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Bigger Insights Privacy & Security

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The Bigger Insights Privacy & Security podcast helps you live a more private and secure life by exposing the latest threats to your privacy and security and teaching you how to mitigate them. The goal of this podcast is to give you the education and insights you need to protect yourself, your family, your business, and your assets from all kinds of threats, whether those be corporate surveillance, device and browser fingerprinting, creepy and malicious advertisements, data breaches, account takeovers, etc. Bigger Insights is about sovereignty and resilience. In addition to our podcast and blog content, we provide consulting services to clients like you in one-on-one sessions. We help our clients achieve their goals and secure their future through finance, security, privacy, and technology. If you like this content, see our Finance and Technology podcasts as well. Visit biggerinsights.com to request a consultation, read our blog, or contact us. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or feedback: Signal: 513-999-6698, Session: 05846b0603b32799804e1cc96458c373962dcf7f05a676b1a7a273ebc3fcf6b367, Briar: Contact us via Signal or Session to exchange contact info, Matrix: @biggerinsights:matrix.org, Email (Proton): contact@biggerinsights.com. We’re not very enthusiastic about social media (privacy), but if that’s your thing, feel free to follow us: Mastodon: @biggerinsights@mastodon.social, Twitter: @BiggerInsights. Bigger Insights, LLC, an Ohio limited liability company (“we”, “our”, or “us”), provides general educational information on various topics in our podcasts, as a public service, which should not be construed as professional, financial, real estate, business, tax, legal, marital/relationship, family planning, health, or other advice. The content in our podcasts only represents opinions and views expressed by the authors of said content.
14 Episodes
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Email was never designed to be private or secure, so not surprisingly, it is neither private, nor secure. In the previous episode, we explained the reasons why as well as the risks inherent to email. However, email is so prevalent that it is unfortunately a necessary evil. In this episode, we provide seven recommendations for how to use email somewhat securely. Of course, due to email’s inherent design limitations, you can only use it securely to a limited extent, but some security is better than no security. These recommendations are (1) reducing your reliance on email, (2) using encrypted email providers like Proton Mail or Tutanota, (3) enabling more secure multi-factor authentication (MFA/2FA) options, (4) using your email provider’s native app on mobile, (5) controlling your email address, emails, and other data like contacts, (6) dealing with potentially-malicious attachments, and (7) being vigilant with email links. Visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us. Disclaimer: Our podcasts, including this episode, are for informational purposes only. Some of the items discussed may not be appropriate or lawful in your jurisdiction or industry.
Email is the primary means of sending messages and documents for many people. Unfortunately, email was never designed to be private or secure. Over time, we’ve developed several tools and techniques to help make it more secure. But at the end of the day, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel, email is inherently insecure. Just ask the US military. Millions of military emails are going to Mali (.ml TLD) rather than the military (.mil domain) due to mundane typos. We go into detail about why email is insecure and go over real-world and personal examples. Visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us break through Big Tech suppression and keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us.
You may have heard others in the privacy and security community call virtual private networks (VPNs) “useless”, “scams”, or “honeypots”, but is this actually the case? There are certainly a lot of sketchy VPNs and creators who shill them, but does that invalidate the thesis for using a VPN? We discuss this issue as well as offer a few tips for using VPNs and Tor to protect your privacy. Visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us break through Big Tech suppression and keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us.
Trouble has been brewing between Daniel Micay, GrapheneOS, and the privacy and security community for several months. This has culminated in Daniel, the founder of GrapheneOS, stepping down as lead developer of the project in late May, 2023. In this episode, we go over this issue in some detail and defend Daniel Micay and GrapheneOS from some of the criticisms and responses they’ve received, which we believe are unjustified. We also share our key takeaways and final thoughts so current and prospective GrapheneOS users can make a more informed decision as to whether they should use this operating system. Visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us break through Big Tech suppression and keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us. Disclaimer: As of the time of this recording, we have no relationship or association with GrapheneOS or Daniel Micay other than the use of GrapheneOS.
The constant stream of news regarding mobile phone spyware (e.g. Pegasus) and hacks may have you wondering – should you use a dumb phone for privacy and security? We often see criminals in movies and TV using dumb phones as burners, but does this really make you more private and secure relative to using a smart phone? We answer these questions in this episode, as well as impart some cold, hard truths about the privacy and security implications of voice (PSTN) and SMS. Finally, we wrap up by explaining some of the ways you can improve the security of your smart phone and why this matters. Buy a good quality smart phone, harden it, and keep it up-to-date before you get pwned. Visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us break through Big Tech suppression and keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us. Disclaimer: Nothing in this episode should be construed as legal or other advice.
You probably have more accounts than you realize - perhaps dozens that you’ve opened over the years and forgotten about. Every account you have is a potential liability in terms of your privacy and security. In this episode, we detail: 1. Techniques for finding accounts you’ve forgotten about; 2. Why and how you should sanitize accounts before closing them; and 3. Why and how you should close old/unneeded accounts. We also discuss valuable insights that we’ve gained from our years of experience in decommissioning hundreds of accounts. Of course, anyone can simply delete an account, but there are many nuances to contemplate before doing so because closing an account can have irreversible side-effects. Visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us break through Big Tech suppression and keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us. Disclaimer: We are not attorneys or other legal professionals and nothing in this episode should be construed as legal or other advice.
Have you ever opened an account and regretted it? Has your private data been used, abused, and breached? We have years of experience fighting with hundreds, if not thousands of different apps and services to harden, sanitize, delete sensitive information, and recover from data breaches. In this episode, we share our insights from these experiences so you can hopefully avoid the pitfalls we and our clients have encountered over the years. More specifically, here in Part 2 of 2, we discuss: 1. App and service providers may make it difficult or impossible to close your account or delete your data; 2. Many or most entities will be breached; 3. App and service providers may not actually be deleting your data when they’re supposed to; 4. Phone numbers for SMS two-factor authentication (2FA) being abused; 5. Usernames and email addresses revealing information and linking accounts; and 6. Password recovery and other features revealing information about you. Take these considerations seriously when you consider opening your next account. We also discuss detailed action items for addressing these concerns, but caution listeners that some of the techniques detailed in this episode (fake information, email aliases, VOIP phone numbers, etc.) may not be appropriate or lawful in some jurisdictions or some circumstances. Some of the images presented in the video and blog content for this episode are AI-generated and provided for entertainment purposes only. Visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us break through Big Tech suppression and keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us. Disclaimer: We are not attorneys or other legal professionals and nothing in this episode should be construed as legal or other advice.
Have you ever opened an account and regretted it? Has your private data been used, abused, and breached? We have years of experience fighting with hundreds, if not thousands of different apps and services to harden, sanitize, delete sensitive information, and recover from data breaches. In this episode, we share our insights from these experiences so you can hopefully avoid the pitfalls we and our clients have encountered over the years. More specifically, here in Part 1 of 2, we discuss: 1. Avoiding data silo mentality; 2. Your account and data can be taken away at any time; 3. Policies can change against you at any time; 4. If a system can ID you, assume this is permanent; 5. Apps/services making it difficult or impossible to change or delete data; and 6. Some systems will disable your account when you change your data. Take these considerations seriously when you consider opening your next account and stay tuned for Part 2. The images presented in the video and blog content for this episode are AI-generated and provided for entertainment purposes only. Visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us break through Big Tech suppression and keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us. Correction (25, July 2023): It was stated in this episode that Amazon purchased iRobot. Amazon has entered into an agreement to purchase iRobot, but this transaction has yet to close. However, we expect it to close and remain concerned about Amazon's data collection.
In this episode, we explore just exactly what is uncool in the privacy scene. Does this have you feeling uncool? If so, visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. If you don’t get the reference, you may not appreciate this as much as you otherwise would. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us break through Big Tech suppression and keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us.
LastPass has been hacked… again. This time, user vaults were stolen by hackers. The more updates we receive about this dumpster fire, the worse it gets. In this episode, we explain what happened and how you should protect yourself. We also outline lessons everyone (users, business owners, developers) should take away from this event and apply them to create a more private and secure future. Visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us break through Big Tech suppression and keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us.
Do you love money and freedom? Do you hate being spied on and having your data monetized, shared, breached, and held captive by creepy organizations? If so, Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) is right for you! Even if you’re paying, many closed-source applications and services are harvesting and sharing your personal data (searches, purchases, location, health and fitness, etc.) and potentially exposing you to critical security vulnerabilities. Many have come to accept that if you want to live in a modern society, you must use proprietary software and accept their abusive practices. This just isn’t the case. Not only are there a lot of great FOSS alternatives out there, many of them are actually better than their proprietary counterparts. In addition, we see a disturbing trend of proprietary software weakening encryption, collecting more data, bundling adware, and moving to subscription payment models. Abandon this sinking ship while you still can. In this episode, we explain what the issues with closed-source software are and how FOSS can help. We also discuss action items for transitioning to FOSS and using closed-source software in a controlled manner if you need to. Visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us break through Big Tech suppression and keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us. Correction (25, July 2023): It was stated in this episode that Amazon purchased iRobot. Amazon has entered into an agreement to purchase iRobot, but this transaction has yet to close. However, we expect it to close and remain concerned about Amazon's data collection.
LastPass is better than nothing, but is it the best password manager for you? We discuss pros, cons, and alternatives worth considering. LastPass has a lot going for it: Many features, good MFA support, handy password tools, emergency access, etc. However, LastPass has many issues to consider. LastPass has a terrible security track record - not something you want from a security service. Go to Wikipedia and read how many incidents they’ve had. In 2022, a hacker breached their corporate vault and stole their users’ vaults. We’ve since discovered that some users vaults are unnecessarily vulnerable to being cracked and LastPass wasn’t encrypting all vault contents (e.g. URLs). Most LastPass clients are closed-source, which hides poor privacy and security practices. We’ve discovered Google trackers in the LastPass iOS app and LastPass collects sensitive data (e.g. location) that other password managers do not. LastPass is also quite expensive relative to alternatives. For privacy, security, and financial reasons, we encourage users to consider KeePass and Bitwarden. Note that we are NOT sponsored by Bitwarden and have no relationship with Bitwarden at the time of publishing this episode. Visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us break through Big Tech suppression and keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us.
If you’re not using a password manager, your passwords, accounts, and data are vulnerable. Do your passwords contain the names of your pet, spouse, or kids? What about phone numbers, dates, travel destinations, sports, or hobbies? Hackers understand how people create passwords and have powerful tools for cracking them. If you’re reusing passwords, you’re at high risk of multiple accounts being breached in a credential stuffing attack. Your passwords need to be unique enough to not be in password dictionaries, which contain billions of passwords. They also need to be strong enough to avoid being brute-forced by devices that can guess millions of passwords per second. If you’re relying on memory, reusing passwords, or storing them insecurely, your passwords are more vulnerable than you think. 80% of data breaches stem from stolen credentials, which demonstrates the extent of this problem. The answer to these problems is creating strong passwords and storing them in a reputable password manager (e.g. KeePass, Bitwarden). Visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us break through Big Tech suppression and keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us.
Welcome to the Bigger Insights Privacy & Security podcast, where we’ll help you live a more private and secure life by exposing the latest threats to your privacy and security and teaching you how to mitigate them. The goal of this podcast is to give you the education and insights you need to protect yourself, your family, your business, and your assets from all kinds of threats, whether those be corporate surveillance, device and browser fingerprinting, creepy and malicious advertisements, data breaches, account takeovers, etc. Bigger Insights, LLC is an Ohio limited liability company founded in 2020. In addition to producing blog and podcast content, we provide one-on-one consulting services for our clients on the topics of Finance, Privacy & Security, and Technology. Visit us at biggerinsights.com to request a consultation or read our blog. Please consider making a non-deductible contribution to help us break through Big Tech suppression and keep this podcast going. OpenAlias: contribute.biggerinsights.com. Monero (XMR), Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC) addresses at biggerinsights.com/support-us. Disclaimer: Nothing in this podcast or our website (biggerinsights.com) should be construed as professional, financial, real estate, business, tax, legal, marital/relationship, family planning, health, or other advice.
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