Social Engineering …..

“Social engineering uses influence and persuasion to deceive people by manipulation or by convincing them that the social engineer is someone they are not. As a result, the social engineer is able to take advantage of people to obtain information with or without the use of technology”

Kevin D Mitnick (FBI most wanted hacker) – The Art of Deception – 2002


Whether it be in the guise of “phishing” email – a scatter-gun approach by a criminal to send a trap email sent to hundreds of thousands of email addresses bought off the ‘dark web’ in the hope that one percent may respond to the email to the hackers’ benefit – or a more specifically targeted attack on a ‘high value’ individual in the guise of ‘whaling’ or ‘harpooning’ – THEY are very clever and getting better all the time.

Spotting a phishing email is becoming increasingly difficult, and many scams will even trick computer experts; the scammers often use some or all of the following to ensure that you “miss” the signs of the scam –



Two “Secure” Browsers & a Search Engine

There are others, but I personally like these three

DuckDuckGo is one of the most successful privacy oriented search engines that stands as an alternative to Google. It uses “sponsored links” to display the advertisements but the ads are not focused on you but only the topic you are searching for – so there is nothing that could generate a profile of you in any manner – thereby respecting your privacy.

It lets you select a country to get the most relevant result you may be looking for.

Although, you might miss quite a few functionalities (like filtering images by license) – that is an obvious trade-off to protect your privacy.

Qwant is probably the second most loved privacy oriented search engines after DuckDuckGo; it ensures neutrality, privacy, and digital freedom while you search for something on the Internet.

If you thought privacy-oriented search engines generally tend to offer a very casual user experience, you need to rethink after trying out Qwant. This is a very dynamic search engine with trending topics and news stories organized very well. with Add-ons

There’s not much difference between the three browsers, but Firefox is the possibly the most common.

NOSCRIPT is a free, open source extension that blocks JavaScript, fonts and other plug-ins from loading automatically; as the name suggests, there are no scripts allowed.

HTTPS Everywhere is a web browser extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera, a collaboration by The Tor project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Its purpose is to automatically make websites use the more secure HTTPS connection instead of HTTP.”

AdBlock Plus is another extension similar to Ghostery, but aimed at automatically blocking ads – it also blocks ad servers from tracking you.

Ghostery allows users to detect and control web bugs which are objects embedded in a web page, invisible to the user, that allow the collection of data on the user’s browsing habits.

Encrypted Email

There are others, but I personally like these two

Tutanota is an encrypted email service that protects your right to privacy by offering seamless email encryption. They have improved Tutanota so much that there is no reason any-more to still use Gmail, Yahoo, GMX or other email services that can read your emails and harvest your data.

Messages are stored and transmitted in encrypted format between our servers and user devices. Messages between ProtonMail users are also transmitted in encrypted form within the secure server network which minimises the risk of message interception. The zero access architecture means that user email data is encrypted in a way that makes it inaccessible to the company – great idea, but if you lose your password they cannot recover your data.

Encrypted Chat, Text, Video etc

Have a look at this –

Signal messages and calls are always end-to-end encrypted and engineered to keep your communication safe. They can’t read your messages or see your calls, and no one else can either. You can keep your chat history tidy with messages that you can set to disappear.

I’m passionate about privacy – so I’ve listed a few things above for you to go and figure out for yourself – please pick up the privacy baton …. tell others as it is important