You might want to be more private and secure on the internet and be so frustrated with the sad reality that it does take real work. Like most things, there’s no easy solution. However, there are some things you can buy; they’re designed to conveniently be good for your privacy and security without much work, which is pretty cool. This article will take you through some of our favorite products you can buy, designed to benefit your privacy and security, some of which are advertised to do so, and well, others may have some inspiration from movies.
In the mobile space is a collection of products we recommend for your phones and any other mobile device:
They work by removing the data prongs from the USB interface, which allows you to charge your device but eliminates the possibility of data flow. When you’re traveling through airports and hotels, especially with poor batteries, there is a slight possibility you could be victim to something called juice, jacking a method of either stealing data or loading malware onto your device from an infected charging port.
iOS and Android have taken some mitigations against this, but they are software workarounds. If you want peace of mind, USB data blockers are a guaranteed way to stop all data flow through USB. It’s cheap, fits in your pocket, and will offer great peace of mind in public charging spots.
These make it hard for people around you in public or even your nosy friends from peeking at what you’re doing from side angles. Once you have one, you’ll never go back.
Webcam covers and Cases
They help to prevent unauthorized access to your camera. You can get sliding covers for your front camera or just put tape. If you never use it. Depending on your phone, there are also some sliding case covers for rear cameras.
For those without a 3.5mm audio Jack, dongles can help avoid using Bluetooth, which is an inherent security risk. It’s essential to use protection, especially with strangers.
Cryptocurrencies have valid use cases, and hardware wallets are a fantastic and secure storage method. We highly recommend The Ledger Nano. They are simple, convenient, and secure, a rare combination. There are some alternatives to the ledger, but we recommend the ledger because it’s the most tested, an excellent go-to option, and stable in the industry, all for a relatively affordable price.
Secure External Storage.
Not everything needs to be built strictly for privacy and security to repurpose things a little bit. Here we have two recommendations. The first is an external hard drive or SSD. We recommend these for backing up your data and transferring data on the go.
Where this becomes a security tool is when you use Vera crypt or another encryption software to encrypt the drive, removing the need for you to store your data on the cloud or other insecure methods. We have a guide showing how to use Vera crypt. And if you have an external drive, those instructions will enable you to carry your data anywhere with the peace of mind that if you lose the drive, no one will likely be able to break into it.
Similarly, flash drives are an excellent tool for the same scenario. But another incredible perk to flash drives is they are great for live operating systems. I carry around several flash drives in my backpacks, each load of different operating systems like Tails OS, a recovery windows ISO (You never know when you’re going to need that one), and more. You can have an arsenal, and it’s pretty amazing. Another layer to this is having a flash drive with your KeePass X database. Watch this video of KeePass X inside a vera crypt container if you want to go that far. That means you can boot into any OS on any computer and just plug another flash drive in to gain instant access to all of your accounts. The possibilities are endless. So, let your imagination run wild.
It is a guaranteed way to physically unplug the camera when you’re done using it to prevent unauthorized access. Using an external webcam will also allow you to permanently remove or tape up your regular cameras without the fear of missing out (FOMO). Similarly, we recommend using external mics https://amzn.to/3HLRY7s found on things like earbuds, which would enable you to remove all the mikes on your devices as well.
Knowledge is power, and we believe that constantly learning about privacy and security is just as important as some other things on this list. We have a catalog of privacy and security books on the Techlore storefront. The two most significant recommendations I can make are the art of invisibility, as well as the age of surveillance and capitalism. Seriously, I cannot recommend some of these books enough. They will change your entire perception of how you view the world and what it means for privacy and surveillance. Plus, you’ll have bookshelves just like Tyler.
Your home router may be one of the most overlooked devices because you do not think about it. The reality is all devices are connected to this one central device, which has been known to be a target of attacks and is prone to vulnerabilities. Because of this, we recommend picking up a router that supports custom firmware built for your privacy and security in mind, something like OpenWrt and pfSense. A very commonly recommended router compatible OpenWrt is the Netgear Nighthawk R7800 which people just seem to absolutely love. So that’s our main recommendation.
We recommend picking up things like Raspberry PIs, looking through do-it-yourself (DYI) projects, and seeing if anything speaks to you. Maybe you use a Raspberry PI as a home storage solution to avoid cloud storage. Maybe it functions as a home security camera hub so that you can get away from the Amazon nests. And there are even things like firewalls and intrusion detection systems (IDS), and I’m sure you can set up some fancy Tony Stark thing. You can do whatever you want. The possibilities are endless, and if you’re creative, just have some fun with it.
The following product recommendations have some things that are a bit unpopular in the privacy community, but seriously, hear us out. These are all cool projects that have a place; however, there’s a better option if you want something with the utmost security in mind, out of the box, not necessarily privacy.
Ipads and Chromebooks.
With fantastic software support, a decent price point, and incredible convenience, it sounds too good to be true. Again, this is for something that’s only for high-security personal tasks, and it’s even recommended by Kevin Mitnick in the art of invisibility as well as many modern-day security researchers. The iPad and the Chromebook are arguably some of the most secure devices money can buy with some of the tightest sandboxes and security models that protect you from traditional attacks.
Yes, they’re not open source. Yes. There will likely be data collection from Apple or Google. But again, this is simply for high-security personal usage, which can be compartmentalized from other activities. These are some of the most secure devices you can buy. And if you’re able to work with that threat model and that’s something that you could benefit from, it is a pretty sweet setup.
These are designed to eliminate all radio signals transmitted by your devices to guarantee no signals leave them. The backpack will protect everything inside of its pouch. And there are smaller pouches for just your phone or car keys. When traveling, you can use these to add hardware-level restrictions if your threat model calls for something this advanced.
And that is our top products you can buy today, designed or easily modified to improve your security and privacy. Make sure to leave a comment below with your favorite products that you love and especially remember to like, and share this article with your friends and family. Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you next time.