How to Protect Yourself From Government Surveillance and Criminal Hackers

Even if you like to share thoughts and photos on social media, there are certainly plenty of things that you’d like to keep between yourself and a select few. ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project Director Ben Wizner sat down with our principal technologist Christopher Soghoian for a Facebook Live video Q&A on how to keep the government and other snoopers out of your private digital business.

Here are some highlights from their answers to questions from people on Facebook:

Protecting Your Passwords

Chris talks about why many people have bad “password hygiene” and the importance of a getting a password manager:

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A couple of good password managers you can try are LastPass and 1Password.

Another way to protect your online accounts is by enabling two-factor authentication, which is an optional service offered by Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Twitter and others. Chris talks about what two-factor authentication is and how it protects you from hacking:

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Keeping Your Communications Secure With Encryption

Chris and Ben give a brief overview on encryption and some simple steps you can take to make sure your communications are read only by the right people:

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A free, very good app and easy-to-use app you can download for super-secure text messaging and phone calls is called Signal (we even use it here at the ACLU).

Private Web Browsing

Chris talks about what the Tor web browser is and how effective it is at protecting you from government surveillance:

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You can get more handy privacy tips here and watch the full Facebook Live video here.


 

Add a comment (25)
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Anonymouse

#YouWONTfindMEonFacebook
F*book are privacy-hating asshats! Please don't legitimize them in this fashion. Though perhaps written before they censored links to #NoDAPL protectors' livestreams of oppression, consult:
stallman.org/facebook

PEACE!

Anonymous

I thought the Tor web browser was supposed to be very hard to use? How about DuckDuckGo instead?

Anonymous

Duckduckgo.com is a search engine, not a browser.

Anonymous

It's become very easy to use in the past couple of years. Just download it from torproject dot org and fire it up. There are some optional (but recommended) settings you can use to increase your security, but it's pretty easy to use right out of the gate.

Anonymous

I thought TOR was originally developed by the US military. I can't help but think there is some hidden exploit somewhere in the system.

Anonymous

Tor was originally a US Navy project in the 90s and further developed by DARPA (DOD researchers). The Tor Project was later released and funded by the EFF (eff.org) and separated from the DOD, but still continued to a US government funded project. There was a suspected vulnerability or weakness, but Tor was further researched and updated. There are multiple examples and demonstrations of the imperfectness of Tor, especially when you are not using crypto. The best security is defense in depth, and understanding your tools and their purpose.

Anonymous

Windows 10 is spyware. The government has backdoors into it and it is already significantly less secure than most other operating systems. I reccomend installing Linux. It is open-source so we know it has no backdoors and there is almost no malware written for it and when an exploit is found solutions are made within hours. gnu.org/proprietary/malware-microsoft.en.html

Anonymous

All operating systems have backdoors.

Anonymous

All operating systems DO NOT have backdoors. Most Linux distros not have any and you can go through the source to prove my point correct. I use Arch Linux and I know its secure. Gentoo lets you compile from source. Cannonical (Ubuntu), SUSE, and Red Hat (RHEL, Fedora) would lose their customers if they found out about a backdoor (easy to do as the software is open-sourced). You could use Gentoo and compile your own kernel. This is proof that the comment above is correct, and why you should never use Windows. gnu.org/proprietary/malware-.

Anonymous

Absolutely worth reading, the New Yorker's article titled "Trump Preparedness: Digital Security 101" by A Wiener : newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/trump-preparedness-digital-security-101

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