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A Simple Guide

For Better

Privacy & Security

Easy ways to help secure your digital life. Free, open-source, or non-profit software.

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First things first...

Why should I care?

Good question. Just like setting a PIN on your phone, locking your doors at night, or sending mail in a sealed envelope, there are simple things that you can do to protect yourself online. Here are some of the easiest ways to improve your digital privacy and security.

Call & Text

Signal

🎁 Free

🎉 Open Source

✌️Non-Profit

Signal is a secure texting, calling, and video chat app that doesn't collect any information about you. It's widely considered to be the safest option for communication, and even the Army recommends Signal for their troops to use in countries where surveillance is pervasive.

Business Insider writes about some of Signal's core features.

Passwords

Bitwarden

🎁 Free

🎉 Open Source

Bitwarden is a secure cloud password manager. It has a browser extension and an app, making logging into websites and apps easy. Its free option works on different platforms, and paid features include being able to use it for both password management and two-factor authentication.

In Bitwarden for Beginners, Martin Shelton walks through how to get started.

Internet

Firefox

🎁 Free

🎉 Open Source

✌️Non-Profit

Firefox is an internet browser that has built-in features like tracker blocking, HTTPS-only mode, DNS privacy, and allows you to opt-out of data collection from the organization.

Wirecutter has a great collection of different ad and tracker blockers here.

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Internet

Browser Extensions

uBlock Origin

🎁 Free

🎉 Open Source

Ad and tracker blocking. Available in Chrome, Firefox, Edge.

HTTPS Everywhere

🎁 Free

🎉 Open Source

✌️Non-Profit

More secure connections to websites. Available in Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera.

Bitwarden

🎁 Free

🎉 Open Source

Password management and stronger passwords. Available in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and more.

Two-Factor

Authy

🎁 Free

Authy is a simple and well-designed two-factor authentication app. Two-factor is one of the safest ways to make sure nobody gets into your accounts except you. After entering a password when logging in, you'll be asked for a randomly generated code from Authy before being allowed in. This means that even if your password is stolen, without that code your account will be locked. Authy's key feature is backing-up your codes, ensuring you never get locked out of your accounts if you lose or change phones.

Here's Wirecutter's review of two-factor apps.

Notes

Standard Notes

🎁 Free

🎉 Open Source

Standard Notes is a secure note-taking app. It syncs across devices and has apps for all platforms.

Email

Protonmail

🎁 Free

🎉 Open Source

ProtonMail is an easy-to-use secure email service that doesn't scan your messages for any reason.

VPN

ProtonVPN

🎁 Free

🎉 Open Source

ProtonVPN is a virtual private network (VPN) service provider operated by the makers of ProtonMail. VPNs change your IP address - an identifying number associated with your internet connection - and secures your internet traffic, making your device's physical location and data connection private.

Freedom of the Press Foundation has written an in-depth guide to choosing a VPN.

Anonymity

Tor Browser

🎁 Free

🎉 Open Source

✌️Non-Profit

Using Tor Browser is similar to browsing the internet using a VPN, but powered by technology originally designed by the US Navy to protect against surveillance on the internet. Now Tor is used by journalists, activists, students, researchers, and everyday people who don't want their online behavior being logged and cataloged by governments and corporations.

"Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world."

Eric Hughes

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Learn More

Ready to go deeper?

EFF's Surveillance Self-Defense

Tips, Tools, and How-tos for Safer Online Communications.

Freedom of the Press Foundation Guides & Training

Digital security training for news organizations, freelance and citizen journalists, and other at-risk groups.

PrivacyTools

PrivacyTools provides services, tools, and knowledge to protect your privacy against global mass surveillance.

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You made it!

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Has this guide been helpful? Send me a message on Twitter or email me at normalsecurity@protonmail.com to let me know!

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