Cellular phone tower
Privacy

Why Cell Phones Are Not Good For Private Communication

Cell phones (smart phones) are not a good option for private communications. Why? They way cell phones work is that they are actually mobile radios. They communicate with a network of cell towers – think of these as “relays” for the cell phone network. And for calls to be routed properly, the cell network has to know the physical location of your phone at all times – so it can route incoming calls to your phone. That’s right – when your cell phone is not in airplane mode (or turned off) it is constantly reporting it’s location to the cellular network. And that’s the origin of the term “cellular” network – it’s split up into cells covered with radio towers. Additionally, your voice calls are routed through the cellular provider’s network. Cell phone calls are encrypted – in that you can’t listen to them over the air using a generic radio – but your cell provider can of course decrypt and listen in. How about using Internet connected applications? Internet applications like WhatsApp are a better choice. WhatsApp has end-to-end [Read More…]

ProtonMail offers end to end encrypted email, with a privacy first focus
Privacy

Using Encrypted Email for Privacy

Do you use gmail for your email address? Google has very lax privacy rules about the contents of your email. Basically, your personal emails in Google are a treasure trove for advertisers, and Google. For true email privacy, we recommend ProtonMail instead. Why ProtonMail? That’s what we’ll discuss here. By the way, ProtonMail is the secure email that international journalists use to foil Russian security and intelligence agencies. Swiss Privacy – Data Security and Neutrality ProtonMail is incorporated in Switzerland and all their servers are located in Switzerland. This means all user data is protected by strict Swiss privacy laws. From their website: “ProtonMail is outside of US and EU jurisdiction, only a court order from the Cantonal Court of Geneva or the Swiss Federal Supreme Court can compel us to release the extremely limited user information we have.” Having said that, ProtonMail is subject to the rules of law and order in Switzerland – and the Swiss do cooperate with international law enforcement agencies, as you would expect. End to End Encryption – Automatic Email Security In Protonmail, all [Read More…]

Tor Browser - Defend yourself against tracking and surveillance. Circumvent censorship.
Privacy

The TOR Browser and Tracking, Surveillance, and Censorship

In a previous article, we talked about how using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help provide better security and privacy when you use your computer. A VPN can help obscure your location, and also provides additional encryption to prevent snoops from seeing what you are doing, and to hide sensitive data. But, there is another solution for those who are privacy conscious – The Tor Browser. First of all, what is the Tor browser? TOR stands for the The Onion Router. It’s a system built to help provide privacy and can help you browse the web in anonymously. The Tor Browser is a special version of the FireFox web browser – so if you’ve used Firefox it will feel very familiar. And it’s free. But there are MAJOR changes under the hood. Let’s talk first about what the benefits of using the Tor browser are. Benefits of using the Tor Browser Firstly, the Tor browser blocks trackers. Third-party trackers and those annoying ads that follow you around the Internet can’t happen when using the Tor browser. It is constructed [Read More…]

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is an important tool to use to protect your privacy and to enhance your security.
Privacy

Using IPVanish for VPN

Here at CovertBlueprint.com we recommend everyone use a VPN. Maybe not for all network access, but to help ensure privacy and confidentiality when it matters the most. We use IPVanish. Why? First of all, when considering privacy a VPN is only as good as it’s adherence to a zero-logging or no-logging policy. IPVanish does not keep logs – period. That means there’s no record of when your home IP connected to their service – or to where you connected afterwards. Secondly, the performance is very good, and they have a lot of options. Lastly, they allow up to 10 connections on one account – which means you can cover multiple computers, iPads, and smartphones all at the same time. Setting up IPVanish on MacOS After you’ve purchased IPVanish, you’ll need to verify your email address. Once that’s done, you are ready to go. You’ll see options similar to this. In this case, I’m setting up a Mac. The link downloads a Disk Image (.dmg) file. Click to open, and drag the icon onto the Applications shortcut link. Launch the program, [Read More…]

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is an important tool to use to protect your privacy and to enhance your security.
Privacy

Why use a VPN?

Why use a VPN or Virtual Private Network? That’s what we’ll discuss in this article. You may have heard about some of the things people do with VPNs – some people use them for work, some use them to access streaming services they otherwise couldn’t, and some people use them to stop others from snooping on their privacy. We’ll talk about all those things here, and give you an understanding of why you might want to use a VPN for security and privacy. What is a VPN or Virtual Private Network? A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. It’s a way to create a secure, encrypted tunnel between your laptop, computer, or smartphone and the VPN provider. It allows you to surf the web, and access other Internet services, with better security and privacy. (But, it’s not fool proof, as we’ll discuss soon.) How does a VPN provide this improved security? By way of encryption. Computer encryption is a mathematical concept that lets two computer devices communicate without letting any “middle men” in on the message. The process uses the [Read More…]