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    1. Please, if you haven’t already, see Part I and Part II. Besides using anti-virus software, I wondered if there were other ways in which I could reduce the amount of threats to my online privacy...

      Please, if you haven’t already, see Part I and Part II.

      Besides using anti-virus software, I wondered if there were other ways in which I could reduce the amount of threats to my online privacy and security. One method that I came across was to block adware and malware before it had the chance to reach my browser and computer.

      For the technically inclined person there is Pi-Hole which is a network-wide adware/malware blocker. The name comes from the use of a Raspberry Pi to act as a black hole for adware/malware. Currently, supported operating systems include Raspbian, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS.

      A much easier method, which essentially does the same thing, is to modify your computer’s hosts file. For a safe and easy way to do this, I recommend that you use free GUI software to implement this. Windows users can download Hosts File Editor+ and Mac users can download Gas Mask.

      Next, you will want a DNS blacklist that comes from trusted sources. The ones that I recommend are from Steven Black here: https://github.com/StevenBlack/hosts

      Scroll down the page a little until you come to a table of all the different combinations of blacklists.

      From there you would choose which list to use, as your new hosts file depending on your personal preferences by clicking on the corresponding Non Github mirror.

      Using your hosts file editing software, you would then create a new hosts file by copying and pasting your preferred list. You may want to check for an updated list every once in a while. Most of these lists have their associated creation dates near the top for convenience.

      24 votes
    2. I was browsing r/privacy today and I came across this guy going on about how Mozilla was just pretending to be privacy focused. Here's his comment. Now I don't really know what to think of this,...

      I was browsing r/privacy today and I came across this guy going on about how Mozilla was just pretending to be privacy focused. Here's his comment. Now I don't really know what to think of this, and frankly, I'm getting really exhausted of hearing about how all the things I'm using aren't actually trustworthy. So can so someone put my mind to rest? Does this guy's claims have any truth to them? Thanks.

      20 votes
    3. You may have missed part I which is, specifically, meant for those living in the United States. Most of us are aware of targeted advertisements in which companies (Facebook, Google, Amazon, and...

      You may have missed part I which is, specifically, meant for those living in the United States.

      Most of us are aware of targeted advertisements in which companies (Facebook, Google, Amazon, and countless others) use web cookies and other tracking mechanisms to collect information from your computer, network, and browsing activities in order to display relevant ads to you. In fact, there are hundreds of companies collecting, selling, and reselling your data. This data is stored in, potentially, thousands of databases throughout the world. Most of these companies are acting in ‘good faith’ and may not be involved in any illegal activities. Even so, there are many people who think this is creepy or borders on the edge of unethical practice. Read more.

      What happens when these databases are breached by hackers and end up on the dark web?

      Imagine that information in the hands of a boss who wants to lower your wages, a political opponent, a business competitor, a disgruntled neighbor, or a criminal.

      There are a growing number of people who are abandoning sites such as Facebook and Google because they are deeply concerned about their privacy. Journalist Kashmir Hill wrote an entertaining multi-part series, Goodbye Big Five, in which she chronicled her efforts to discontinue using Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple.

      16 votes
    4. After reading about and implementing simple privacy/security measures I thought it would be a good idea to share some of these things with others. Please, keep in mind that this is only meant as...

      After reading about and implementing simple privacy/security measures I thought it would be a good idea to share some of these things with others. Please, keep in mind that this is only meant as an introduction to the subject. Almost everything that will be covered can be carried out with no monetary cost.

      Part I is meant to serve those who reside in the United States.

      To put things in perspective, a 2016 study reported “total losses across all incidents of identity theft totaled $17.5 billion”. Furthermore, “More than a third (36%) of victims who spent 6 months or more resolving financial and credit problems as a result of the identity theft experienced severe emotional distress”.

      1. Place a freeze on your credit reports. Read more
      1. Stop unsolicited mail, phone calls, and email.
      2. Set up enhanced security features with my Social Security account.
      18 votes
    5. Comment Visits Setting This data is retained for 30 days. After not visiting a particular topic for 30 days, the data about your last visit to it will be deleted. We've had discussions before...

      Comment Visits Setting

      This data is retained for 30 days. After not visiting a particular topic for 30 days, the data about your last visit to it will be deleted.

      We've had discussions before about long-lived topics, resurrecting old topics, etc. and the general consensus is that they were good and encouraged. Unfortunately, with the limited 30-day memory for topic read-vs-new comments, resurrected posts become a real pain. The current activity-sorted all-time front page has three topics from 2018, each with over a hundred comments. It'd be nice to read the new activity, but that takes either some tedious Ctrl+F with various terms ("minutes", "days", etc.) to find newish comments or re-reading everything.

      I'd like to avoid relying on a third-party extension to handle this (browser and device support, issues with syncing multiple devices, etc.), and I understand the privacy goals. What are people's thoughts on making read-comment memory user-configurable, even if it's just "default 30-days" and "all-time"?

      10 votes
    6. The new Startpage.com Anonymous View feature has been tweaked since it was first released at the end of last year. Startpage.com developed Anonymous View to fix a major privacy gap with any...

      The new Startpage.com Anonymous View feature has been tweaked since it was first released at the end of last year.

      Startpage.com developed Anonymous View to fix a major privacy gap with any private search engine: once you click on one of the links you find and establish a direct connection with the third party website, you're back in the Wild West of Tracking. This website can see who you are, place cookies on your browser and track your behavior, including the links you click on and pages you view. This defeats part of the benefits of private search.

      Anonymous View fixes this privacy problem AND fixes the perennial problem of proxies that only display part of a page or break without JavaScript. Anonymous View uses JS while protecting your privacy -- even preventing fingerprinting by masking your user agent information

      PS : This is from a reddit post

      8 votes
    7. A few years ago I got into improving my knowledgebase of personal security - theory and tools - but it didn't go much farther than reinforcing everything with 2FA and setting up a password...

      A few years ago I got into improving my knowledgebase of personal security - theory and tools - but it didn't go much farther than reinforcing everything with 2FA and setting up a password manager, plus setting up a VPN and full disk encryption.

      It seems like we're amidst a rising tide of data breaches due to, IMHO, laziness and cheapness on the part of many companies storing personal data.

      So, recently I've embarked on my second journey to improve my own security via habits and software and teaching myself. Privacytools has been a super helpful resource. My main lesson this time is to take ownership/responsibility for my own data. To that end, I have switched to KeyPass with yubikey 2FA (still trying to figure out how to get 2FA with yubi on my android without NFC), moved over to Joplin for my note taking (away from Google and Evernote) and also switched to NextCloud for all of my data storage and synchronization. I'm also de-Googling myself, current due-date is end of March when Inbox is shut down.

      So my question / discussion topic here, is, what are everyone's thoughts on the future of practical personal security and privacy? More decentralization and self-hosting? That's what it looks like to me. Blockchain tech would be cool for public objects like news articles, images etc. but from what I understand that has zero implication for anything personal. The other newish tech is PGP signatures, which I'm still having trouble implementing/finding use for, but surely that will change.

      There is this topic but that ended up just being about encryption which I think is a no-brainer at this point. I'm more so looking for the leading edge trends.

      17 votes