Privacy and Security focused Client

Privacy and Security focused Client | Tech Tips Article by PcCG

Security, Privacy and Performance!

Secure Browser, VPN, Password Manager, Encrypted Backup

Shaun from Blackwood Investment, a longtime client of ours needed some help with his touchpad not working. While resolving that issue we took some time to talk about improving his already good security practices.

Shaun generates unique passwords for every site that is all managed through Last Pass. We recommended Bitwarden, my password manager of choice. Unlike almost all other password managers, Bitwarden is open-source. This means the entire code that runs the software is available for people to see what exactly is going on. This isn’t meaningful to the average non-programmer, but what it does allow for is those who DO know programming to audit the software. With open-source software you don’t have to guess, hope or trust there isn’t some back-door built in or spying going on. Bitwarden also works with almost every device; every web browser as well as Android and IOS. We also covered the use of Google Authenticator for 2 factor authentication into Bitwarden. With Bitwarden’s strong encryption, and 2 factor authentication via Google Authenticator, Shaun has ensured his business, his data and his clients information is using the utmost secure technologies available today.

I also noticed he had an alternative browser to try and reclaim some of his internet privacy. I love customers who spend some time on the topic of information privacy. In today’s world it’s scary how much “the internet” knows about you. While it’s next to impossible to combat every source of information gathering; it is possible with just 1-2 hours of time to reclaim some of your privacy. You may fall into the “I don’t care if everything about me is known”; and you may believe that – until it’s too late. Censorship becomes possible when you have the metrics, the information on what you’d like to target. Guarding your privacy is strongly related to cherishing your freedom to any and all information.

With that in mind, we installed the Brave Browser for Shaun. Brave has a lot of privacy-oriented tools and blockers that go a long way to prevent tracking, eliminating or blocking dangerous cookies and providing Ad-blockers all built into the browser. It’s based on Chromium (think Google Chrome) without all the spyware. This also allows the browser to often perform much faster, allowing you to hop from site to site with even more speed.

Another client was using google chrome, and after solving many of his network related issues we got his internet speed from 1Mb to 30Mb. This client’s computer is over 10 years old, but has some custom software that he no longer has the setup files for; making it difficult or impossible to move it to a new faster computer. So we have to make the absolute best use of the hardware he has. I noticed Chrome was pegging the CPU at 100% when doing speed tests among other things. So we loaded Brave and did another test. Results went from 30Mb to over 100Mb, simply by using a privacy focused, de-cluttered browser!

The best part? All of this excellent software is free!

While we were at it, we updated Shaun's VPN software, just another tool to safe-guard information and privacy.

My VPN Provider of choice is Private Internet Access (PIA). Their service is very inexpensive, and allows you to use it on 5 or more devices at the same time. We leave our VPN connections on 24/7. I purchase it for a full year at a time; which then makes the cost a mere $2.85/month.

The last thing we did for Shaun was review his cloud-backup’s for encryption and security. It is possible for people like me to backup to “the cloud” and still maintain complete privacy of our data. With fully encrypted backup’s – even the company storing the data cannot read any of the information.

Kudos Shaun at Blackwood Investment for your awesome attentiveness to privacy and security on the scary inter-webs!

If you are ready to tackle these issues please contact us! We'll review what you currently are using, make recommendations on things to improve and take back your security and privacy on the internet. Learning about these tools and how to use them can go a long way to making your life easier and more secure! Doing these things now, before you are compromised can save a lot of time, money and headache later on! We will also be posting some more detailed tech tip's on these and other tools, so bookmark our site and check back often!