Privacy, what's up?

23 Nov 2014

Last year was an eye opener for all of us. Sadly the surveillance state was even worse than most people thought. One of my new years resolutions was to investigate what I can do to protect myself. I will not explain why privacy matters (for that you should watch this TED talk by Glenn Greenwald) but I will describe what I did.

The first thing you should do is to switch away from Gmail. Right now Google has around 50% of all emails. And this is not good. The more providers we use, the harder it will be to read all our emails. I am now using mailbox.org, a small german email provider. For me it was really important that my emails are hosted in Germany, but there are lots of other options out there.

Speaking of emails. You should encrypt them. All of them. I know that GPG is not a sexy thing, but if you use GPGTools, it removes most of the problems. For more details listen to bits of berlin episode 4.

Luckily sending encrypted messages on phones got a huge push after Snowden. There are lots of apps out there. Currently I am using Threema. WhatsApp is experimenting with encryption, too. Really good move! I would prefer a complete open sourced solution, but sadly the open source messangers for iOS are not really usable right now.

Another thing that annoyed the hell out of me was people in the subway that tried to read the messages on my phone. Thanks to Jan-Erik I have a solution for that: 3M Vikuiti privacy foil. Simply put it on your phone and only you will be able to read the stuff on your phone.

The last thing is https-everywhere. A small plugin by the EFF that forces your browser to use an encrypted connection if possible.

There is a lot more you could do to enhance your privacy. A relative complete howto can be found in the self defense guide by the EFF.

Ps: encrypt all the things!

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