The Art of Privacy – Part 3

This is the best part of the whole series, as in this part I will tell you, what to do to protect yourself from prying eyes, whether the prying eyes are of hackers, or oppressing regimes (This is such a relative term 🙂 ). It’s usually such a good feeling when you realize and appreciate that your thoughts are your own, imagine if some of us could read your mind and could siphon off anything that you think and then mine the data and extract the useful bits of information and then use it. Well this is what is going on nowadays, in the cyber world, which has already been discussed previously (briefly) in this series.

So, how do I become invisible to everyone and even to a point where one has contingencies to if life turns into an iRobot’s plot.

The privacy protection can be divided into two parts:

Physical – In context of cyber

Cyber

Physical protection entails protection of your credit card data, protection of your phone’s screen information. Please keep in mind, this is not a tutorial to learn Kungfu and protect your wallet or phone from thieves, this is more in the context of what data an attacker can extract by not even making contact with you and how you can secure it, so that all the attacks are rendered unsuccessful.

Nowadays, if we notice, all credit/debit cards are contact-less, which means, in layman’s terms, you can just touch the point of sales machine with the card and you are good to go. It is a well-known fact that any threat agent can use cheap hardware to extract information from the credit card from afar. Same goes for the bus cards, tram/train tickets, etc. They all use RFID technology now.

The easiest way to protect them from an attack is to use a wallet with RFID protection. You can find many different kinds of wallets in the super market. If you love your own wallet, or your wife gave that as a gift and if you won’t use it, you will be sleeping outside of your house, then my friends, there is another solution, you can easily buy RFID protection sleeves which can hold your cards and then you can put them into your wallet. You can buy them from anywhere as well. I have been using the sleeves as well in my wallet. I got the F-Secure ones, work pretty well.

Information from the phones can be protected by adding a privacy screen protector on your phone. It comes for Android devices and iPhone/iPad/iWhatevertheycomeupwithNext.

Cyber based protection entails everything which is done online or offline, but dealing with the non-physical, bitbytes!! In case of Cyber, the threat actors have already been explained in the previous articles of this three part series.

The first thing one must and I say MUST do, is to install a VPN. VPNs are virtual private networks, which in a nutshell, encrypt all traffic between you and their server. Think of it as an underground tunnel which uses a special train which makes you invisible so you can easily pass through any barriers, and exit the city you want to exit undetected and then carry on. Usually when your traffic is going through the network, it looks like this (again a lot is going on but just to explain my point, it is illustrated so simply):

You ==> Your ISP — |Prying eyes| ===> Google/Facebook/Instagram/Blah/Blah and Blah

When you are going through a VPN:

You =|Encrypted tunnel|=> VPN server (ISP? WHO/WHAT?) ===> Google/Facebook/Instagram/Blah/Blah and Blah

So, that was that, VPN is a must if you want to stay anonymous, of course, one should never abuse this. Never do anything illegal!

The VPNs which I have personally used are F-Secure Freedome and Private Internet Access, which are quite good, with respect to price, log retention, speed.

Secondly, browser addons are your best friends. Addons like NoScript, Disable WebRTC, HTTPS Everywhere, uBlock Origin, User-Agent switcher. These are some of the addons for Mozilla Firefox. If you are a Chrome user then find equivalent addons.

Using proxies is usually not a good option to anonymize your traffic. As using WebRTC one can get your real IP, unless it is disabled on the browser side. Furthermore, by using Javascript one can extract your real IP. So, in short, don’t use proxies.

TOR is another good example of how to keep yourself anonymous. It is to note that TOR works as a proxy but it is untraceable. The operating system as well as all other apps which are not proxy aware and have not been explicitly provided, the IP for the proxy, they will connect to their respective services normally, and not through TOR.

Just to remember, if you are using TOR, never use your credentials on websites which do not run on HTTPS.

These are some of the things that Privacy health-conscious people use to protect themselves. I would recommend this to all the great readers out there.

Stay Safe.

 

~Peace