You are providing another data point for your profile and the data farmers when you do. Speaking of giving data away…
- Use fake data when you don’t need to give some company your entire life story. For security questions use another memorable thing and choose a random question. This part of the sign-up process is where the juicily-esoteric data is grown.
The questions of where you went to school, what your first car was, the name of a pet reveal what sort of place you grew up in compared to now, whether you had a car and whether you had pets. Advertisers love this shit, don’t feed them.
- Use a passphrase/pin number on your physical devices. Privacy isn’t just threatened by streams of 1s and 0s. If someone steals your stuff, you don’t want them to use it. You can now set phones to lock after several minutes because it is annoying if you’ve just put it down and then… you know.
- Encrypt your hard drive. This will be another wall in any prying eyes way. There are options on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Windows 8.1 and 10 are meant to automatically encrypt your hard drives, but sometimes they don’t. Huh.
- Encrypt your emails. Of course, its useless if your email provider isn’t willing to fold for you. Try PGP or if you’re not sending many emails these days…
- Encrypt your messages and calls- use an app like Signal.
- Use add-ons like HTTPS Everywhere, DisconnectMe, uBlock, Ad Block to free up space on your mental and internet bandwidth.
— BrandalismUK (@BrandalismUK) 24 March 2016
- Use The Onion Router. You can do all kinds of stuff with TOR, the more users, the harder it is to break too. So get browsin’. Read up about it here and look at these onions.
- Use Linux. Being highly customizable Linux distributions are perfect for remaining anonymous and staying private. Tech Radar has a list of the 10 best.
- Use a VPN. We profiled some archetypal VPN users in this post. Which are you?
- Watch where you’re connecting. Don’t use public wi-fi unless you have a VPN, a lack of encryption means you could be sending your private information where anybody with a bit of will-power and know-how can see it. Speaking of know-how…
- Learn what some stuff means
- Clear cookies and history frequently. Why? Cos it’s just pages of what you’ve done sitting waiting to be read. Use incognito mode to fast-track proceedings.
- Vote for people who aren’t mad for spying on people. The law has to reflect the times, we need politicians who get modern and future tech developments. Bernie rattled off a comprehensive rebuttal to corporate surveillance and anti-net neutrality arguments way back.
- Update your shit. Like a hole in your crotch zone, don’t let things go unpatched.
- Map your threat levels. This sounds a lot more action-packed than it probably is for most of us. Just check your social media stuff, change default passwords on routers and think about what information you are giving out and to whom. This whole list is basically a checklist for doing this, if there are gaps do let me know.
- Bonus Workplace Bullet point
- Limit access to physical servers
- Keep employee phones off the wi-fi. Who knows what they’re bringin’ in.
- Use permissions tools. Does everyone need to be an administrator? Probably not.
- Check your social media privacy settings. Yeah, this is a repeat, but it warrants its own thing, students are sick bastards if you’re looking to join a big corporate outfit you are probably not going to want them seeing you covered in UV paint neckin’ on with a lad dressed as a shecksy nurse at a foam party.
- Set your messages to expire on iOS 9. This basically turns iMessage into Apple’s version of Snapchat, but it’s also a good way to save space and enhance your security.
- Limit sending diagnostic data. Of course, the flip side of this is that developers don’t get to encounter real-life incidents that could prove pertinent later.
- Whatcha sending to the cloud there buddy? Modify your sync settings so you don’t accidently upload something you will regret later.
- Fear three-letter agencies and governments, but don’t let it envelop you. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear is backward.
- Cover your webcam and unplug your microphone.
- Go analog/mechanical.
- Ride a bike to meet someone for a change, scrap that Uber ride and Skype call.
- Pay with cash.