TLDR: Nothing is safe, for complete privacy, move inna woods and live like a caveman
TLDR2: If you're not a glowie, currently the most private setup is to have a 2nd hand laptop, running non-persistent Tails on starbucks wifi. Never use your home internet, real name, don't reuse usernames or passwords. Memorise as much as possible, don't write shit down anywhere.
Ok, so for most of us that isn't possible. However I do see a lot of posts on this forum that are, unfortunately, wrong, or at least unintentionally misleading, so I want to try clear things up a bit.
Specifically, questions like "best VPN", "best cloud storage" etc. seem to come from people who are quite new to online privacy, and tend to come from the wrong mindset. Namely, that any data you store on networked hardware, or anything 'cloud', then you must assume that it has been harvested by LE and will be available for them to review at any point in the future. The old adage of "there is no cloud, it's just someone elses computer" applies here.
Are you a fat pedo with 100TB of CP? Are you a darknet heroin seller? Are you a journalist in China? Are you a (god forbid) free-thinking citizen who does not 100% agree with the current narratives?
This matters, and does dictate the level of opsec you need to implement.
IF YOU ONLY CLICK ONE LINK, MAKE IT THIS ONE This is quite a comprehensive guide, which covers most privacy basics -
KICK JACK & ZUCK OUT OF YOUR LIFE FOR GOOD List of alternatives to big tech platform, fediverse etc
If you have more time, understand that cybersec is always evolving faster than any individual can keep up with. Get to know the history of the field, the motivations of LE which make our lives oh so wonderful, and learn how to mitigate against them.
These are good places to start:
I'M NOT A CRIMINAL THOUGH neither were Charlie Chaplin, Princess Di or John Lennon... but they're on this list:
INCENSER, aka intercepting traffic from the backbone of the internet
DARKWEB Safer - never use JS, never maximize the Tor window, assume that one day you'll be caught anyway. Not going to hold your hand here but d/Opsec and d/DNMbusts are good places to start (d/DNMbusts seems to be down currently)
Start here, you're on your own from there on -
or its dn address:
Even then, you're not safe, know that a lot of universities, LE and other people that don't know how to have fun spend a lot of time trying to 'disrupt' the dark web.
Pastebin link discussing how people are deanon'd on the DN:
and how this was done:
Using AI to track people in TOR:
Shit can, and will, come around to bite you in the ass. Here's a guy that got sentenced in 2021 for doing something in 2011:
Understand the importance of FUD and the emotional techniques behind it - you can only defend yourself against it if you know what it is and how it works.
FREE SOFTWARE Only use open source software you can audit yourself. If you absolutely need to open a binary, scan it with something like Malwarebytes, open it in a VM, run it through Ghidra, thanks to the boys at the NSA
That's all I have for now. Please let me know if I got anything wrong, feel free to share this. (If you really want to know, I think Mullvad is the best VPN). Also happy to answer any questions, but just know that I'm no cybersec professional, just a retard with a keyboard
And remember - you just run them over