How to be cyber-secure in the age of Trump

We’re at a pretty terrifying crossroads right now. Technology has made it easier and easier for unknown entities to capture all the data about us imaginable, and we’ve got a new president coming who wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to exploit it. He’s going to have an ever-growing enemies list, and, this being a community of activists, we’re vulnerable. In view of that, if you haven’t already taken the action you can to protect your digital life, this holiday might provide some quiet time to do just that.

Here’s a good place to start: freeCodeCamp’s “How to encrypt your entire life in less than an hour.” It works, it really does, and in less than hour if you’re adept. And you’re here, so you probably are.

There are eight tips to follow:

Tip #1: Use two-factor authentication on your inbox
Your inbox is the skeleton key to your life. If an attacker compromises it, they can not only read your emails, they can use it to reset your passwords for pretty much anything. This includes social media accounts and even bank accounts. […]
Tip #2: Encrypt your hard drive […]
Both Windows and MacOS have built-in full-disk encryption. You just need to turn it on.

Tip #3: Turn on your phone’s password protection Thumbprint identification is better than nothing, but it’s often not enough. […]

Tip #4: Use different passwords for each service. […] Mark Zuckerberg used the password “dadada” on his LinkedIn account. Earlier this year, when hackers released 117 million email-password combinations, his was among them. Hackers were then able to use his email and password to gain access to his Twitter and Pinterest accounts. […]

Tip #5: Send private text messages with Signal
Signal is a popular messaging service that got a perfect score from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. You can do all the things you would normally do through text messages, like have group messages and send photos and videos. Except that everything’s encrypted. […]

Tip #6: Your browser’s incognito mode isn’t private enough […]

Tip #7: Browse in private with Tor [Note: This one is a bit tricky since Daily Kos isn’t running quite yet on Tor—we’re working on it.]

Tip #8: Search in private
If Tor isn’t convenient enough for you, you can at least search privately using DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn’t track you.
You can find complete instructions on how to set all this up in the article. There’s myriad security resources out there, guides and toolkits, and if you’re looking for a good start on getting up to speed here you go. That’s a continuously updated list curated by Martin Shelton, who has done extensive work in the tech community and with journalists and activists to keep them cyber-secure.

And you’ll want to. Even if it isn’t to keep Trump’s stubby, dirty, little fingers off your data.


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