As we all know Edward Snowden is one of our most recent famous whistleblowers. He has been living in Russia for quite some time now as here in the US he would be placed in prison for his ‘crimes.’

While I’m not going to go over all of the things we now know thanks to Snowden you can click here to see a timeline of some of the things he’s revealed to the public throughout the years. Sure, those in power didn’t want us to be aware of these things but many were quite important for us as the public to know. Snowden in recent times has been making headlines as he’s been doing a number of interviews and even released a book, but just what does he have to say?

All of this has brought some of his previous interviews to the forefront as well and many people have been going over things he has said or noted in the past. This bringing to mind an interview he did with The Intercept back in 2015 that really stuck with me. Within that interview, Snowden went over five different things that everyone should know in regards to protecting themselves when it comes to their online presence and smartphone use as a whole. You can find those things below and I will do my best to explain each.

1. Encrypt your phone calls and text messages.

While it might sound like some crazy hacker stuff, apparently encrypting your calls and texts is not as complex as you assume. According to Snowden, you can do this by using the smartphone app ‘Signal’ through something called ‘Open Whisper System.’ He claims this is free and that we can just download it and get right into using it.

2. Encrypt your hard disks, always.

When it comes to keeping things like your photographs, locations, and other things of the sort safe encrypting your hard disks is crucial. When you have things set up in this manner if your computer is stolen or lost your information will still remain safe. You can click here to learn more about how to do this and what it would consist of.

3. Use a password manager, no exceptions.

Many people end up having private information exposed because they don’t keep things separated. For instance, they use the same password for everything just for the sake of keeping things simple. Using a password manager will allow you to have a unique password for each website or app that you use and these passwords are not ‘breakable.’ It is also important to note you don’t have to remember all of them and that you can find free password managers like KeePassX to take advantage of.

4. Make sure you’re using two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication might seem like a bit of a bother when you’re in a rush and need to sign into something but it comes in handy more than you know. Using this even if someone somehow gets your password they can’t get into your profiles. You will be aware of anyone trying to log into your accounts.

5. Use an ad-blocker, period.

While it might seem like common knowledge in this day and age, there are still some people who do not use ad-blockers. By using an ad blocker you’re able to keep things as they should be. With ads coming in freely you’re putting your privacy at risk which is something we should work to avoid as best we can.

What do you think about these tips and do you think you’ll be using any of them in the future? I already have taken advantage of several but will be looking into the rest. Snowden might not be liked by all but he is extremely smart nonetheless. To hear him speak on the importance of privacy please check out the video below.


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