How to digitally encrypt your life in less than an hour

Digital & Cyber Security for Everyone

An interesting and helpful article was highlighted to us recently that discusses and shows the benefits of securing your data and how to encrypt it, even for the less computer savvy users. Full details can be found in the following link and a summary follows.

How to encrypt your entire life in less than an hour

Definition of Encryption from Wikipedia:

“In cryptography, encryption is the process of encoding a message or information in such a way that only authorised parties can access it and those who are not authorised cannot. Encryption does not itself prevent interference, but denies the intelligible content to a would-be interceptor.”

Encrypting your data

Tip #1: Use two-factor authentication on your inbox

Your inbox is the skeleton key to your life. If an attacker compromises it, they can not only read your emails, they can use it to reset your passwords for pretty much anything. This includes social media accounts and even bank accounts.

Tip #2: Encrypt your hard drive

Both Windows and MacOS have built-in full-disk encryption. You just need to turn it on.

Tip #3: Turn on your phone’s password protection

Thumbprint identification is better than nothing, but it’s often not enough.

An attacker will usually get 10 tries before your phone will completely lock them out. So if your 4-digit password is one of these common ones, change it.

1234
9999
1111
3333
0000
5555
1212
6666
7777
1122
1004
1313
2000
8888
4444
4321
2222
2001
6969
1010

Tip #4: Use different passwords for each service.

Passwords are inherently insecure.

Mark Zuckerberg used the password “dadada” on his LinkedIn account. Earlier this year, when hackers released 117 million email-password combinations, his was among them. Hackers were then able to use his email and password to gain access to his Twitter and Pinterest accounts.

Tip #5: Send private text messages with Signal or Telegram

Signal is a popular messaging service that got a perfect score from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. You can do all the things you would normally do through text messages, like have group messages and send photos and videos. Except that everything’s encrypted.

Signal - Secure Messenger Application

Tip #6: Your browser’s incognito mode isn’t private enough

Even if you use Chrome’s “Incognito Mode” or Firefox’s “Private Browsing”, the following parties will still be able to snoop in on your network activity:

  • Internet service providers
  • System administrators in charge of the network at your school, workplace, or wherever get online
  • Google, or whoever made your browser

Tip #7: Browse in private with Tor

Tor stands for “The Onion Router” which is a reference to its use of many onion-like layers to mask network activity. It’s free, open source, and reasonably easy to use.

Tor Browser

Tip #8: Search in private

If Tor isn’t convenient enough for you, you can at least search privately using DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn’t track you.

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