Below is a list of some of my favorite web resources on security and privacy. Most of these were in my book, but I’ve added some others here and plan to keep this list up to date. You can also check out my Data Privacy Checklist and my annual Best & Worst Gifts Guide.
Fighting the Good Fight
The following organizations are doing some excellent work on behalf of everyday people. Take a look at their web sites, and if you like what you see, send them a little money. If they send you a sticker or magnet, proudly display it where others will see.
You can learn a lot from these documentaries. I highly recommend them.
- Glenn Greenwald’s TED Talk on Privacy. It’s only about 15 mins long and a must-watch.
- The Social Dilemma (Netflix). A must-see documentary that shows how social media has created serious problems in its overzealous and callous quest for more attention. There’s an overly-dramatic fictional depiction woven throughout the movie, but it does help to illustrate the key points of the documentary.
- The Great Hack (Netflix). Another must-see documentary that explains how Cambridge Analytica used Facebook to seriously influence voters in the 2016 US election, Brexit in the UK, and many other elections around the globe.
- Terms And Conditions May Apply – about online privacy and what sorts of things you’re signing away in End User Licensing Agreements (EULA’s). (View on Amazon Prime.)
- CITIZENFOUR – about Edward Snowden and how his initial information was given to reporter Glenn Greenwald.
- The Minority Report. This movie is an excellent action-thriller sci-fi movie in its own right, but it also clearly depicts the dangers of handing over life-altering decisions to AI algorithms.
- ANON (Netflix). As a dystopian sci-fi movie, it’s so-so; but it serves as an insightful criticism of ubiquitous facial recognition systems.
- Frontline: The United States of Secrets – Great two-part show from PBS.
Web Tools & Guides
- Mozilla’s Privacy Not Included. A crowd-sourced list of products and their “creepy” factor, which a standardized breakdown of the important factors to consider.
- Consumer Report’s Security Planner. This is a wonderful tool that provides you a custom checklist after you answer a brief questionnaire. I highly recommend this tool to everyone.
- Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency tip sheets.
- Restore Privacy. Another great site for finding secure and privacy-respecting tools and services.
- Tips from US-CERT. A site from the US government with lots of tips and info on computer security.
- Simple Opt Out. It’s anything but simple, but nice to have some much info all in one spot.
- EFF Surveillance Self Defense. Tips and tools for safer online communications.
- EFF’s Cover Your Tracks tool. This replaces their previous Panopticlick tool.
- Duck Duck Go’s privacy guides.
- Persona based training matrix. This is an interesting guide with a slew of tips based on who you are and who you’re trying to hide from.
- No More Google. A nice list of Google alternatives for all the many services they provide.
- Switching Software. Another great site for finding private alternatives to popular websites and software.
- Two-Factor Auth. A handy website that tells you which sites and services support 2FA (and what forms).
- Check Short URL. This handy site will expand shortened URLs for you (like bit.ly and Facebook/Twitter URLs), even showing you a screen show of what the page looks like.
- No More Ransom. A non-profit devoted to helping break ransomware crypto so that victims don’t have to pay.
Blogs & Other Resources
- Security Now! This is where I really got into security. While it can get a little technical sometimes, it’s always fun – and full of random other fun stuff like sci-fi books and movies.
- Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons. (Tooting my own horn proudly.)
Technical Web Sites
These web sites are geared toward more technically-savvy types.
- Schneier on Security. Security expert Bruce Schneier’s excellent blog.
- Gibson Research. Great site containing free web security tools from my favorite security podcaster, Steve Gibson. Includes ShieldsUp!, SpinRite (hard drive rescue utility), and lots of other cool stuff.
- Project Zero. Google’s security initiative, promoting web security and privacy.