For more info, view our full guide on Digital Security for Everyone here.
1. Install Signal
FREE – Replace your mobile SMS, Voice and video communications. This will secure your comms against state and corporate surveillance using encryption. You will need to get your friends and loved ones to also install signal. Download Signal
2. Setup a ProtonMail
FREE (for 500mb) – Replace your email. This will secure your email against state and corporate surveillance using encryption. You will need to get your friends and loved ones to also install protonMail for your email to be encrypted in transit. Even if you friends are using the spyware Gmail, all your stored email will still be encrypted with ProtonMail. Setup a ProtonMail
3. Install a Password Manager
FREE – A “Password manager” allows you to store all your passwords in one place and you only need to use one really strong password to access them all. Some Password mangers include software that enables easy login to your accounts via your browser. If you are not using secure passwords or the same password, a password manager will help you upgrade your passwords. More information
4. Install Brave Browser
FREE – Replace your standard Chrome with a Chrome version with built in ad and tracker blockers. Works on mobile and desktop. Brave is technically Chrome so all your Chrome plugins and features will work. For bonus protection, set your preferences to clear your cookies (which can track you) when you quit the browser. Minimise plugins as these may have built in trackers. Download Brave.
5. Turn off location tracking
FREE – Unless you are specifically using a app that needs location such as navigation, switch it all off. More information
6. Encrypt your computers, phones, hard drives, folders and your comms.
FREE – Encrypting is usually a simple matter of turning encryption on via your devices settings. By enabling encryption you make hacking your device either impossible or very difficult and resource intensive. What is Encryption. More information
7. Use a VPN
This simple technology thwarts the mandatory data retention scheme implemented by the Australian government. A decent VPN will cost $5-$10 per month and we recommend this spend. More information. Our recommended VPN: Download Torguard
8. Setup 2 factor authentication
FREE – Sometimes called two-step verification. A process in which users provide two different methods to verify themselves. SMS or email codes in addition to your usual login user and password are common approaches. 2FA apps are a recommended approach. You will need to configure each service separately. Eg you email is seperate to your bank account. Download Authy
9. Update your software regularly – apply updates
FREE – There is a constant loop happening: Hackers find exploits in software and the software people patch them up. Make sure you apply the latest versions to all your software including operating systems, apps and websites to ensure you have the latest secure versions. Unpatched software is a very common way to be hacked.
10. Lock your computer and phones. Review security settings
FREE – Turn on auto-screen lock features using passwords and 2FA. Facial recognition lock can be unlocked by cops using your face (same with fingerprint). Review and configure security settings. Review and configure app settings (eg turn off location unless it explicitly needs location). Most apps have too much permissions on by default.