How to encrypt your life in 10 minutes
Before diving into the tools and methods to protect your privacy online, we encourage you to learn more about what privacy is all about. You can read this article and also this one which will explain why you should stop saying you have nothing to hide. Being safe and secure isn’t just for bad guys.
Internet is a resource that allows us to have a vision and an exchange all over the world. But the threat is high. Cyber-attacks and data collection are real threats and can hit our private and professional lives with devastating force. Today, it would not be easy to reverse the trend, as the Internet is part of our daily lives and makes it much more comfortable. It also enables active social exchange. Internet is, moreover, an essential tool at work, even if only for email correspondence. Today’s society tends to make the Internet a must. As a manner of fact, tax returns are exclusively be filed online.
Today, living without the Internet is no longer possible. So, the aim here is not to exclude the Internet but to use it while preserving and securing your data. It is necessary to take specific actions. Get ready to be as secure as possible in 10 minutes!
Login and password
First of all, to secure the connection to your different accounts (bank, professional and personal mailboxes, social networks, etc.), make sure you use a different password for each of them. The goal is to prevent a malicious hacker from accessing all your accounts. Avoid choosing obvious passwords such as your birth dates, the first name of someone close to you, or the name of your pet. The more complex your password is, the harder it will be to hack it. You can also use a password manager to make it easier for you to log in to your different accounts.
Read our full article:
Set up Two-Factor Authentification
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an authentication method in which a computer user is only granted access after successfully submitting two or more pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism. We highly recommend setting up 2FA as much as possible.
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App Permission & Location
Application permissions: When you download an application, it must interact with your phone and obtain several pieces of information to work correctly. It asks you for permission to share your digital data located in your smartphone with them. For example, an instant messaging application will ask you to share your address book with them to add your contacts. It will seek access to your camera so that you can take pictures from the application to send them directly to your contacts. This messenger will also ask you to access your files and photos to share them in the chat. When you install an application and agree to all the permissions it requires, it presents opens the door to the exploitation of your personal information.
To avoid too much metadata collection, allow access to applications only if it’s essential. You can change these permissions directly from your smartphone settings.
Geolocation: Some applications also ask you to enable GPS location. Your slightest movements will be recorded and stored in their databases if you accept it. It’s best to disable this function from your smartphone settings and reactivate it only when needed. Don’t forget to remove the authorization after use.
As far as web browsing is concerned, TOR is a useful tool to regain some privacy. It is free software that allows you to go on the Internet anonymously. The Tor network mainly protects you from “traffic analysis,” which can reveal your identity and location by monitoring your data at various points between your PC and the websites you visit. This worldwide computer network is decentralized and is composed of different servers called “network nodes.” The digital data generated by your Internet navigation passes through a circuit of servers distributed around the world. Your identity disappears in one “click”. Your connection becomes Australian, American, Spanish. It thus becomes anonymous.
A VPN is a service that allows users to “borrow” the IP address of the VPN server and encrypt the connection between the user’s computer and the VPN server. It acts primarily on behalf of your computer when you are online.
However, it is much more secure than a proxy server because it encrypts your data, and some VPNs do not log browsing history.
Since you can use a VPN server’s IP address anywhere in the world, you can bypass content geo-restrictions and hide your physical location.
It’s also possible to have a VPN on your phone!
Read our full article:
Be careful on social networks by being aware that everyone will see everything that will be published.
Email is a paradox. It is the most widely used messaging technology in the world, yet it is obsolete. Its level of confidentiality is comparable to that of a postcard, and its ergonomics is often worthy of a bus station bulletin board. But the great advantage of email is that it is universal, which is why it will take a long time before it disappears.
But in the meantime, how can things be improved? It is entirely possible to add an end-to-end layer of encryption yourself, for example, by combining your email client with GnuPG cryptographic software. But you have to have the soul of a handyman. That’s why many vendors have been offering services that make it easy, with integrated end-to-end encryption and automatic key management, for the past few years. Purists will say that private keys are necessarily stored on the server-side (in an encrypted way, all the same). That’s true, but it will always be better than using a traditional email service.
- ProtonMail: Based in Switzerland, Protonmail is an open source webmail with a sleek design that offers different encryption levels. Between Protonmail users, messages are automatically encrypted from end to end (content and attachments). The service is also available through an iOS or Android application.
Email is an essential part of our online communications. In everyday life, it’s more about the messages we send.
To be able to chat with confidence, it is necessary to use secure messaging systems. Not only is it necessary to use end-to-end encryption, but you have to ask yourself who is behind the messaging. What is its purpose? Read expert reports. Is the data stored (and therefore vulnerable)?
As we are subjective on the subject, we let you do your research. For those who are interested, we build a decentralized messaging system that doesn’t go through any intermediate server and doesn’t store any information/data. Berty’s goal is to preserve everyone’s privacy and secure exchanges.
We deserve privacy!
Mass surveillance and censorship are not myths. There is an urgent need for the general population to protect itself a little more. Every freedom we neglect is freedom we will not see again.
When we go home, we close the door. So why don’t we do the same online and on our phones?
So all the little actions we’ve just seen together are tiny small steps that look like nothing, but in reality, a big step towards our freedom.