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Edward Snowden Divulges the 5 Easiest Ways to Protect Yourself Online

Edward Snowden lists services that will protect your privacy with just a few downloads.


In a recent interview with The Intercept, Edward Snowden offered some advice for what average citizens can do to reclaim their privacy. Because the sharing of information should be a conversation, not an enigma buried in a site's 'Terms of Service.'

1. This includes Signal, an easy-to-use app that encrypts your mobile phone messages, as long as the person you're calling or texting also has the app installed. Developed by Open Whisper Systems, the app is available for both iOS and Android.

2. The next easy step is to enable two-factor authentication on your accounts. This way an attacker needs not only your password, but also a physical device, like your smartphone, to get the secondary code that opens your account.

3. A password manager, like KeePassX, will ensure your passwords are diversified across all accounts. So, if one account becomes compromised, they won't all become compromised.

4. The next step is Tor — install it, use it. It looks very much like your browsing in Firefox, only your traffic will be bounced all across the globe, covering your physical location and identity (to a point). A nice side effect is Tor comes with a JavaScript blocker, which disables ads. 

5. “Everybody should be running adblock software, if only from a safety perspective,” Snowden said.

By using these programs, people have already changed the conversation about security and privacy. Apple took note adding DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn't track, as one of the available options on its Safari browser. Earlier this year at CES, a “personal privacy” section made its debut. Even DARPA is working to create services that “[enable] safe and predictable sharing of data in which privacy is preserved.” The ability to take control of your privacy has become more attainable than ever.

The trick is getting more people to adopt these programs (think of it like herd immunity). That's how we'll create lasting change.

“I think reform comes with many faces,” Snowden told the site. “There’s legal reform; there’s statutory reform more generally; there are the products and outcomes of judicial decisions.”

The sharing of information should be a conversation — not an enigma buried somewhere in the Terms of Service of a site.

***

Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker

Photo Credit: ADAM BERRY / Stringer/ Getty

Remote learning vs. online instruction: How COVID-19 woke America up to the difference

Educators and administrators must build new supports for faculty and student success in a world where the classroom might become virtual in the blink of an eye.

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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • If you or someone you know is attending school remotely, you are more than likely learning through emergency remote instruction, which is not the same as online learning, write Rich DeMillo and Steve Harmon.
  • Education institutions must properly define and understand the difference between a course that is designed from inception to be taught in an online format and a course that has been rapidly converted to be offered to remote students.
  • In a future involving more online instruction than any of us ever imagined, it will be crucial to meticulously design factors like learner navigation, interactive recordings, feedback loops, exams and office hours in order to maximize learning potential within the virtual environment.
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Octopus-like creatures inhabit Jupiter’s moon, claims space scientist

A leading British space scientist thinks there is life under the ice sheets of Europa.

Jupiter's moon Europa has a huge ocean beneath its sheets of ice.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute
Surprising Science
  • A British scientist named Professor Monica Grady recently came out in support of extraterrestrial life on Europa.
  • Europa, the sixth largest moon in the solar system, may have favorable conditions for life under its miles of ice.
  • The moon is one of Jupiter's 79.
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Supporting climate science increases skepticism of out-groups

A study finds people are more influenced by what the other party says than their own. What gives?

Protesters demanding action against climate change

Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study has found evidence suggesting that conservative climate skepticism is driven by reactions to liberal support for science.
  • This was determined both by comparing polling data to records of cues given by leaders, and through a survey.
  • The findings could lead to new methods of influencing public opinion.
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What is counterfactual thinking?

Can thinking about the past really help us create a better present and future?

Jacob Lund / Shutterstock
Personal Growth
  • There are two types of counterfactual thinking: upward and downward.
  • Both upward and downward counterfactual thinking can be positive impacts on your current outlook - however, upward counterfactual thinking has been linked with depression.
  • While counterfactual thinking is a very normal and natural process, experts suggest the best course is to focus on the present and future and allow counterfactual thinking to act as a motivator when possible.
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