The Bare Minimum of Security

Recommendations, Instructions, and Tools for Keeping You Safe

The articles below are designed to provide a basic but by no means exhaustive guide on keeping you and your digital data safe. The recommendations will not provide you against all threats or scenarios. Rather, they are meant to serve as an introduction to security concepts and hopefully establish a baseline of defense for your devices.

The site was designed with explicitly security-related recommendations in mind, but a handful of practical recommendations have been added as well (I mean, as long as I've got your attention...).

Security Recommendation: Use a Password Manager

A password manager will store all of your passwords for you so that you don't have to remember them. When you are no longer forced to each one, you will stop using the same password over and over and can actually follow all of the ridiculous security standards governing password strength.

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Security/Privacy Recommendation: Use an Adblocker

Rampant, unchecked ads on the internet ruin your browsing experience. They slow down your browser, increase your data usage, and track you everywhere you go. Learn how to turn them off and make browsing enjoyable again.

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Security Recommendation: Use a VPN

A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and a remote server. It can allow you to switch your geolocation so that your IP Address appears to be coming from another country. It can protect you from eavesdroppers on a public wifi network. It can prevent from your ISP from tracking or selling your browsing history.

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Disaster Recovery Recommendation: Backup Your Stuff

A good backup today will save you many hours of pain and frustration tomorrow. Backing up your data will help protect you from data loss if your device breaks or is wiped. It can decrease the friction when migrating between devices. Backups can be set to run automatically and can even be configured to store at an offsite location so that your data is protected even if your house burns down.

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Security/Privacy Recommendation: Lock Your Screens

Screen locks prevent people from looking at your devices without your permission. Setup screen locks on your phones, tablets, and laptops so that the device cannot be used without entering a passcode. Prevent coworkers, thieves, and even law enforcement from peeking at your device.

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Privacy Recommendation: Use Encryption Wherever Possible

Encryption adds an additional layer to your device so that its data cannot be viewed without a password. Encryption goes one step beyond the screenlock and renders all data on the device in a scrambled state without the decryption key. An encrypted device keeps all of your personal files safe, even if someone were to yank out and inspect the hard-drive.

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Security Recommendation: Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication adds an additional layer of security on top of the regular password. It requires that you both know the password and physically possess something (typically a hardware token or, more likely, your smartphone) in order to successfully authenticate. This prevents your e-mail from being accessed by hackers in Ukraine who figured out your password--they still wouldn't be able to get in unless they also got hold of your cell-phone.

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Disaster Recovery Recommendation: Inventory Your Stuff

Keep track of all the expensive electronic stuff you care about. Write down the serial numbers, take pictures, keep it all somewhere safe. It may help you recover the item one day should it ever be stolen.

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