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Quick Guide to Getting Started in a Remote Environment: Protecting Your Privacy

Quick overview of some recommended practices for working/studying remotely. How to set-up and office environment, manage interruptions, best browsers, etc..

Keep your information safe.

It is unfortunate to hear stories of people showing up on the doorstep of others and telling them that they can test for Covid-19 for one-hundred dollars, but it happens. With so many working from home and so many using WiFi it is ever more important to try to use the best platforms that are supported by our computers to keep us safe.  Below you will find  a few of the recommended browsers, an email platform, free virus software and an SMS to keep your information from prying eyes. 

Browsers

These are actually add-on extensions in Chrome that block ads and keep others from tracking you.

Brave--According to the site: Brave fights Malware,Phishing and Maladvertising. Brave does not store any of your data on their server and always upgrades to the most secure site offered for what you are searching.

Duck Duck Go--This is a excerpt from Consumer Reports, Digital Lab:

"Each time you do a web search using Google, the company archives the details of that search, alongside data on your web-browsing history, to help target you with personalized ads. With DuckDuckGo, you can avoid that tracking. The search engine delivers the info you request without building a user profile, generating revenue by showing you ads related only to that single query. Type in “women’s running shoes” and appropriate ads pop up on DuckDuckGo’s results page—and nowhere else."

Source: <https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/privacy-tools-that-help-you-protect-your-personal-data/

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SMS

Signal--Is the one messaging system recommended for secure end to end encryption meaning what is sent by the sender encrypted until receipt by the receiver. In addition, messages self-delete-messages can be saved in screen-shots. It has some other privacy features in that it does not harvest any other data from your phone. You can download it from your application store and it is free.

Best Email Service

Proton Mail---Is considered one of the best encrypted accounts to use to protect your communication. With it you can communicate ala James Bond Style as it offers end to end encryption. It too, is free and offers the application across platforms. The one drawback, to the version that i am using, is if you forget your password it wipes the history and your emails in the process. The company is out of Switzerland and uses VPN-Virtual Personal Networks-masks you as you move along.  I would not select a far away place though as your location; I had a few  problems that way.

Source:From <https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/privacy-tools-that-help-you-protect-your-personal-data/

 

 

 

 

 

Computer Safety

Malwarebytes-- From the article. "The Windows Defender software (go.pcworld.com/wds) enabled by default in Windows 10 provides solid protection for most users, but no single antivirus utility offers bulletproof protection, especially against the latest and most clever threats. MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Free (go.pcworld.com/amf1) was designed specifically to find and eliminate those cutting-edge “zero day” vulnerabilites. You can’t schedule scans or even use it as a regular antivirus program, but it’s invaluable when you think that something nasty has slipped by your primary antivirus utility. The premium version packs more features, such as anti-ransomware and anti-exploit protection, as well as real-time scanning."

Source: PCWorld, Nov2017, Vol. 35 Issue 11, p97, 11p
Item: 125951743

Avira--This program touted a 100% virus protection rate (500 Windows Samples) at time of testing for your Mac and  keeps your Windows system from infection by carrier transmission.

Source: Macworld - Digital Edition, Oct2019, Vol. 36 Issue 10, p101, 3p
Item: 138563034

Windows--Windows runs a firewall that acts like a virus protector in its background, however, you should ensure that your firewall is turned on. Experts recommend running another program that you can manually initiate to catch viruses missed like the Malwarebytes software mentioned.Make sure that you update Windows itself.In Windows 10, search for windows updates and select Windows Updates Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the window and click Advanced options. Make sure Automatic (recommended) is selected.Be sure to update your browser settings or set them to automatic and that it is set to block out suspicious sites.

Source: PCWorld, Jan2016, Vol. 34 Issue 1, p35, 9p
Item: 112257763