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EDWARD SNOWDEN SAYS GET RID OF DROPBOX, AVOID FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE

13 Oct EDWARD SNOWDEN SAYS GET RID OF DROPBOX, AVOID FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE

Welcome to the Weekend Round-up.

Edward Snowden knows a thing or two about online privacy, so when he suggested avoiding services like Google, Facebook and Dropbox at last week’s New Yorker Festival, it’s hard to ignore his advice.

Like many of you, I use all three services, daily and i’m well aware of their risks. But they have become an essential part of my work and personal life, and the benefit they provide means it’s easy to turn a blind eye to the risks.

We’re not here to tell you to get rid of Google, Facebook and Dropbox, but we can’t in good conscious ignore the realities of using these services and let you turn a blind eye. So we’ve decided to share a few hints that will instantly reduce your risk of being attacked. Some of these may be obvious to you, but there are still a lot of people who ignore these basics.

1) The first step to privacy protection is controlling the amount of data that you reveal on the internet. Only give out as much as you have to. People  give out sensitive and critical information via sites, online forums, acquaintances, and through emails without even realizing it. Click here for some ways on how you can protect your online privacy.

2) Passwords! This one may seem obvious, but very few people do it:

– Don’t use the same, or slightly modified versions of the same passwords for every account.

– Change your passwords every few months.

– Avoid the obvious cliches, birthdays, pet and family names. Use random sets of numbers , letters and characters.

3) Look at an alternative cloud storage solution like SpiderOak,that uses encryption. Their “Zero Knowledge” privacy policy, means you’re the only person who knows what’s being encrypted.

4) Take the time to review and adjust your privacy settings on Facebook and Google.

– For starters, you can prevent Google from collecting and sharing your data as much as possible by using your browser’s private/incognito mode, which erases tracking cookies, including Google’s.

– How do you keep your data private but without deleting Facebook? Don’t add extra information to your profile such as life events, places you’ve lived, and so on.

– Don’t hit “Like” so frequently and consider removing past “likes”.

– Opt out of social ads.

– Disable instant website personalization.

Click here for more privacy tips on Google and Facebook.

5) Any company with a ‘Bring your own device’ (BYOD) policy, stop sending unencrypted text messages. Use an encrypted communications service like RedPhone or Silent Circle which prevents private communication from being intercepted by technology.

News moves fast. Technology news moves even faster. Aware’s Weekend Round-Up will cover off any local and overseas news you may have missed over the weekend. Start your week off with a coffee and Aware’s Weekend Round-Up.