During the 2014 I’ve learned how much privacy and security are important. Apart from my “nerdy needs”, I started observing my habits, considering who reads what and where my important information are stored online. My bank accounts, passwords, email and some private conversations should stay private and encrypted. Some other information should still be available to somebody as other documents could be read by anyone.

Sometimes we need to keep secrets, secret.

I discovered and I got annoyed by the fact that, in order to provide a “spam-free inbox” or other advertisement service, all my emails are read and scanned by Gmail. I also got rid of Dropbox because after thousand of passwords leaked, I felt bad that some of my documents were stored in a not-really-safe service. So, when I am communicating or sharing things with others, I decided to switch to secure and private channels when needed… including those services that are considering encryption as a serious thing and not just a joke as SSL. So I wrote down a list of suggestions to improve the privacy and the security.

I changed my habits in order to prevent security or privacy problems. The web is full of resources and here are some suggestions that I found:

  • Use GnuPG to encrypt and sign files and messages. Read more about GPG on Mac
  • Use BitTorrent Sync to synchronize files, instead of Dropbox… Just install it!
  • Start surfing the web using a Virtual Private Network. Build your own OpenVPN server if you can: It is MUCH cheaper and safer than buying any service! Read more here
  • Use End-to-End encryption with Adium/Pidgin or Telegram. Here is the guide
  • Activate the Firewall on all your devices… always!
  • Enable 2 Factor Authentication where possible. Read more
  • Generate random,** different** and stronger passwords. I use 1Password and I really suggest to do not sync over iCloud and Dropbox, but instead use BitTorrent Sync and local WiFi for your iPhone/Android.
  • Manage privacy settings on Facebook and other social networks.
  • Share messages, photos and documents carefully, asking yourself ”who should not see that?”.

I collected those suggestions that helped me to keep my documents safe, but I don’t want to cause paranoia, because sometimes there is no need to get obsessed by encryption and privacy settings. If you have any other suggestion, please write a comment down below to share it with other readers. I wish you a private and secure 2015! :)

Here is a cute kitty for you!