Disclaimer: This isn’t an official thing - just putting this out there for folks to consider when asking for advice. Maybe we can make this more formal with a pinned post for newcomers but that’s up to the community and Techlore to decide.
When asking for advice in this forum, please provide some detail about your threat model so that the folks answering your question can narrow down their recommendations.
Privacy and security can be very simple or very complicated depending on what you’re trying to protect, who you are trying to protect against, and how far you are willing or able to go in order to provide yourself with that protection. Making a decision on those three factors is basically what threat modeling is. If you know that for yourself in general, or at least for the specific area you have a question about, you will get a much more dialed in answer.
For example, if you want to ask “what phone should I buy”, here are two threat models you might have.
- I’m not a very techy person but I want to keep my information safe from scammers and hackers.
- I work in IT and all I want the government to know about me is that I’m alive and I pay taxes.
In response to the first case, almost anyone on here would recommend you just get an iPhone and turn off a few things here and there to be secure. In response to the second situation people may recommend installing Graphene OS on a Google Pixel and only using it for the most basic functions.
If the community doesn’t know your threat model, you may get answers that are below or, more often than not, above what you are able or willing to do. If you are someone who is not very technical or just looking for enough privacy and security to stay away from identity theft, please say so in your question so that you don’t get answers that are overkill for you.
Note to the community: I think we already do a decent job of this, but let’s remember that not everyone who asks for advice on here is looking to maximize privacy. Some folks can’t even do a lot of what is recommended on here. When we only give solutions that are for advanced threat models, we’re potentially spooking people who would otherwise at least be doing something that improves their situation.
It’s more likely with this forum specifically because Techlore tries to target people at all threat models. The folks who watch Mental Outlaw and the Hated One are probably way more advanced than the person who’s just learning about how much Google tracks people. I don’t want us to alienate those people with our answers because they represent the vast majority of people.
But like I said, I think that by and large we’re doing alright. I just wanted to put the vibe out there that we want to remain open to the non-techies who pop in.