One of my main struggles with learning about privacy and security has been how much bad news there seems to be. Not only do you see a regular influx of data breaches, hacks, and unpatched vulnerabilities, but you’ll also get the occasional bad privacy legislation working its way up the ladder like the EARN IT bill in the US or the Online Safety Bill in the UK. Trying to see a change in the privacy landscape is hard enough as it is, and the news just makes it tougher.
Is it hard on you to deal with all this negative news? How do you cope? I’ve been trying to think of strategies that work for me specifically, but I’m interested in hearing what others do if they manage this at all.
There are a many ways to say, “don’t worry about what you can not control” and “Ignorance is bliss”.
We need to be aware of threats so being ignorant is not an option. Get a balance to your intake of threats and the process at which you manage these threats. Define absolutely what you can and need to do.
Reduce your vulnerabilities, strengthen your defenses so these threats have less of an impact.
For myself i established an axiom that i cannot achieve perfect privacy and it’s gonna be a balance between it and convenience. Then i worked on achieving the state of my setup that makes me feel the least bad about being too lazy or too obsessive, and then i closed this question for myself, knowing that that is the point when i feel the best.
And regarding the news; i responsibly assess their impact on the world and me and then evaluate what i can and cannot do about them. For the most part i cannot do anything aside from sharing them and my opinion about them, so I try to forget about them and to not let them live rent free in my head.
And if i can do something, i just do and try not to worry too much.
The point is, don’t take responsibility for something that is out of your reach and you’ll feel better. That’s just a good general advice.
When i feel that i’m not doing enough i try to remind myself how much i have achieved already, this lightens the burden a bit. Here apply the same principles as with any matter that you have to do but don’t want to do or don’t know how to do, but it’s behind the scope of your question and is too big of a topic.
Ahh… A question to you friends, where can I find or how can I know about data breaches, hacks and other similar things?? (except surveillance reports, I am sorry Henry but I am too lazy to watch long videos , reading articles would be quick and convenient for me)
I am subscribed to some Telegram channels that inform about leaks and breaches, but they’re not in english and they don’t go beyond the country i live in. Maybe you could try there, because Telegram is a social media with a lot of shady individuals that naturally create such content. But i can’t give you any hints 'cause i don’t have any of your interest.
Thanks! My general interests are such news about breaches or hacks and all related apps and services I use, within country or globally both fine. I will try to look on telegram, but some kind of website or RSS page would be great.
(Digital) minimalism. I know I’m saying it every time, I’m sorry, but it really helps. More peace of mind and less things to worry about.
Also you have to accept the reality that privacy is continuous journey of improvements and there are some things that you simply cannot change.
I have kind a “gamer’s approach” Any kind of improvement is better than no improvement. An armor with 2% more defense is better. Maybe 2% is not much, but 1% here 2% there … you get the idea. Another good thing to realize is even if you’re using “just” a password manager with a different browser than Chrome, you’re doing better than vast majority of people already!
About databreaches - Surveillance Report
Aside from some of the really solid advice here, something important for myself is splitting up my passions/identity with other things.
Just some of my passions/activities:
Running, getting outside, yoga, veganism/animal rights, environmentalism, digital media, hanging with friends, taking trips, violin, etc.
It doesn’t matter what it is, it can be underwater basket weaving. Just make sure you’re not 100% constantly invested in a mentally depressing space (though I’d argue it’s probably not good to 100% invest in any space)
It ties your identity into something that will not always be under your control and won’t give you a safety net of other activities to lift you up Especially with something like privacy, just make sure you’re exposing yourself to other things that are less depressing so when this space is depressing, you can deal with it more effectively.
Some universal advice for everyone: reduce screen time, increase outside time.
- Tropical fish tank keeping
- Staying away from screens
- Waking Up app
I wrote a bit about the irony of spending more time on screens as you become more interested in the problem of privacy in one of my blog posts. I especially have that with Twitter these days. I was never on Twitter before, but see how effective it can be for reaching readers, but at the same time, I’m getting drawn towards the black hole that is Twitter, finding it hard not to check in several times a day. It’s regrettable.
Edit: the article is here: Obsessing over Privacy | Welcome to The Privacy Dad's Blog!
reduce screen time
Absolutely this! It’s like two years for me now that I don’t bring phone or computer to the bedroom. Only electronic thing I use in the bed occasionally is Kindle. Otherwise just a book. I sleep much better and I read a lot of books since. Win-win
Scrolling through social media in a bed and immediately after you wake up is the worst.
My wife does that (Facebook ). Not only it’s annoying, but it’s messing with her sleep. The last thing in the evening and first in the morning I see, it’s her on her phone. She is awake till really late, sleeps 6, sometimes even 8 hours but she has to sleep 3, 4 hours more in the afternoon, because she’s “crazy tired” … no shit Sherlock
Don’t sign up to things I don’t need.
Delete accounts I’m not using.
Since the 00s, I just use internet for online gaming, information and socializing with friends and others who share my interests.
Don’t understand why anyone would want that Twitter and Facebook rubbish, seems like cancer.
Along this route, are there any privacy resources that are brief? I was thinking that it would be cool to have a newsletter that comes out monthly with only a sentence or two to describe the news of that month. I find that shows like Surveillance Report and Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons are full of information and context, but getting bombarded with all of that bad news is just really upsetting.
It’s not so much that I fear for constantly being hacked but rather that it’s just a lot of bad news all the time. I’ve been thinking that if I’m going to get aggravated anyway, just reduce the amount of times you are aggravated.
Another question I wonder is how often the average person needs to stay up on the news. It coincides with your threat model, but it’s something I haven’t thought about before in terms of actually regulating how I consume news. Part of me would like to avoid the news entirely, but I don’t think I can justify going that far.
Will probably land on a monthly cadence, just need to set that up.
Your blog post hit the nail on the head. I recommend it as a reality check. Helped a lot to just put a lid on what is practically a hobby that has no end.
Also, welcome to the community!
Really great advises from you folks! Especially for someone like me who is a beginner in privacy journey, and obsessed with improving privacy, having anxieties and all. Thanks!