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The year may be passing the halfway mark, but the race to invade your privacy is far from over.
With the pandemic winding down but not petering out, the hybrid workplace has solidified as the plan du jour, or more accurately du an. Employers want employees back in the office, and if that won’t do, then they’ll just have to monitor them some other way.
Thankfully, there are tools you can use to protect your privacy — from that nosey boss, those tech giants, or the people in your life who just won’t get off your grill.
Here are the most essential privacy tools of 2021 (so far).
1. How to chat privately
When it comes to speaking with your coworkers, family, partner, or friendly neighborhood drug dealer, there’s the wrong way and then there’s the Signal way. The private messaging app is free, and lets you exchange end-to-end encrypted phone calls, video calls, and text-based messages with anyone.
Unlike other messaging platform (like Facebook-owned WhatsApp), Signal doesn’t collect reams of user data. According to the nonprofit, in 2016 it “received a subpoena from the Eastern District of Virginia” demanding it pass along data on two Signal users. Because Signal doesn’t hoover up users’ personal data, the only information it could “produce in response to a request like this is the date and time a user registered with Signal and the last date of a user’s connectivity to the Signal service.”
Available on desktop, iOS, and Android, the app is intuitive to use and is packed full of useful features like disappearing messages. So download and use Signal, and introduce a baseline of privacy into your life.
2. How to browse the web privately
Browsing the web is a notoriously revealing activity. But it doesn’t have to be.
While you may be in the privacy of your own home, scores of companies can and do follow your every action as you scroll down webpages, hover your mouse over certain text, or type and then delete search terms without ever hitting “enter.”
You can do something about that. For starters, use Tor. The easy-to-use browser is free, and routes your encrypted web traffic through several relays in an effort to stifle anyone trying to follow you around the web.
3. How to keep your online accounts private
So you’re worried about getting hacked.
With large databases being hacked, breached, and leaked seemingly all the time, it’s only rational to worry about being the victim of credential stuffing. Thankfully, there’s a way to protect your online accounts that costs zero dollars and only takes a moment of your time: an authenticator app.
Authenticator apps, like Google Authenticator (available for iOS and Android) or Microsoft’s version of the same, allow you to protect your accounts with two-factor authentication that is even more secure than simply using a phone number.
4. How to make your webcam (and selfie camera) private
When it comes to protecting your privacy, cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad.
“Employees have virtually no right to privacy on employer-provided computers,” he explained. “Even worse, employers can remotely turn on the webcam while the laptop is in the employee’s home.”
The quickest and easiest way to shut down any potential peeping is to slap the sticky part of a Post-it note on your webcam. Seriously. It’s really that simple, and the tried and true method has some pretty high-powered backers.
Oh, and you should put one on your phone’s selfie camera as well.
5. How to make your Google results (more) private
Armed with Google, almost everyone is an open book.
These days, people’s most intimate details are only a search away. Data brokers collect, sell, and trade the personal information of hundreds of millions of Americans as a matter of course. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it.
While some companies offer a paid service which specializes in removing your information from the web, there are opt-out lists freely available for anyone with the (substantial) time required to go through them all.
The cheat, however, is that Google itself offers up a delisting tool meant to “Remove your personal information from Google.” It won’t work for everyone, but the company says it will remove info like “content exposing contact information with an intent to harmcontent exposing contact information with an intent to harm” from search results.
So get on it, and in the process ensure that the back half of your year is more private than the first.
ที่มา : Mashable