In these age of widespread cyber-crimes, such identity theft and scams, it is more important than ever to keep our identity and our data safe. Most people think that cyber-criminals are only invested in upper echelons, like banks or directors of intelligence agencies . It's true that those people tend to be the main targets of criminals, but still, nobody is completely safe. Ever since social networks like Facebook became marketable, big corporations have gained unlimited access to the information of potential costumers. Amid this endless flow of data traffic between social networks and corporations, cyber-criminals can come across some of this information and use it to plan and play out scams. The good news is that there are several social network alternatives out there that we can use to keep in touch and share things with the people we care about.
Most e-mail users have Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo! accounts that can be either personal or professional. The problem with these companies is that they have complete access to all the user's information. They make sure to monitor them closely in order to customize all ads according to their search patterns.
Other e-mail service providers that will take care of your personal information and ensure your privacy are:
The aim of Rise Up collective is to offer free communication and safety for sensitive information. Their platform does not log into your IP like other companies do. They only keep information that cannot be used to track your computer and all your information is encrypted.
This community funded e-mail client gives you the option to either use your computer as a server to manage your data or to upload everything to a cloud. This way your information is not tracked. Moreover, it doesn't have any ads, so that makes it faster.
The most common apps that offer this kind of service are WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Both of them are highly vulnerable. Even if they claim to encrypt their users' messages, they can break or alter these encryptions on behalf of their or a third party's interests. Two alternatives are:
This is the best tool to send and receive all kinds of sensitive or non-sensitive data. You will have the certainty that nobody will be able to use your data because everything sent or shared is encrypted and then destroyed.
The personal information of Facebook or Twitter users can be easily stolen due to the careful way in which these two media monitor their users' interest patterns and turn them into marketing strategies. This is another option that will make you feel free and safe whenever you decide to share something:
Diaspora is a social network that is managed by its own users. You'll feel great freedom because it gives you the opportunity to choose who can see your information, or what kind or audience do you want to appeal to. You'll be the only one in charge of your data.
Its slogan makes it all clear: "Your data is your own." This social network does track your IP address, but everything you upload stays with you or your friends, not their servers. It also has a feature that let's you select content expiry time, so you can decide when to upload or stop sharing posts.
We devote a great part of our time to web searches. This has become a significant —if not crucial— tool for our daily activities: projects, important events, shopping, researching, and of course, managing our social networks. It's important to have a browser with a powerful search engine, but also one that's aware of our privacy. Some of these browsers are:
This is a tool you can add to your web browser to keep digital marketing pages or nosy trackers in line. It helps you make payments safely because your telephone number, credit card number, and your name will be safe, and you won't fall victim to scams.
We could call this browser an "espionage proof" web browser. It blocks spying ads and invisible trackers from those sources that seem to follow your IP address.
Anonymize Yourself. Electronic Self-Defense Handbook
Translated by Andrea Valle