Protecting yourself online: A short beginners guide

Protecting yourself online: A short beginners guide

So why write this guide?

In the light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and LinkedIn hack (only to name the most recent), a lot of people are asking how can they protect themselves from data theft and mass government surveillance.  As soon as I start throwing acronyms around like HTTPS, GnuPG and VPN eyes start to glaze over. I wrote this guide to provide a basic starting point for online security for even the least technical person.

If this is you when the latest in Elliptic Curve Cryptography is being discussed, then this guide is for you.

Who is this guide for and what will it teach me?

As this is designed for most casual users of technology (journalists or whistle blowers this is NOT for you)  This guide will help you learn how to:

  • Defend your various online accounts/identities (think Facebook, Spotify ect) from being compromised
  • Stop the surveillance of your communications via broad data collection by both the government and/or the weird guy sitting at Starbucks
  • Reduce the amount damage done when a website (like LinkedIn) has a data breach

In order to keep this short and straight to the point, this guide will cover 4 (in my opinion) critical areas:

  1. Passwords
  2. Securing your connection to the Internet
  3. Protecting your privacy on the Internet (in progress)
  4.  Intelligent use of the Internet to avoid common attacks (in progress)

Covering these 4 critical areas will protect you against most threats a typical Internet user will face. For the more advanced users (or the brave beginner)  this guide is pretty basic but a good starting point into more sophisticated defenses.

This guide is split into 4 separate posts to prevent it turning into a wall of text. Start Here or click the links above to go to the corresponding post.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *