Apps for Your Privacy
I have been getting asked a lot lately about privacy and what apps will be most secure when browsing, searching or messaging on the net. Privacy seems to be becoming more and more of a must have thing. People these days like knowing they aren’t being snooped on or watched on by others for one reason or another and I do believe in the right to privacy for the user. I have decided to compile a list of stuff I use to maintain privacy, these are the barebones to it all I won’t go too indepth with all the tech talk but will keep it to a bare minimum.
FOR THE PHONE
The signal app is a encrypted messaging platform built by Open Whisper Systems. Signal gets a solid thumbs up by Snowden, and this is an app that doesn’t collect anything. it is built to be secured and when you hit that delete button your messages are now in oblivion. It is on iOS and android…sorry windows you aren’t there yet. YET. If you are looking for something that is way more secure than iMessage and leaves your metadata alone and gives you that end to end encryption I would highly suggest signal.
For those of you who don’t know exactly what a VPN is. Its stands for Virtual Private Network. What a VPN does is it secures your phone so you route all your info through another server and this is a MUST if you are ever using a public network. I always tell people to black box their phone when using it on a public network cause you never know who is snooping and since most VPN’s cost money this is the best “free” option for mobile but for a more secure experience you will want to buy access to a VPN server. The people behind Opera have made a simple app that blocks all trackers and cookies from snagging your phone, its easy to use and easy to set up. Just however remember to turn it off when using your cell data otherwise there will be issues.
Mozilla the creators of the regular Firefox browser has released this on the iPhone and called it “The privacy browser.” What this means is that the moment you go into the app its a fresh browser, you leave it deletes everything. You can even delete mid use and it just removes everything keeping your experience as private as ever. I like this app cause it is very straight forward, it keeps everything simple ad easy to toss in the trash bin once you have completed whatever it is you are doing or reading online.
FOR THE DESKTOP
A new browser I was recently told about is called Brave. Brave was built from the ground up as a browser to block trackers and ads. I have been moving over to it and away from chrome cause this is a browser that feels a lot faster than chrome but still feels like chrome minus all the battery sucking. Also not to mention with googles mass collection of data, this is definitely one of those browsers that will pick up speed in 2016 due to how it doesn’t collect anything and helps keep you from all the trackers on the web.
If you are looking for another browser that has a built in VPN then I would highly suggest downloading and using Opera. Opera is a open source browser that is safe and secure and a alternative to the many browsers out there that collect and hold onto your browser data. Opera has been around for a long while, and I suggest not tossing them aside, but taking a look at them cause Opera has a few great features built into it and offers quick and easy importing and exporting of your bookmarks and browser history into it if and when you want to move over.
Now if you want to start using a completely new operating system on your computer and if you want a OS built for security then you can download Kali Linux. If you have seen Mr. Robot, yup thats the OS that Elliot uses and its not made up its used by pen testers and people who just generally don’t like Windows or OSX. You can always partition off part of your hard drive or even set it up to be bootable to a USB stick. Linux is definitely something that a lot of people are moving too cause compared to mac and windows machines Linux has a lot less viruses and less prone to hackers.
I hope this information can help you out if you are looking for ways to keep your info private. I think this year, privacy knowledge will become the next thing to learn and most of this stuff like end to end encryption, and VPN’s won’t be so unknown to people.