Recently I was invited to KOVA Esports podcast to talk about cyber security, online privacy and identity management from the perspective of gamers and gaming industry in general. Hosted by KOVA’s General Manager Timo Tarvainen and joined by their streamer Teemu “Spamned” Rissanen, we had a great one-hour long discussion. This post covers my own notes about the things we mentioned, source links included, and further expands on some of the topics. Links to the podcast episode can be found on the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
WhatsApp being a closed source app, owned and operated by Facebook, there’s not much you can do to protect your privacy from that angle. You can, however, limit the amount of data you expose to other WhatsApp users. These are all the privacy settings and tricks for WhatsApp you should be using.
Continuing my seemingly never-ending quest of digging through privacy policies, this time I analyzed how the most popular wearables companies handle their customers’ data. Fitbit, Biostrap, Motiv, Oura and Whoop all are on the cutting edge of health technology, but are their privacy practices on par with that or not?
A fellow biohacker Alex Fergus provided me with the opportunity to publish my little research article on his website. Over the years he has published tons of information on fitness, sleep and – of course – health gadgets. Few days ago he published the most comprehensive red light panel comparison I’ve ever seen, analyzing everything from EMF levels to irradiance and LED flicker. Let’s just say he knows his stuff, so I’m excited to try to match his professionalism on that space with mine about privacy.
I believe it’s time for the biohacker community to start valuing their data more. In my guest blog post you’ll learn:
- What data do these wearables collect?
- Are they selling or exchanging data with third parties?
- Data retention – how long are they storing your data?
- What can you do?
- And more…
(I got access to thinkspot beta and this was my first post on that platform. I decided to crosspost it here to increase awareness of thinkspot, and also because the issues I raise here are relevant on other social media platforms as well.)
Hi, I’m Joel, and I eat Privacy Policies for breakfast.
When it comes to privacy and social media platforms, LinkedIn is the necessary evil we have to put up with. While it’s a no-brainer to delete your Facebook account, but as so much of job recruitment revolves around LinkedIn, it’s a lot harder to severe ties with it. Many companies don’t even post their career opportunities anywhere else than on LinkedIn, and prefer applications that come directly through the platform. It’s also a great tool for headhunters to find suitable candidates.
So let’s assume you have a LinkedIn profile, you want to build up your online resume and personal brand, and want to be able to jump on an opportunity if it presents itself. However, you can accomplish all that without revealing every aspect of your professional self for the whole world to see by default. Let’s start of with LinkedIn settings and then move on to behavior on the platform, and other tips.
Spoiler alert: they’re called Direct Messages, not Private Messages, for a reason.
This is a collection of the best, most reputable and generally most acknowledged online privacy guides on the web. The list is updated frequently.
Links are sorted in alphabetical order to avoid any biases, and each of them contains a short snippet quoted from the respective sites. I have not and will not add privacy guides that are created by VPN “review” sites or other such entities that create content just to spam it with affiliate links.
I dare to say that these guides together cover all the bases when it comes to the best privacy practices, OPSEC, and basic online anonymity – even for the advanced users. However, if you think I’m missing a guide, please leave a comment below and I’ll happily review and possibly add it to the list, thank you.
The big five – Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google & Microsoft – have got a stranglehold of our digital life. Not just our digital identities, but almost all of our web experiences are reliant or connected to the technologies of these five companies.
Recently, Daniel Oberhaus from Motherboard and then Kashmir Hill from Gizmodo both experimented by completely “quitting” the Big Five, for four and six weeks respectively. Both of their stories are very insightful and definitely recommended reading for anyone. However, quitting the Big Five is exactly the kind of take on privacy that turns many people off from becoming more privacy aware.
I’ve seen this happen time and time again in r/privacy, where people who have just tipped their toes in the world on online privacy and security are getting barraged with comments like “LOL IF YOU’RE NOT USING LINUX YOU’RE SCREWED” and “YOU NEED TO DELETE ALL SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS”. But if we as a privacy community would dial back our tone just a bit, I think we could do way more good than what we’re doing right now.
All of us are built differently. That’s why our bodies can handle different foods in different ways, different workout routines yield varying results between individuals, and some of us seem to always get the seasonal flu while others stay stuffy-nose-free (seemingly without trying really hard to do so). So figuring out what’s the healthiest – the best – way of eating, exercising and living your life seems like a reasonable and even rational goal.
So how can we figure that out? With DNA testing, or to be more exact, analyzing genome and blood biomarkers. However, this type of testing has some obvious privacy repercussions. Let’s weigh the pros and the cons.
Usually when talking about personal data in the context of increasing (online) privacy, the discussion is revolving around either one or two of the following subjects:
- Removing as much of your data as possible
- Populating data about you with disinformation
What I see talked about less (or barely at all) is the active management of your online data and the controlled method of data disclosure. Maybe some dismiss this as a no-brainer, but in my opinion there’s some easy and powerful wins to be gained by giving this third subject the attention it deserves.