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PSA: Stop labelling people interested in OPSEC and privacy as "paranoid". Paranoia is a mental illness, heavily influenced by fear, that makes someone believe they're under constant threat even when there is no evidence for thinking so.

Being careful about your online identity, privacy, taking care of your passwords, and using second factor authentication is not paranoia. It's common sense.

There are malicious actors who want to get their hands on as much information as possible. This is fact.

And I'm not just talking about evil hackers taking over Twitter or Facebook accounts for impersonation, or Nigerian scammers. I'm also talking about corporations such as Google and Facebook for which their personal information literally means money. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and many other companies literally make money by selling advertisements tailored to your specific interests.

And yes, coincidentally, there's also people abusing computer systems to extract banking information.

Every few weeks, websites get breached, the personal information they hold gets sold on the dark web, and spammers copy their users' email addresses for monetary gains. It's very common for people to lose money on the Internet due to very sophisticated phishing and spear-phishing campaigns. Not just computer illiterate people, not just 80 year olds, but also CEOs, Hollywood superstars, and avid 25 year-old computer users.

It can happen to any of us.

The only solution is to protect yourself.

To this end, make things as difficult as possible for everyone else.

1 - Never share or reuse passwords.
2 - Use two factor authentication whenever is possible.
3 - Invest some money in a good hardware device like a Yubikey. Spending 50 USD now could mean you don't lose 50k USD in the future due to a banking spear-phishing attack.
4 - Educate the people you love and care about. Teach them about the dangers of the Internet and how to remain safe.

Not paranoia: Just common sense.

@one I can't loose 50K because I don't have such an insane amount of money lol

@lucy Maybe not today. Maybe when you retire. Maybe you want to save up for a nice house some day. Maybe you win the lottery and get ripped off.

Or maybe you just get scammed through your own insurance company.

@lucy @one
If you don't have anything, there's nothing to steal. Modern problems require modern capitalist solutions :DDD

@foxhkron How not to get robbed: don't have anything of value lmao you broke-ass motherfucker. 10/10 WikiHow quality content. @lucy

@one better yet, treat passwords like your underwear change them once in a while, don't share them with others, and don't leave them hanging around.

`Being careful about your online identity, privacy, taking care of your passwords, and using second factor authentication is not paranoia.`

@one sure, but I've gone to the level of encrypting my all drives, selfhosting my e-mails and removing Google Play Services from my Android phone. how is that not a paranoia?

@rnickson The reality is that if you use Gmail, Google has direct, cleartext access to all your present, past, and future communications (even ones you thought you deleted). And to that extent, so does any USA or USA-allied government agency.

Same thing with Play Services and realtime location tracking.

nytimes.com/interactive/2019/0

This is not a conspiracy theory. It's a fact of our current, digital, interconnected world.

I too self-host my e-mail and stopped using Google (iPhone now).

`The reality is that if you use Gmail, Google has direct, cleartext access to all your present, past, and future communications (even ones you thought you deleted). And to that extent, so does any USA or USA-allied government agency.`

@one but I used Tutanota before the switch

@rnickson Tutanota is less of a target for USA and allies than Gmail is.

Plus, if we let one single company monopolise a market (be it social networks, e-mail, instant messaging... You know what I mean), is only going to make things easier for invasive surveillance-based states like USA, UK, China, North Korea, and most of Europe.

I too switch among ProtonMail, Tutanota, and my own self-hosted mail.

@one Literally something I can't explain to my (older) family. It always respond with 'it is not about whether you can trust someone with your data, it is about the fact they have data about you in the first place'.

@wowaname agreed. People really aren’t aware how corporations, governments, and computer systems work.

@one
After all, it's not paranoia when they're out to get you.

@one we need a word to describe the opposite of paranoia - the state where someone IS after you and you are very aware of that, but you gave up hiding because it's inconvenient.

@polychrome actually no, nevermind. Doesn't really apply to the last part of "giving up"

@one building a safe space through strong opsec also gives you room to heal, and once you have, the capability to help others in similar or worse circumstances!

@tethre The reality is that nobody is ever 100% transparent on the Internet. Not even those who claim not to care about security.

They wouldn't publish their real name and home address online. For whatever reason. Be it just creepers or preferring to troll anonymously, or whatever.

Everyone needs and wants privacy. Even those who call us paranoid.

And yes, you're exactly right.

@one the parts William Gibson wrote in Pattern Recognition about paranoia were also very, very helpful for me!

@one i hate it. i was naΓ―ve enough to listen to those calling me paranoid a few times, and in the end it's always me who gets in trouble, so...

good thing it's all in the past now.

@one and for those doing this (calling people paranoid): it's too easy to underestimate a threat if it doesn't affect you in any way. most likely the person is just doing everything you would do in their situation, but you usually neither know the details nor can adequately estimate it from a 3rd person point of view.

(i'm just angry at my coworker :x)

@leip4Ier de-anonymisation techniques affect everyone, although some to a higher degree (like Uighurs in China), to the point of putting their actual lives in danger, while others not so much (mostly first world middle and high class people, like me).

The issue is that not everyone realises. Especially first world people. And these are the people who are, often not knowingly, putting lives at risk by claiming that privacy doesn’t matter.

@one Put more bluntly, it's not paranoia when they actually are out to get you.

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