Free privacy tools

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Yup. Friends don’t let friends use windows 10. Or buy surface books.

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By that argument, also don’t use a Mac, iPhone or anything from Google. Don’t order things from Amazon, especially don’t use Alexa (talk about a privacy nightmare right there). Don’t use a virusscanner’s web-activity-scanning functionality, because it might offload strong TLS certificates with its own shoddy ones. Make sure nobody that knows anything about you uses Facebook. Don’t use Tor, because maybe your exit point is operated by the NSA. Don’t walk outside, there’s camera’s everywhere. The only way to be safe is to live in a trailer out in the Mohave desert with a large Faraday cage built over it covered in a sand-colored tarp (so as to not show up on Google Earth).

But seriously, if you install Windows 10 and then set all the privacy settings to “off” it is no more of a “privacy nightmare” than any other OS with a Siri/Alexa/Cortana-like assistent built in (and in all cases you can, and should, disable these functions unless you really really want to talk to your computer/phone).

Read this to get a primer on keeping yourself secure and support your government when they want to impose laws and rules to make your privacy more guaranteed (because, let’s be honest, most of the “big” privacy issues can not be solved by installing something on your computer).

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But that’s emphatically not my argument otherwise i would have made it myself. Are you saying that we can either use all these privacy-invading tools or none at all? Are you offering a binary choice there with nothing inbetween? Someone in the comments on that arstechnica article about the DOJ wanting to break encryption put it quite succinctly i thought…

Generally speaking, security works a bit like a dimmer switch between security and convenience. You add/remove layers as necessary until you find the balance that works for your use-case.

I don’t, as it happens, use most of those things you listed - i think anyone who willingly buys an open mic for their home has a screw loose - but most of us kinda need an OS and even if you lock win10 down as much as you think you have it still communicates with the microsoft mothership. There are many third party tools i suppose but every new, forced, update resets the lot and you have to start over. That presumes the average user has any idea how to do all this; win10 privacy settings are about as obtuse as facebook’s.

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Microsoft’s Windows team doesn’t give a damn for consent; it neither reauests your consent for updates nor respects your consent wrt privacy settings. At least Google isn’t ambitious or evil enough to do what Microsoft does.

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It is a severely flawed view that Microsoft is the only company “evil enough” to mine your data. Facebook mines your data even if you’re not on Facebook. My point is that a lot of people these days are way too paranoid about some parts of their security, yet then shout out some command to Alexa while uploading family photos to Facebook or Instagram. Unless you’re a reporter, or someone with crucial info that needs to go to a reporter, or something along those lines, it is enough to take some basic common sense steps (as outlined by the EFF in the link in my previous comment).

Beyond that it is much more important to get your government to enact strong privacy rules, because that is the only way to get companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, or Facebook to respect your privacy.

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