The internet wasn’t designed with privacy and security in mind and so we have entities of all kind mismanaging our data with reckless abandon. Removing yourself from the picture that is the internet isn’t the most realistic form of privacy, no. That is if you still want to participate in it.
You’ll stand out more than you realize anyways, defeating the entire purpose of your intentions. What’s more effective is being private in plain sight. Take a few steps back first.
What does privacy realistically look like for you?
Examine your daily life. If you live a blue collar lifestlye and don’t really use digital products or the internet much, then your focus would be aimed towards maintaining physical privacy.
On the flipside, if you spend a considerable amount of time on the internet using all sorts of digital products then you need to be focused on securing your online privacy.
For most people, their privacy posture generally fits somewhere in between the two spectrums mentioned above. Find out what your exposure is, explore tools that make sense for you, and begin implementing them into your life.
If you’re trying to maintain privacy in the physical world, then you’ll need to consider what personal access points you want to limit from malicious actors. Some questions you should ask yourself:
- What surveillance tools are available for outside parties to use against you?
- What information do you leak to potential malicious parties?
- Who are the malicious parties that are trying to compromise your privacy?
Effective privacy is being obscure among a large group. Think about it this way. You’ve got the option to hide in 1 of 2 groups. Group A consists of 10 people and Group B consists of 2,000 people. Which group would be easiest to hide within?
You have a much easier time moving within a group of 2,000 people. This is called Grey Man status—be present without being noticeable.
The architecture of the internet was not built with privacy-preserving controls as the default. Everything you do on the internet leaves behind breadcrumbs about you (lots of info and metadata).
Encryption tools help obscure this data and makes it difficult to access, but if not used correctly, it still stands out. Not good enough.
You should first understand your data exposure and this comes from having a full view of the digital products and platforms you’re using.
Then you can look into using different accounts and tools that obfuscate your digital footprint. Make it challenging to pinpoint private information about you. Applying best practices for private browsing will help maintain your digital privacy, but it’s never foolproof.
You can avoid most issues by opting-out of these platforms. Can’t track what’s not there. This transformation into a more private life doesn’t happen over night. And 100% privacy is a pipe dream.
The goal is to become MORE private as you make adjustments and iterate.Continue exploring new tools and stay updated on surveillance methods.