Snowden’s Privacy Tips

If you want to avoid Big Brother, whistleblower Edward Snowden is the man to listen to.

You’ll recall that Snowden absconded several years ago with some of America’s most closely held spy secrets. Then he shared them with the world.

For Western intelligence honchos, it was one of the biggest nightmares ever. For the rest of us, though, it was good news. Snowden’s leak just provided more proof that governments still do and will do what they’ve always done — snoop on innocent citizens when the opportunity arises.

Privacy Protection Tips

Snowden recently shared his expertise with Micah Lee of The Intercept.

1. Snowden recommends encryption to scramble your phone calls and text messages. He suggests the Signal app for OS and Android. (Download Signal  here.)

The Signal encryption app is also strongly endorsed by investigative journalist Laura Poitras and various communications security experts.

2. You should use encryption software to protect your computer’s hard drive. (But this is probably a less-secure alternative than the steps we’ve recommended in previous posts. For maximum security, you’ll want to keep your personal data and work files away from any device you use for Internet access. Click on this link for details.)

3. Snowden suggests using a password manager to store and organize your passwords. This software comparison gives you some options.

4. Rely on two-factor authentication if possible to provide an extra layer of security. (A good example is the bank card and PIN — the “two factors” — you use to retrieve funds from your checking account.)

5. Snowden also recommends Tor (The Onion Router) for Internet use. Tor routes your messages and searches through thousands of servers. This effectively masks your identity and prevents tracking. (Click on Tor to get the free download. For another approach to browsing security, you might find this advice useful.)

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