With the US presidential election looming only 11 days away and prospects for any decent outcome growing slim, now’s a better time than any to explore alternatives to the broken political system. If you’ve been following this series of 13 ways to advance liberty outside of politics, you’ll already be getting into Bitcoin and financial freedom from the government-controlled currency scam. Next stop: protecting your privacy.
We live in an age of global digital connectivity. This has led to an explosion in information and progress, but has also made access to every aspect of our lives startlingly easy. Edward Snowden famously revealed the disturbing extent to which the government is spying on its citizens’ every move, causing quite the chilling effect on anyone looking to exercise their liberty in a way that would inconvenience the state. Well, it’s time to fight back. Encrypt your world, so you’re no longer held hostage by spying.
First, you need to get a good encrypted messaging service, like Signal for texts and voice, or Wire. Get your friends and family to use them. Next, encrypt and sign your emails with GPG. Finally, get rid of any third party apps that require a bunch of special permissions that shouldn’t need them. The SnoopWall Privacy App is a great way of identifying every permission that your apps need.
But remember, encryption is more than technology: it’s a mindset. No amount of technological tools can help you if your behavior is careless. Practice awareness of financial transactions, start to finish, realizing what information you’ve divulged for which purchases and what can be traced. Watch your social media presence. Don’t talk carelessly in public about sensitive information. Mind your audience and environment. Use euphemisms and communicate through context to avoid using keywords that can easily reveal exactly what you’re talking about to outside listeners. In short, keep a mindset that you’re always under surveillance, and anything you say can and will be used against you. Practice discretion. It will make you a much harder target, and could save your life someday.