Privacy advice for the average joe

So this year I seem to have turned from “That person who hates technology” to “There might be something to this” in terms of electronic privacy.

Honestly I had given up the battle years ago for average people. Thus far I’ve generally recommended:

  • Don’t charge in, try a to switch one at a time to a few of the below list.
  • What you do depends on what you care about (conversation always starts with what do you care about?)

Things to try:

  • Don’t use facebook
  • Use duckduckgo for searching instead of google.
  • Degoogled phones may be a good choice. see braxman’s store.
  • eff’s privacy badger

I’m a bit concerned that I may be too out of touch as I’ve avoided most social media(this is as close as I get) and the cloud for over a decade.

Haven’t been able to think of good average joe cloud avoidance yet… What are your thoughts on recommendations to non techies?

Sorry…It’s unclear what you’re asking about…

Privacy tips in general?
OS/Software/Browser privacy tools?
Communication options?
Cloud service recommendations?

Recommendations for protecting the privacy of an average person (low technical skill, and low tolerance for failure)

I think the person who, first and foremost, avoids being tracked or commoditized while computing has a solid headstart. So:

  • Privacy-respecting OS
  • VPN subscription(s)
  • Privacy-respecting Browser(s)
  • Browser tracker-blocking extensions
  • Privacy-respecting DNS resolver
  • Privacy-respecting email service
  • Pi-hole installation, or a comprehensive hosts file to block abusive websites

Mobile is slightly harder, but not impossible:

  • Custom Android ROM
  • FOSS applications (from F-Droid)
  • VPN subscription(s)
  • Privacy-respecting Browser(s)
  • Browser tracker-blocking extensions
  • Tracker-blocking app
  • Privacy-respecting DNS resolver
  • Privacy-respecting email service
  • Privacy-respecting messaging apps
  • A mobile service provider that does not monetize your data

Internet-connected household appliances and devices:

  • Pi-hole installation on home network

And the bleeding obvious:

  • Avoid privacy-abusing online services from the likes of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and so on.

I also try to compartmentalize as much as possible. For instance, different browsers for different kinds of activities, different email aliases for different categories, even different phone numbers sometimes, and so on.

[It might be tricky for some, including me, to avoid Amazon, though.;-)]

And now I guess we have to worry about being tracked by the software in our cars. Not sure how to deal with that, other than to drive an old-school car, hopefully one with low emissions…or to not drive at all.

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Target audience would be those who recently started to care (target isn’t myself)

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After using FB for years, I managed not to use it for over 8 months now. Takes some time to get over FB addiction, but now I’m fine. A big bonus is the time you win by not daily using social media.
Next step is to delete my FB account (I’l delay that till I get my L5 …) :woozy_face:


Before you delete it, you should make a formal request for all the data they have on you. It would be interesting to hear about the kinds of things they’ve hoarded on an individual for years.

One of my favorite people on the planet:

Yeah, sorry…I got carried away. Many of the things I listed can be easy for novices, though.

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For starting out, you may wish to try the SANS Ouch Newsletter. It is deemed as a security awareness newsletter for “everyone.” It comes out monthly, but the past issues are also at that site. Part of my daily routine is listening to the podcast at SANS, but perhaps that is more in depth than you wish for now.

Also, for more general information, but perhaps a wider view:

PS. I forgot this is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. You may also want to peruse some of the Tip Sheets from CISA.