Resources for Learning

Take Back Your Online Privacy: Computer Security & Online Privacy Basics

Here is a collection of resources from Oh Shit! What Now?’s September 2017 class, “Computer Security & Online Privacy Basics.” We either used these resources and links in the creation of the class, or they offer opportunities for further learning and study.

Current Events

Equifax Hack

Facial Recognition

Google Apps Risk

A dark-haired femme looks to the right against a background of computer code. (Pixabay / Geralt, public domain)

Apps

  • DuckDuckGo, a search engine which doesn’t track you
  • Have I Been Pwned? search if your online accounts were compromised in major security breaches
  • HTTPS Everywhere, forced browsers to use more secure HTTPS websites whenever possible
  • Signal, from Open Whisper Systems (search for it in your app store), for secure encrypted messaging & phone calls
  • Tor Browser, makes it harder to trace & track your online activity

Videos

Further Reading

Recommended Virtual Private Networks

These Virtual Private Networks were vetted by Oh Shit! What Now?’s volunteer security consultant. They should be good enough for most uses, but you must do your own research before depending on these VPNs (or any security tools we recommend!) to keep you safe in a high-risk situation.

  • BlackVPN — located in foreign jurisdiction, no tracking of users. Generally acknowledged as safe. About $10/month, billed in 1, 3, or 12 month increments.
  • Cryptostorm — located in foreign jurisdiction, no tracking of users. Generally acknowledged as safe. Allows anonymous payment methods (good for activists).
  • NordVPN — located in foreign jurisdiction, no tracking of users. Generally acknowledged as safe. Billed monthly, 6 months, yearly. Ranges from $5.75/month – $11.95/month.
  • VPNarea — located in foreign jurisdiction, no tracking of users. Generally acknowledged as safe. From $4.92/month.

These VPNs are good enough for most purposes, with caveats: 

  • Mullvad — says they don’t keep any tracking data, in a foreign jurisdiction but one with agreements with U.S. to give up data (if they kept anything). About €5/month.
  • VyprVPN –They have an office in Austin, Texas, but are incorporated in Switzerland. Does do some IP address/timestamp tracking. Good for ease of use — has an app & can use on multiple devices. Great if you’re just trying to combat general tracking & don’t need airtight anonymity. $5/mo if billed annually, otherwise $10/mo. Has 3 day free trial.

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