We use technology in many facets of our life. At the same time, hacking and so-called cyberattacks seem to only be escalating. It seems like we’re constantly reading about the latest data breach, data leak, or hack. Since these companies keep failing, we can choose to store less and less data with 3rd-parties, but is there anything else that can be done? Or we all doomed to be hacked at some point?
The Good News:
The good news is there is quite a bit you can do right now that will drastically reduce your risks. To keep things simple, each task will be its’ own page with all of the details that you need. Let’s start from the easy + effective stuff, and then work into the more complicated ones.
- Enable Disk Encryption – for Windows, macOS, and Linux desktop and laptop computers.
- Enable Device Encryption – for Android and iOS phone and tablet devices.
- Turn on 2FA – enabling 2-factor authentication on every website and app that supports it.
- Using a Password Manager – and how to secure it.
- Limiting Your Personal Information – if a company doesn’t have your credit card information, they don’t need your real name.
- Managing Social Media – having a strategy for how you want to manage your identity and brand.
- Secure Messaging – using end-to-end encrypted messaging from mobile, and desktop.
- Secure E-mail – using end-to-end encrypted e-mail, when possible.
- Secure Cloud Storage – have the convenience of cloud storage, but do it securely.
- Secure Web Search – all of the many reasons you should avoid Google and Bing.
- Using a VPN – a good security tool, but it may not do what you think it does.
Implementing tactics like above will significantly reduce your risk regardless of who you want to be protected against.
Who is your enemy?
One key thing to consider is: who is your enemy? Who your enemy is will inform what kinds of things you need to protect against. The topics above were generalized. However, for specific types of enemies, you’d want to implement specific protocols.
In terms of who you enemies might be, consider:
- Advertisers – advertisers use every opportunity to spy on what you do, all in an effort to build-out their dossier on you. Maybe you don’t like them doing that to you, and also your children.
- ISP’s – your home and mobile Internet Service Provider (ISP) can and do log everything that they can observe, all to build-up a profile of each member of your family, to sell to data brokers.
- Big Tech – this is more of the same, except across applications and web sites. The Big Tech giants use things like Facebook Pixel to track your web usage across many websites.
- Hacking (random) – at any given time there are malware campaigns going on to ensnare people in ransomware for example. Slopping operational security (OPSEC) can lead to you getting into a mess like this – but not always!
- Hacking (targeted) – if you have someone who is specifically targeting you, these sorts of attacks will often be different than getting caught up in some random malware campaign.
- Governments – if you are a political dissident or whistleblower for example, and you have a government after you, that is different than anything above. Given that governments have virtually unlimited amounts of money, you should generally not use electronics. But if you need to, there are some things to consider.
As you can see, part of securing your electronic life is figuring out who your biggest enemies are. Depending on which enemy or enemies you care about, you can craft a strategy on how to defend against these enemies.
Click on the topics above to explore each tactic.