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Other Looking to secure my privacy

Discussion in 'Software' started by hendricksjana, 24 Oct 2013.

  1. hendricksjana

    hendricksjana What's a Dremel?

    10 Oct 2012
    Likes Received:
    I have been thinking about my privacy and how private and secure all my data and communications really is. Snowden and NSA has really exposed how open our data and private information really is, not that I or most people have something to hide but do I really want the government ready my steamy texts to my significant other?

    So the question is how do you protect yourself? Obviously a typewriter and the post office can at least protect your content, even if the government knows when and who you sent the letter to.

    Basically my communications devices are:
    1) Phone – phone calls, text messages and emails
    2) Computer – emails and instant messaging​

    Sorry for putting all these questions in one post, but they are all connected to the main question how do you protect yourself, and I understand this is a computer forum but maybe someone has some advice on the phone questions.

    For my cell phone, I am using Tigertext secure texting for all my text messages, which auto delete the messages and allow me to do a remote wipe. For my photos, I immediately move the images to my dropbox account and delete them from the phone.

    So, the phone security questions I have are:

    1) How do I protect my contacts, meaning is I lose my phone how can I make it so someone who hacks the phone isn’t able to get them get them? What about my call logs?

    2) can someone hack my phone while I am using it, and get my contacts, call logs and other stuff, and if so how can I prevent this from happening?

    3) What about my emails, can I secure them as well like my text messages?​

    For my computer, I am using ZoneAlarms firewall, and Malwarebytes anti virus. I have lots of images and documents on my computer.

    My computer security questions are:

    1) How can I secure my email – I use gmail and yahoo, but don’t use outlook.

    2) Are my images and doc more secure on my computer, or in the cloud on Dropbox or another cloud service?

    3) Can my Skype messaging and conversation be recorded or logs by our government or anyone else, and is there a way to protect them?​

    Any advice or suggestion on these questions would be a great help, thanx.
  2. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

    13 Nov 2004
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    Here is the simple truth. Given the amount of data that needs to be sifted, I can promise you there isn't some guy looking at your images/texts/emails. It's all sorted in milliseconds and ignored because, let's face it, you're pretty boring. WHICH IS WHAT YOU WANT.

    If you suddenly start to harden your communications, that sets off alarms. Why are you suddenly encrypting your emails? What is in your texts? What changed? What are you now doing that you weren't before? Why did the pattern change? that's what they are looking for in all that data.

    As for your images, no one cares that you have 200 dick pics or nudies of your girlfriend. really. you two have the same anatomy as anyone else and there is a physical limit to the variations of where things can go. If you don't want them to be seen, don't take them. Hell, in terms of security, even kiddie porn is irrelevant.

    So basically, the things in your head are the only things that are secure. Anything else is fair game. Ask yourself this, who cares? Are you a criminal? A political? An outspoken critic of anything? Do you have dodgy interests? A bit to religious? Too right or too left?

    No? then you're sinking in a quagmire of data and no one even sees you. Keep it that way. Is it right or wrong? I won't go into that, but it's the reality of the situation.

    EDIT: Fun little bit to feed your paranoia: the fact that you even wrote this thread most likely set off a small algorithm, lol.
    EDIT2: Just to be clear, securing your data from criminal and occasional snooping is one thing, to avoid governments at this point is a whole different game.
    Last edited: 12 Nov 2013
  3. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

    24 Sep 2009
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    basically.... keep your own data. Use encryption. End to end for comms. That is all you can do.

    Fact of the matter is: if you are doing something wrong, you normally get found out by your own stupidity. Like the silkroad guy. Doesn't matter how many hops there are on Tor, if you are a **** threatening to kill someone and you give away your location and private life on various forums on the internet with handles you use in your encrypted digital life, you're ****ed.

    I am in the lucky position myself - I know not everyone is - where if needs be I can serve all of my content without relying on anyone else. Is it secure? Only as secure as pfsense with Snort can be... I can auto block suspicious traffic etc, but it is a bit of a ball ache if you aren't running some enterprise comms business out the back of your paedo van.

    People at work were talking about it the other day and I said to them:

    "You all use facebook for your photo albums. Where the hell are you keeping this info?"

    The resounding response was they don't keep it. They upload it and assume facebook is going to be there forever. Then they move from busted second hand laptop to busted second hand laptop, wondering why their computer life is so **** except facebook, which is awesome, coz it is going to be there forever and it has pictures.

    Fact is as Jumeira_Johnny puts it, unless you are up to something I'm not sure what you are achieving by going to great lengths to make it so someone can't read your SMS. Far as I know with SMS you can't do end to end encryption unless it is via an app or external program. Someone at vodafone isn't sat there thinking "can't wait till Friday's episode of hendricksjana's SMS journal. He/she's been sending some saucy texts, I really hope he/she gives her/him one for me."

    You could start using PGP all the time... but what good is it if the end user is compromised? Fudge knuckles all, that's how good it is.

    EDIT: I would like to say though, they have already started using these "powers" for snooping on trivial matters. It was all over the radio... radio 4 had a solicitor that doesn't use his phone anymore after the amount of data that came out about him in some legal battle. They for "security reasons" weren't allowed to divulge how they came about it all. He said defending himself was such a nightmare he'd never want anyone to go through, yet he specialises in this stuff... No laymen could do it.

    Then there as a couple who owned a farm that was accused anonymously of fly tipping. Before you know it they had people snooping around their property when they were out because of intercepted comms.

    There were some more examples, but they are the ones I remember.

    So it is happening. And for stupid stuff too. The law needs to change so people affected are greeted with a bit more transparency once it is "red handed", but till then, it's an uphill battle with a government that don't understand that the only way for me to tell if someone doesn't want cookies on their computer from my website is to store some information somewhere on the only state that will remain constant saying "I don't want you to store my ****ing anyting blood", which ironically, happens to be someone's computer on something called a cookie. Otherwise I have a list of possibly shared or dynamic ips that will never be able to use my e-tail site. Or a mac address.. .but that is a lot of effort to appease some conspiracy nut that thinks me and google are going to develop and advert campaign so effective it actually makes strangers want to rape their sister.
    Last edited: 14 Nov 2013
  4. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

    8 May 2010
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    Make sure you use a phone that is as secure as possible. Keep it locked with a long secure password and configured to auto wipe after x attempts. Ensure you can remote wipe it too. (iOS does all of this)

    Probably possible on some device but not likely on a modern up to date device.

    Nope. Email is inherently insecure.

    You can't. If you want to keep something private encrypt it first.

    If they are encrypted it doesn't matter. They are most secure if kept on a computer that is never attached to any sort of network and never used with external media.

    Yes they can be recorded. No you can't protect them. Apart from talking in code.

    Relax. Don't be silly. Don't do anything illegal. Accept that anything embarrassing you do (or type or say) online could come back and bite you in years to come.

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