Take back control of your data


Embrace a zero trust model. Don’t rely on reactive security practices. Never trust. Always verify. Never put all your eggs into one basket.

These are ~3 things you should absolutely be doing:

1. Better passwords:

  • go change them all, seriously, right now!
  • use strong/non-unique passwords (diceware)
  • never mix or reuse them across services/accounts
  • use a password manager (preferably offline, like KeePassXC)
  • avoid sharing passwords and use something that notifies you of breaches (but don’t rely solely on reactive security)
  • enable 2FA/MFA, possibly use hardware keys/tokens
  • backup everything just in case
  • update your OS with security updates and employ active IDS/IPS (it’s not as hard as it sounds)
  • disable and/or avoid telemetry from your OS, browser and IoT devices
  • don’t use browser storage for sensitive info including passwords

2. Better browsing:

  • block ads at the host level (Pi-hole, DNSSEC/DNSCRYPT, /etc/hosts, router VPN)
  • uBlock Origin, LibRedirect, Smart Referrer
  • ensure website integrity (in Tor, you can verify a site’s /mirrors.txt)
  • use a private search engine (SearXNG, DuckDuckGo, Brave)
  • don’t use unnecessary extensions (cf. https://github.com/arkenfox/user.js/wiki/4.1-Extensions) - useless bullshit
  • use HTTPS (default in your regular browser usually)
  • DNS over HTTPS (DOH)
  • containerize and/or sanitize browsing in-between sessions, (again, Arkenfox/user.js)
  • minimize your footprint/fingerprint (Firefox RFP)
  • plain-text emails only, question all attachments from all sources

3. Practice your OPSEC:

  • don’t login on another person’s device and use privacy shields if you can
  • avoid password hints or use answers that have nothing to do with them (confuse the enemy :))
  • don’t use a 4-digit pin for your devices, use a strong password
  • minimize or eliminate the SMS 2FA for services to avoid SIM swaps
  • avoid using your password manager for OTP
  • avoid face and biometric unlocks
  • never reuse usernames
  • use a mail forwarding service to combat spam (and further confuse the enemy)
  • use security keys (YubiKey, etc.) for U2F/OATH/FIDO; they are resistant to phishing
  • personal security checklist