Simple Tips to improve your digital Privacy & Security
What is Normal Security?
Normal Security is a minimal guide to help you maximize your digital privacy and security. You'll find a single app recommendation across the most important parts of your digital life.
If you're a security expert, this guide probably isn't for you. If you're someone who knows the importance of digital privacy and security but is overwhelmed with the amount of information on the internet, this guide is 💯 for you. If you're a digital security trainer, this guide is a great entry point that you can share.
Signal is a user-friendly private messenger. It's regarded as having the strongest encryption available to consumers and is recommended by activists and governments alike. The app has a large user base, so you'll probably find that a lot of your friends and family are already using it.
Having strong and unique passwords is one of the best ways you can protect your accounts online. Bitwarden is a simple but powerful password manager that stores logins, notes, identity, and credit card information. Extensions are available for many browsers making logging in easy.
Two-factor support is available for paid users.
Firefox is the most well-known browser developed by a non-profit organization. It has built-in blocking of trackers and other malicious things, making it a great option for those that don't want to install too many extensions.
uBlock Origin is a powerful adblocking extension for many popular browsers. It'll show you how many ads and other trackers are being blocked on the website you're viewing.
Two-factor is the best way to secure your online accounts. Any account that has your personal, financial, or other sensitive information should absolutely have two-factor enabled. You'll pair your accounts with an app that generates a unique and random code that's required to log in. This ensures that if your passwords are ever stolen, nobody will be able to access your accounts unless they also have access to your two-factor app.
Authy is recommended over open-source alternatives because of its cloud backups. All of your two-factor pairings are automatically restored when you log in to the app on a new device.
Skiff is the private Google Docs. It has a clean UI, your data is end-to-end encrypted, you can log in with your Metamask wallet, and you can opt-in to use a new decentralized file storage system called IPFS.
Keybase is more than just a secure file storage solution. If you work on a team, it's great for collaboration, offering encrypted chat, shared storage, and git functionality. The main value that's available to everyone is its 250 GB of free encrypted storage!
Standard Notes is a straightforward encrypted note-taking app. Desktop and mobile apps are available for all major platforms, making it accessible wherever you are. The free option lacks common formatting features like rich text, but is nevertheless recommended for its portability and data security practices.
ProtonMail is a secure email service. ProtonMail data at rest and in transit are encrypted, and when two ProtonMail users message each other, their conversation is protected by PGP in the background. There are free and paid tiers, with optional VPN, calendar, and file storage services.
A VPN, or virtual private network, hides your physical location from the websites you connect to, and secures your connection from eavesdroppers. When you use a commercial VPN, you're connecting to a remote computer that forwards your web requests, making it appear that you're connecting from that machine. For example, if your VPN is in Germany and you visit google.com, you'll see the language is now German, and when you search for restaurants, you'll only see results from that country.
Mullvad is easy to use, doesn't log any data, and has additional configuration features available for advanced users.
Tor Browser is an anonymous, anti-censorship browser developed by the Tor Project.
Like a VPN, Tor routes your web requests through other computers, hiding your location. But unlike a VPN, Tor is a decentralized network of volunteer computers around the world. With no central server that receives every request, it removes a single point of failure.
Already have Tor Browser and need help finding trustworthy .onion sites? Check out uncensored.domains for links to Twitter, New York Time, BBC, and more!
How are apps selected?
The app needs to be available for iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, and Windows.
It needs to be easy to use by a non-technical user, without requiring speical knowledge.
We love open source for it's transparency and ethos of collaboration.
The app needs to be free to use to anyone that can access it.
We prefer organizations that choose people over profits.
A robust mobile security guide, with information ranging from sending secure email to real-time local updates wherever you are.
Tips, Tools, and How-tos for Safer Online Communications from the EFF.
Freedom of the Press Foundation
Digital security training for news organizations, freelance and citizen journalists, and other at-risk groups.
Easy-to-follow tips to protect you and your family.
New York Times
How to protect your digital privacy.
A fairly exhaustive guide for all things digital.