10 methods of protection against eavesdropping, surveillance and interception of personal information

In our modern age of too many tools being used in order to control the average citizen. Terrorist threats and monitoring of anti-social elements leads to the fact that listening to almost all. Or all. As if there were not, communication is no longer personal. Special services if you are not interested in the identity of more than questionable character will certainly look forward to personal correspondence.

To protect yourself from all of this is possible, albeit difficult. Experts Guide.team29.org listed 10 rules for safe operation in Network.

1. Use strong passwords

Password — the basic way to protect your data. His choice should be approached carefully. Primitive sets of numbers, words, including modified, any of your personal data, enclosed in your password, interested in hacking individuals are selected fairly quickly with the help of special software.

It is recommended to use a password in combination of letters in mixed-case, special characters and numbers. Even better if the password was longer than 16 characters (P#$$M>Rd_wR1443N_c0Wpl1c4^3D). To pick up such a password, the attacker owning the software, you will need more than 200 years.

To remember all the complex passwords on dozens of accounts is quite difficult. Therefore, you can use a password vault like KeePass or LastPass. They also act as generators of passwords.

Passwords from important accounts of the most — frequently used social networks and email — will have to remember.

In addition, it is recommended to disable password saving in web browsers.

Periodically change your passwords. Do not enter usernames and passwords in public areas where video surveillance.

It is not recommended to use the same password for different accounts.

2. Encrypt your data

You can encrypt information on hard disks and removable media. It would be useful if outsiders can take away from you computer or remove the hard disk. Without entering a special password they will not be able to read the disc contents. All information on the drive for them will look like gibberish.

On a Mac: Use the standard program FileVault, which has the function of full-disk encryption. On the official website of the company can find instructions for its work.

On computers running Windows professional operating system versions (Enterprise, Pro, Ultimate Edition) from Microsoft has a built-in BitLocker. For other cases, there is the program VeraCrypt. To decrypt data protected by the security services in the modern development of technologies will take at least 40 years.

3. Encrypt your email

To encrypt emails, you need to use PGP, which encrypts the message before sending and allows them to read only to the owner of a special password. Even if your letter is intercepted, then read its contents to outsiders is impossible. The resulting text will look like gibberish.

4. Turn on two-factor authentication

This will need to include — where possible — two-factor authentication. It is an additional protection of accounts in social networks, messengers, email, Apple, Google, etc.

If you enabled this function, then when you log in to your account you will need to enter not only a password but also a one-time code. You or receive an SMS or take out installed on your smartphone apps-generator codes.

5. Keep the anonymity of the Internet

For this you need to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network, virtual private network). This technology allows you to browse the Internet resources supposedly from other countries, nobody will know about your current location. This is important if you want to keep the whereabouts secret or to use the service, only available in a certain country. This is useful if you have decided from abroad to make transactions in the Russian Bank or connect to the service for binge watching Netflix from Russia.

VPN services provide VPN service providers. There are two criteria of quality of such services: he must not store your data and it should be a lot of external servers, so you can choose from which country you are “visible” for the site that decided to visit.

The most common and popular VPN services are Unlimited, TunnelBear and Hideman. They correspond to the above-described quality criteria. Both have apps for iOS and Android, and the version for personal computers. Run the program, choose the country and now all your connections from the unit is encrypted. Have TunnelBear also offers private browser extensions for Chrome and Opera.

An alternative to VPN services is Tor Browser. It also allows you to remain anonymous on the network.

6. Use cloud storage

In the event of loss of any of the devices you will not lose information.

The Google storage Drive attached to your Google account. It is possible to set up two-factor authentication and to look up the history and to turn on login notifications from unknown devices. Google Drive does not encrypt the data itself. This will require third party services — for example, Boxcryptor or VeraCrypt.

Users of Apple technology is the data warehouse iCloud. Access can be protected with two-factor authentication.

From popular cloud storage data encryption provides Mega. What is stored on the server, can not recognize even the administration of the service. Your account password is a unique key decoder, the loss of which will lead to the loss of all your data.

7. Enter important information only on sites with secure connection

Any information from a login and password to the Bank card number and your name — should only be sent with resources that have enabled HTTPS. It’s a coded way to transfer information. From the usual HTTP Protocol, it differs in that any data you send to the website encrypted and not available for interception.

Google Chrome automatically enables HTTPS on all sites where this is applicable. On most Bank sites it also works by default. In Facebook, too. But in “Vkontakte” will have to configure everything yourself.

8. Minimize the ability to spy on you and eavesdrop on you

Cybercriminals or intelligence agencies, using special software and vulnerabilities of your software, can connect to microphone and camera of your computer, phone or tablet. The webcam on the laptop you can close and seal. To break the microphone is, therefore, an important talking to best deal with the device off. To your location harder to identify, disable location services on your smartphone. In addition, you can switch it to airplane mode or to turn off.

9. Be careful who and when came into your account

Social networks, email services and instant messengers know how to tell users about all the facts log in to their accounts. For example, if you have the app “Vkontakte” on the smartphone, the messages about logging in your account will be sent automatically. In Facebook and Google this option you want to configure.

If automatic notification is not, it is usually in your account settings you can view the list of recent sessions (logins to your account) and terminate them if there is suspicious. Such a visitor log is in Facebook, and in “Vkontakte”, and in GMail, and messenger Telegram.

10. Follow the rules of information hygiene

To commit important transactions (financial transactions, ticketing, etc.) you need to use a computer, in security of which you are sure. It is better not to use someone else’s device. Remember that the computer you use at work belongs not to you, and to your employer.

On your computer should be licensed software, including operating systems. On pirated copies can be malware and anti-spyware software. If you are looking to buy licensed software, you can use free equivalents.

The software on your device needs to be constantly updated. This increases the likelihood that the developers have addressed the main vulnerabilities.

Do not connect to your device unknown media (thumb drives, SD cards, smartphones), even for charging. Do not plug in any unknown USB devices to your computer. Even working from the USB port of the flashlight can be a memory device that contains malicious software.

You should disable AutoPlay for external devices. This will help to avoid automatic start on them contained malware.

It is not necessary to charge their phones and tablets anywhere. You can connect the device to the infected computer, which will access data on your device or uploading malware. Not worth it unless you absolutely need to use public chargers that look like a kiosk or the box with wires. It is not clear what exactly you thus connect. Better to look for a normal electrical outlet and to plug in her own charger.

If you are working with your laptop or computer in a public place and you need to duck out, is to put the device into sleep mode or lock the computer screen. To get back to work you have to enter the password. If in a public place have security cameras, no passwords to enter should not be, and generally is very cautious to use Internet services.

In a public place with an unsecured Wi-Fi should use a VPN. This technology not only hides your location, but encrypts the information you transmit. Known cases when criminals tried to intercept information from computers in public Wi-Fi. If your computer is on VPN, they, most likely, nothing will come of it.

If your device had been in the hands of the security services — for example, were seized at the border crossing or during the search for important correspondence and financial transactions it is already unsafe. The same goes for repair of your equipment. There is a possibility that when the above mentioned steps on your mobile, tablet or computer will be a virus, a spyware or a secondary chip. It is better to buy a new device — sometimes the data integrity more than money.

For a computer running Windows shouldn’t work under the account with administrator rights. It is better to use a normal user account. Then, if malware attempts to install itself without your knowledge, Windows will notify you if you need a password from the administrator account.

It is not necessary to give your computer to outsiders who want to Skype or check email. If, however, still had to do it, then better to sign in a guest account, which is not available to install new software. Also be careful when passing a stranger on your phone.

Use anti-virus software. Many common antivirus software have a free license, which is enough for the average user. For example, AVG, Avast, Kaspersky. Do not forget to regularly update it.

Beware of letters with requests to provide your personal, including registration data. Otherwise, you can become a victim of Internet phishing.

Clifton Nichols

Clifton Nichols

Hi! I’m Clifton and I am a full-stack engineer with a passion for building performant and scalable applications that are beautiful and easy to use.

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