“Ultimately, the reason privacy is so vital is it's the realm in which we can do all the things that are valuable as human beings. It's the place that uniquely enables us to explore limits, to test boundaries, to engage in novel and creative ways of thinking and being.”
Hi from Glenn!
I hope you are having a great day!
Today’s topic is online privacy and security. I’ve written many articles and given a number of webinars on privacy and security, so I wanted to compile all of this information for you in this newsletter.
Privacy is a very important subject, and I urge you to take action on this right now. Seriously, right now or make it a weekend project.
While I’ve been talking about online security for years now, even many of my family members aren’t on board with it, yet. I was ecstatic a few weeks ago when my sister finally signed up for ProtonMail. That’s a start, but I don’t understand why it’s so hard for many people to take this leap.
I’m sincerely curious about this. If you haven’t taken the steps to secure your online privacy is it because you don’t think it’s necessary, you don’t know what to do or is it just that you have the best intentions but haven’t gotten around to it yet? Please let me know. Would it be helpful if I did a Q&A webinar in which I help you through the process and answer any questions you have?
To motivate you, I want to first explain why it’s so important to ensure your own online privacy.
Privacy is about power.
Information is power, and when countries and companies get your information, they gain power over you.
Facebook and Google, for example, don’t make money by selling your data, rather they make money by using the data they collect on you to influence you.
They track you, see what you like, what you don’t like, how you think, what makes you upset and agitated, what groups you belong to, who you associate with, where you go, what you buy and what you eat to influence you, manipulate you, and make money off of you.
Most people have no idea how much information (power) they have already surrendered to big tech and governments.
Throughout time we have learned that people in power ALWAYS want more power. The result is always the same; an abuse of this power and an assault on individual freedoms.
But now the stage has been set for absolute control. Most thinking people have wondered how the good people of Germany let the atrocities of the Nazi Government happen, and whether it could ever happen here. History clearly shows us that once government gains enough power, it will exert that power on its own people.
Over the past year, we’ve seen the US Government push against our freedom and the Constitution, almost as a test to see how far we will let them go. We’ve seen governors enforce state-wide illegal house arrests, close churches, and crush small businesses while keeping Walmart and big box stores open. In Australia, the government has demonstrated authoritarian tendencies and is arresting people in their homes for simply speaking up against government actions. In Scotland they’ve passed a law that allows people to be imprisoned for saying what others determine to be hate speech in their own homes.
Most people are completely unaware of how much of their information has been collected, and they don’t realize how this information can be used as a weapon against them or how it can be used to steal a republic.
Imagine a government as evil and power hungry as the Nazis that has almost total moment-to-moment information on its citizens. They know exactly who the troublemakers are, who questions authority, and who will stand up to that authority. They know who their friends are, who they associate with and where they are at any given moment. Governments could be highly selective at rounding up dissidents, and in today’s hate-filled environment it’s not a stretch to imagine people supporting these actions if the government simply labeled people they don’t like as “white supremacist terrorists”.
While that scenario is possible, there is another scenario that is certain, and it’s called the Chinese Social Credit System, which is in place now in China, and it’s soon coming to the US and Western Countries. In short, it’s a form of technological slavery.
In short, this system is about tracking every single part of your life, and giving you rewards for the good things you do, and penalties for the bad things you do. What is good and bad, of course, is up to the government and big tech companies.
Remember that people in power always want more power. This has always been true, and it always will be true. So anyone who has the power to see everything you do, everywhere you go, what you purchase, who you talk to, and what you believe WILL USE THIS POWER. And just to be clear, this is not a partisan statement.
Right now, big tech and the government already have this information on you, and they have the means to use it against you. What they now are trying to figure out is how to work with government to roll it out in a stealth way. They will drip this into your life, so that the changes happen slow enough to not cause panic. They will try to “sell” it to you so that you see the benefits, and not the penalties until it’s too late for you to do anything about it.
Please understand what I am saying, this is happening now. In five years our lives will be dramatically different, and not for the better.
This is why it’s important to take steps now, and to put the pieces in place that will allow you to protect your privacy. More than this, we need to convince others to do this too. We need to take the power away from big tech and the government.
Privacy is essential for freedom, democracy, human rights and civil liberties.
Beyond government and big tech threats to our freedom however, the internet is full of bad people who want to steal whatever they can. And they will steal from you if you make it easy for them to do so.
The time is now to take action on this!
Have a look at this article about the basic things you have to do right now. I would add that you should drop Google and Facebook in every way possible.
Everyone should ditch regular SMS text messaging, and instead move to secure messaging. And when I say “secure”, what we want is “zero-knowledge, end-to-end encryption” from a reputable company. A messaging service is no good, however, if no one else is using it. I like Signal, and as a backup I use Telegram.
Secure email is very important. Go sign up with ProtonMail right now. Yes, it costs money, but if you aren’t paying for a product, you are the product. Also, I have a very detailed webinar on secure email. Here is the free version of this webinar, and here is the full version for my premium members.
As I said in last week’s newsletter, your internet service provider (ISP) keeps track of every site you visit online and sells this data. Soon this very private data will be attached to your credit score. So a VPN from a company you can trust is very important. I recommend ProtonVPN. Please note, that if you go with a less than honest VPN company, they could also sell your data, which is why it’s important to go with a company you can trust.
It is VERY important that you use a password manager. I know that a lot of people get freaked out about password managers, but remember that every site you log into should have a unique, very complex password. Here’s an example of a good password: 7nkyc2C2zYVeTk!^Q2AdZ4vmt8BzTz$yi%F!T4Hik2TskjbN This is not a password you could remember, or even type in for whatever site you go to, but if you have a password manager it will create and manage a different complex password for each site you go to. Please see my previous articles on passwords; You Are Using A Password Manager, Right?, If You Absolutely Refuse to Use a Password Manager, Do This Instead, and What Happens to My Passwords When I Die? Most importantly, I did a comprehensive webinar on passwords, which is available to my premium members.
Use Privacy.com for online purchases. I do not want to give my credit card number to any website online, which is why I use Privacy.com. This is an awesome service that I’ve been using for four or five years now. I put together a comprehensive webinar on how to properly use Privacy.com. Here is the free version of the webinar, and the full version is available to my premium members.
One thing that is often overlooked when it comes to privacy is a faraday bag from Silent Pocket. Even if you turn off your phone, it can still transmit your location and who knows what else. But put it in a faraday bag and you become invisible to phone surveillance. For example, if you have a confidential meeting you can ask everyone to put their phones into the faraday bag so you can be assured that no one is listening. I recommend the laptop bag, because you can put your laptop, phone and key fob.
Odds and Ends. There are a couple other points I want to make. First, I think it’s very important that you think before sharing pictures of your children online. Also remember that deepfakes are a thing. In other words, people can take your photos or your voice and make fake videos of you or others, or they can put it into a voice synthesizer and make someone else think that they are talking to you. This has been used to steal money from businesses and banks.
I hope this makes it easy for you. Again, if you haven’t taken the steps to become private, even though you know you should, I’d love to hear why (no judgements). Also let me know if you have any question.
I want to end by reminding you that I am an independent voice who is trying to share truth as I see it in a highly manipulated world. I’m not one of these media giants who has millions of followers and millions of dollars. I am putting myself at risk by saying what I say, so please support me. The only money I make is from people who become premium subscribers. If you think that my newsletters are valuable, please support me and others like me.
Stay safe and healthy,
Glenn Meder 💛
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