Author Topic: How do you handle internet privacy/security?  (Read 1533 times)

ohsnap

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How do you handle internet privacy/security?
« on: September 07, 2018, 04:48:36 PM »
It seems that most every day I read another article about the complete lack of privacy & security online or even when not online - just carrying a phone.  Other than tossing my phone into the river and using cash for all transactions, how can I reduce the data that the tech firms and ad agencies are collecting on me?

Here's an example from last week: Google admitted that they and Mastercard have a data sharing agreement.  So if I use Google's search engine to look for "Super Duper Widget" and click on an ad for the XYZ store, Google tracks that even if I don't make a purchase.  If in the next 30 days I then go to a brick & mortar location for the XYZ store and pay with a Mastercard, Google and MC somehow match up my online data with my store purchase. I use a different search engine, but am still using a Chrome browser so who knows if Google still tracks me.

Of course we've long known that Google reads our emails, so I switched to another email service a while back (although I still use gmail to some extent- it's hard to transition out of an email account you've had for 12 years!)

I briefly used a non-google non-waze map app on my phone, but then realized that because I have an Android phone, Google has all my location data anyway.  My resident tech expert tells me I'll be much happier with the privacy of an Apple phone but the price has always put me off of them.

What says the Mustache community?  Is it possible to reduce my shared data? My primary questions are what do you use for:
Browser
Search Engine
Email
Map app
What type of phone you have.  (I do need a smart phone, although I don't get the newest most expensive one - usually the retiring model and I keep for 3-4 years instead of upgrading at 2 years)
And anything else you want to share.

(of course feel free to say I'm just being paranoid)

AccidentialMustache

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Re: How do you handle internet privacy/security?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2018, 05:57:07 PM »
The first thing to get is ublock origin or similar. Make sure you're on a reputable one if you don't go for ublock. Hostile ads are probably the #1 route to compromise of personal computers. How do you not see hostile ads? Simple, don't see ads in the first place. I used to work in the advertising space and I ran ublock there too. There's no legal agreement between you and a website that they get to show you ads. They serve you content, and you choose to render it or not.

The next step is to 2-factor everything you can, preferably with a token type solution (yubikey, google's titan key, or an authentication app), not SMS. Put it important places (banks, recovery email accounts, etc). Don't sweat small stuff (like the MMM forums, etc).

Barring going full luddite you're going to get tracked. Soon video processing is going to be cheap enough you'll be tracked by/in stores even if you're full luddite. You can try some of the cookie cleaner/don't track me/etc type stuff, but there's bad actors there too masquerading as the good guys. I don't have recommendations there. If you want change here, you need to get it from the government. That's not going to happen from the USA while corporations can shout louder than you ($$$). If you want to get serious on this one, start planning your move to the EU.

oldladystache

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Re: How do you handle internet privacy/security?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2018, 06:19:56 PM »
I just don't worry about it. Yes, they know all about me but I don't really care.

Zikoris

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Re: How do you handle internet privacy/security?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2018, 10:30:51 PM »
I handle it with apathy. I get that it's kind of sketchy, but seriously, what's google going to do with information like the fact that I hang out on Mustache forums, or the knowledge that I buy my underwear online? Other than advertise to me, which I block anyways. I guess I'm just not sure what the ending you're trying to avoid is? What's the bad thing that happens?

As far as phones go, I use a flip one because I don't like smart phones. Too big and breakable for my tastes. I always think it's funny when people say they "need" a smartphone. No you don't. You want one, which is fine.

Abe

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Re: How do you handle internet privacy/security?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2018, 10:51:49 PM »
I donít click on ads. As far as tracking me - Iím not sure what the knowledge I eat at Taco Bell sometimes is useful for, or what bad consequence it can lead to. Obviously if we actually live in a secretly totalitarian state that assassinates dissidents with google tracking data, were all screwed anyway.

Papa bear

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Re: How do you handle internet privacy/security?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 07:33:49 AM »
Does anyone use a personal VPN? 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: How do you handle internet privacy/security?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2018, 07:44:51 AM »
I use a VPN for some privacy and Ad-Block. I also use a plug-in that stops scripts. There's a good search engine that doesn't track you called DuckDuckGo.

bacchi

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Re: How do you handle internet privacy/security?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2018, 08:30:06 AM »
I use a VPN for some privacy and Ad-Block. I also use a plug-in that stops scripts. There's a good search engine that doesn't track you called DuckDuckGo.

Yeah, with the NoScript plugin, you can turn off google-analytics and other tracking code/sites.

-- Canvas Defender, which changes the browser javascript fingerprint.

-- Random User-Agent, unless it fucks up a page.

-- Little Snitch, which controls network activity (it's amazing how often MacOS "calls home")

-- Finally, I occasionally spoof my MAC address.

genesismachine

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Re: How do you handle internet privacy/security?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2018, 05:00:32 PM »
My philosophy is that there is a point of diminishing returns and complete 100% tracking-free web activity is painful/impossible. But I do think you can get 95% there with minimal sacrifices. None of this is foolproof 100%, but it definitely throws sand into the gears of the trackers:

Browser - Firefox with NoScypt and Adblock

Search Engine - Duckduckgo, you can still be tracked in some ways though

Email - Unfortunately I still use Gmail, but I hear good things about Proton mail. I really need to switch, laziness has more to do with this than anything.

What type of phone you have - Apple is the only large/mainstream company that is committed to privacy in the smartphone market. Any of their phones are equal on privacy grounds. If you are concerned with law enforcement, biometrics are a gray area on needing a warrant. So for instance, the new face ID, they could hold up your phone to your face, and that may be enough for them to search your phone. If you had fingerprint or passcode, they cannot force you to unlock your phone for them. So just know Face ID is a gray area right now. I exclusively buy Apple now largely for their privacy respecting stance, I use their cloud service, their photo management apps, etc... Google it seems is caring less and less about privacy as time goes on.

Map app - Google maps tracks you but is far ahead of any other map apps. Apple has made some recent improvements with iOS 12, but I haven't used it enough to judge how good it is. I tried and wanted so hard to replace Google maps with Apple maps for privacy reasons and it was just so bad that I couldn't. We'll see how that changes.

VPN services - I use NordVPN. I would love second opinions on VPN services, but I have had negative experiences with this. The problem is that many companies, Amazon, Hulu, etc... get the IP addresses of the VPN servers and blacklist them. So the VPN service itself is fine, but you end up having to turn on/off the VPN service so often that it just becomes more trouble than it's worth. Tor is painfully slow and worthless as well. I would love a better solution on this.

There's a good book called 'The Inevitable' that talks about inevitable technological trends that are only a matter of time. One of the topics is that privacy eventually becoming a thing of the past. With all the cameras out there, you will be tracked whether or not you agree to it, so doing the above may only be effective for a few years, and then only partially effective after that.

GuitarStv

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Re: How do you handle internet privacy/security?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2018, 05:21:58 PM »
I just don't worry about it. Yes, they know all about me but I don't really care.



Yep.  Security through obscurity.

Well, that and I don't use social media, have a cell phone, or click on the free boobies ads.




. . . OK, I rarely click on the free boobies ads.



. . . I'm not currently clicking on the free boobies ads.



Not more than one anyway.


Only a couple.





Soooo many boobies. . .

damyst

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Re: How do you handle internet privacy/security?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2018, 12:07:15 AM »
Start by figuring out what your exact objectives are.
The title of your post says "privacy/security", but these are two separate issues.

Personally, I consider "Google is tracking me and targeting me with ads" to be an annoyance (and a minor one at that, thanks to ad blocking).
"The NSA knows what I ate for breakfast" is somewhere between an annoyance and a curiosity.
"Criminals could steal my money or threaten my family" is, like, an actual concern. But protecting yourself here is far easier and less inconvenient than trying to thwart Google, or the U.S. government. It's mostly a matter of good online hygiene, regular monitoring of the goings-on in your accounts, and common sense.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 12:54:16 AM by damyst »

dang1

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Re: How do you handle internet privacy/security?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2018, 12:05:29 AM »
If you want privacy, don't use the internet- living under a rock also helps.

In one level, opting into alot of Google's services on my past, present and future Samsung Galaxy phones, has made life easier- saved passwords, traffic information, relevant information at the right time, etc. so I can have more time taking naps and getting involved in political campaigns.

For stronger security at some level, Google's 2-step verification, so far so good.

Using pseudonyms, using appropriate opsec levels, not using the internet when appropriate, also helps

Janie

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