n. 1. The quality or condition of being secluded from the presence or view of others: I need some privacy to change into my bathing suit.
2. The state of being free from public attention or unsanctioned intrusion: a person’s right to privacy.
Happy Data Privacy Day! How are you keeping your data private?
Celebrate DPD by taking actions that will keep your information safe…
- Encrypt your text messages with apps like Signal or Dust.
- Use search engines that respect your anonymity like DuckDuckGo and Startpage.
- Use privacy-friendly browsers like Brave (or Firefox without plugins).
- Choose an email service provider outside of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (“5 Eyes” nations) – esp. one that offers encryption. Consider Protonmail or Confidesk.
- Obfuscate your web presence. Use Tor (available via Brave, TailsOS, or as an independent browser) or a Virtual Private Network. These will encrypt your web traffic – your shopping, browsing, etc. – and mask your IP address. When looking for a VPN service, find out if the provider records logs (we prefer they don’t) and if they offer entrance/exit nodes outside of the 5, 9 and 14 “Eyes” nations. Consider ProtonVPN – they keep no user logs and their paid plans include more than twenty-four global jurisdictions.
- Vet your file sharing applications. Instead of Dropbox, use a platform like Tresorit – a Swiss-based based company awarded ISO 27001 certification for its commitment to security and privacy.
- Write more letters, chat over coffee, and post less online!
We know what Google, Facebook and their properties are capable of… yet we continue to voluntarily give them our information. So post only what you are willing to have “eternally” live as data — remember that private account designations, deleting posts, etc. are only surface features. Be conscious of voice and facial mapping. (What if Instagram’s cute facial overlays that adorn us with laurel chaplets and cat whiskers really just confirm and reconfirm our facial structures?) You may have “nothing to hide” – and we hope you don’t – but privacy is one of the defining features of civilization and we ought to do our best to keep it. Your business is your business. So celebrate Data Privacy Day by taking steps to protect yourself and your data from governments, tech corporations, internet service providers, marketers, hackers, and criminals.