Best way to protect data and online security? – Digitalmunition

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Chuck_It_307 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #370281



    I want to get the hacking community’s input on this. I’m a noob myself so bear with me.

    I detest the direction the internet is going towards. I’m in my late 20’s now and remember the days where the internet was still considered the wild, wild west. Where it wasn’t over-commercialized and data wasn’t being bought and sold like a commodity. Before the days of the NSA, mass surveillance, and the patriot act. Therefore, I take online privacy very seriously and want to get better at protecting myself.

    Could you guys shed some light on best practices to protect your online presence/data besides the usual suspects? As of now, I’m doing the following as the most secure means from my understanding.

    1. Browser: Tor (under the most secure settings)
    2. Search Engine: DuckDuckGo
    3. VPN: NordVPN

    Besides taking those steps, are there any other ways to mask my data and usage? If I’m posting photos online, I’ll strip all the meta-data from the images. What is the best way/software available to encrypt my harddrive too?

    Any advice will help. Thank you in advance.

  • #370286


    Your computer is safe only when it’s powered off.

    Your sensitive data is safe when it’s not online.

  • #370282


    Good question. I’d like to follow the thread for answers as well …

  • #370283


    I’m not an expert, but I’d not use TOR for browsing. As soon as you put some login data (for example mail, or fb) you will be “identified”. But my advices are:
    – use a mail client (like thunderbird, for example)
    – Use a DNS filter (made mine with a Raspberry Pi-hole)

  • #370284


    Do note that there’s a difference between privacy, security, and anonymity. I’m also only covering things that I feel I know enough about to actually say something on.

    TOR: The instant you log into a page or input personally identifiable information, TOR is effectively not helping you anymore.

    DNS Filters (ie: Adguard Home and Pi-Hole). They’ll filter out DNS requests to sites that are used for tracking, analytics, and some ads. Most ads aren’t blocked since they’ll very easily trip anti-adblock detections.

    VPN: They change very little.

    * When it comes to websites tracking you, your IP on it’s own can only really give information on your general location and what ISP you have. IP information must be connected with more information (logins, searches, etc) before becoming personally identifiable.

    * ISP Tracking: While VPNs put another encryption layer on your internet usage, odds are your ISP could not make out much information about your internet usage in the first place. The padlock icon on your browser’s address bar tells you that your connection is encrypted, often using the exact same method VPN uses. This means that more often than not, the most information that your ISP can figure out is “you accessed this site at this time.”

    * VPNs are most useful if you want to use torrents without announcing your IP to the network or if you want to appear to be in another place. Most geolocking is done by simply checking what IP you’re connecting from.

    * Important note: If they wanted to, a VPN can track you in the exact same way that an ISP can.

    * Linux **boot drive**:
    * Anything else:

    More information in general can be found on /r/privacy. This site in particular is quite helpful as well:

  • #370285


    Ahh. Challenge accepted…. I started this security “hobby” when I was in kindergarten. I’m in my 30s now and have worked security for the big G, the A to Z, the M with wide open curtains and a major analytics software company. I’m nobody special, in fact I have less education than most fast food workers. I’m just a person with a hobby that has brought me to collect badges at some of the biggest technology companies in the world. It’s been good, it’s been bad, it’s been (insert whatever you want to insert).

    If we, as security practitioners, the “anti hacker hackers”… would like to see data “truly” protected… next time a gigantic hot pile of breached trash impacting tens of millions of PII falls in your lap… or you find a vulnerability that makes the hair in your arms stand up… take note of what the biggest concern is in the room. Then digest that list, process that list and ask yourself this question; “who and what am I protecting?”. If the answer isn’t the P then, well, maybe we are the problem and not the solution…

    How can we protect the data?

    I agree with the redditor who mentioned that the best way to protect data online is to “turn off your computer”. An alternative? Bring back transmission of data by paper via pigeon. Your threat vector via pigeon is simplistic… a bigger bird (airplane, drone or pterodactyl), Weapon, severe weather or death by natural causes. Google maps can’t even suggest a wrong turn to a pigeon.


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