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  • Showing only topics with the tag "privacy". Back to normal view
    1. Email: how about doing it right?

      In light of the seemingly increasing rate of data breaches and privacy violations in general, I've decided to take some steps further regarding my online presence. Among other things, I decided to...

      In light of the seemingly increasing rate of data breaches and privacy violations in general, I've decided to take some steps further regarding my online presence.

      Among other things, I decided to switch all my online accounts to custom domain email addresses, so I grabbed two domain names (with WhoisGuard enabled): one for use with stuff related to my real identity (think @firstlast.com), and the other for all else (think @randomword.com). Then, I changed the email address of each one of my existing online accounts, taking advantage of the catch-all feature. To make things short, it goes like this:

      Accounts not related to my real identity:

      • tildes.net.187462@randomword.com -> tildes.net
      • reddit.com.178334@randomword.com -> reddit.com
      • ...

      Accounts related to my real identity:

      • amazon.com.113908@firstlast.com -> amazon.com
      • bankofamerica.com.175512@firstlast.com -> bankofamerica.com
      • ...

      As you might have guessed, the 6 digits ending the local part of email addresses are meant to be randomly generated, in order to mitigate easy guesses by spammers due to catch-all (though I've also created a specific sieve filter to mark incoming emails with "unknown" recipient as spam).

      Before you ask, I don't intend to start a discussion about threat modelling here. I just want—as anyone who is not a complete tech-illiterate—to have a reasonable weapon against spam caused by recurrent data breaches, so that if an email address is leaked, I can toss it and replace it with a new one without much effort.

      Also, I value owning my email addresses, in the sense that if I decide to change email provider in the future, I won't have to change my addresses too as a consequence. For communicating with real humans (e.g., my doctor), I could use a non catch-all address like first@firstlast.com.

      I wonder what do you think of this approach... Is it overkill? Do you see any major concern from a privacy or security standpoint? Are you doing something similar and are happy with it? I would very much like to hear your experiences with email, especially about the approach you settled with.

      18 votes
    2. I'm thinking of getting a password manager. How does it work and any advice on transitioning to one?

      The reason why is to make more accounts for reddit, YouTube (one for entertainment and Portuguese content each) news sites where signing up is an alternative to pass a paywall and other sites with...

      The reason why is to make more accounts for reddit, YouTube (one for entertainment and Portuguese content each) news sites where signing up is an alternative to pass a paywall and other sites with comment sections. Bad euphemism bro. Also some sense of "praxis" in order to gain privacy.

      Edit: And also getting anxious at the idea of remembering all my passwords, and putting them in a note in my old phone, which I am not bringing into my new phone and want to use this to delete.

      According to these two articles, I can save my old passwords I had before and maybe even still make new ones after, and put them in a folder behind one true (master) password, which is the one you will truly care about, and they will be saved in a way in which the managing company won't know your password?

      There's also figuring out which provider to use (and probably a similar post for alt-mail providers.) This is overwhelmingly for mobile (Android). No real space constraints for apps, only price, because I'm not working age.

      27 votes
    3. Is Firefox still a good (enough) browser for privacy?

      Someone posted this on the privacy subreddit. I also ended up finding this and this after doing a bit of searching. As someone who isn’t in the CS/IT spheres (chemical engineering is my...

      Someone posted this on the privacy subreddit. I also ended up finding this and this after doing a bit of searching. As someone who isn’t in the CS/IT spheres (chemical engineering is my background), Firefox has been my go-to browser for awhile, although I’m being made aware of the flaws of Firefox (most of which go over my head) and behavior of Mozilla. What can be done to fix this, especially considering that Firefox is the only FOSS browser with a significant user base?

      22 votes
    4. Tim Cook responds to Facebook on Twitter: "[..] Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, [..] we just require that they ask for your permission first."

      @Tim Cook: We believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it's used. Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 will just require that they ask for your permission first. pic.twitter.com/UnnAONZ61I

      13 votes
    5. Privacy is a lonely bastion. Anyone know how to meet friends online these days?

      At some point we recognized the signs of desperation. My wife and I had been running to the window like puppies for a glimpse of any unusual traffic. We caught ourselves bingeing on news articles,...

      At some point we recognized the signs of desperation. My wife and I had been running to the window like puppies for a glimpse of any unusual traffic. We caught ourselves bingeing on news articles, as if saturating ourselves with reporting could somehow make us relevant to a world that saw less and less of us. We even resorted to calling my mother. After listening to 90 uninterrupted minutes of narration regarding her most recent routine doctor’s visit, we broke down. We resolved to end the isolation that was slowly killing us. Then the pandemic hit.

      Our biggest stumbling block is figuring out how can we make friends online using only privacy-respecting platforms and software? We would like to see some friendly faces in real time without being simultaneously, you know, mined. Could anyone in the know share suggestions?

      Edit: I'm grateful people are considering this. Thank you! I find it helps to ask people what their ideal solution would be, no matter how far-fetched. So, in response to that: My dream platform/venue/project would meld aspects of Lunchclub with The Human Library. I have stories to tell. I would love to video chat with fully-clothed individuals drawn from all over the world, chosen based on their stories and ambitions. It would work the way a good host does. You know, "Greta once had the job of getting sweat stains out of Bruce Springsteen's guitar strap. You two should swap cleaning stories, since you work at that drycleaner's, right, Butchie? Is it true it's a front for the mob? Oh, excuse me, I have to disinfect the pizza guy. I'll leave you to it." Maybe I should flesh this out more.

      36 votes
    6. Tele-health privacy concerns are a barrier to therapy

      Here in the States, you hear about your insurance company waiving co-pays for tele-health therapy visits in these “uncertain times,” but searching for providers confronts you with even more...

      Here in the States, you hear about your insurance company waiving co-pays for tele-health therapy visits in these “uncertain times,” but searching for providers confronts you with even more uncertainty. How do you evaluate their practices for safety and privacy? Every other practitioner subscribes to a different platform. Some, to my horror, use Zoom. Others have adopted a software suite to manage their entire practice. These therapists rely on the same company for scheduling appointment reminders, recording session notes, billing insurance, and running a video chat. When I have requested to connect via Signal, they express a preference for their platform, usually citing HIPAA compliance. One recommended a finding a provider who uses paper records as the only avenue open to me. But wasn’t there a time before companies like Spruce, SimplePractice, and TheraNest, where sensitive session notes were somehow distinct, less “networked” than today? How are therapists determining the privacy and security protections of their platform? How do I? Does anyone have experience with these companies?

      13 votes