Convenience is the sales pitch, but the real goal is control in service of maximizing profits and extending state power. When every device in your life is connected to the Internet (the Internet of Things), your refrigerator will schedule an oil change for your car–or something like that–and it will be amazingly wunnerful. You’ll be able to […]
Google is once again helping the Chinese government and its Orwellian control over the flow of information. Earlier this month, evidence emerged suggesting that Google has continued to develop the “Dragonfly” censored search engine despite claiming they had abandoned it after an internal revolt. Now, ZDNet reports that Google has banned ads for virtual private network (VPN) products targeting Chinese users – […]
By Corbett Report Extras James joins Melody Cedarstrom on the Financial Survival radio show for their regular, bi-monthly conversation. This time we discuss the disappearance of free will and the rise of Big Tech, the demographic crunch in Japan, China’s belt and road diplomacy, and the recent crisis in Kashmir. Show Notes & mp3: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=30559
Should you delete yourself from social media?
You’re feeling like you’ve had enough. All the recent news—from Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica snafu to various abuses of Twitter vulnerabilities—has you wondering: Should I delete myself from social media?
Social networking does have its positive aspects. You can stay in touch with distant (or not) relatives, be included in the planning of social events within your circle of friends, get real-time updates on regional and national news, and promote your company, content, or other personal ventures. Plus, you get to experience all the cool memes a full two weeks after they’ve been posted on Reddit.
Then again, there are quite a few reasons—spanning security, privacy, and overall shady business practices—for leaving. In 2018 alone, Facebook experienced a security breach that impacted 50 million accounts, was responsible for a genocide incited using its platform, kept user data it said it deleted, and was caught abusing Apple development apps to test on children. Twitter, meanwhile, has not only been at the butt end of password bugs, hacks, and data breaches, but some could say these days is a general dumpster fire of bot accounts.
Unfortunately, we can’t make the decision to quit social media for you. Instead, we recommend you make a list of pros and cons. Consider what data might be lost. Consider what time and peace of mind might be gained. Weigh the rewards against the risks. If you come away feeling ready to take a step back, but not quite quit cold turkey, we can help you with ways to tighten security and privacy settings. And if that’s not enough, we’ll show you how to delete your accounts.
Let’s start slowly
If you’re not quite ready to cut the chord, a good option for cooling down on social media is to adjust the privacy settings on all of your accounts. This is a sensible thing to do, even if you aren’t considering leaving. It also has the bonus side effect of increasing awareness of just how much you share on social media.
In a previous blog, we discussed how to secure your social media profiles in great detail. We recommend users who aren’t deleting themselves read this first to understand the intricacies. Next, here’s a quick and dirty list of links to follow in order to adjust privacy settings across the top four social networking platforms:
- Facebook privacy settings
- Twitter privacy settings
- Instagram privacy settings
- Snapchat privacy settings
After adjusting the settings, it’s a good idea to monitor and track your social media usage moving forward, either for the purpose of time management, focus, or beating social media addiction. As more and more of our media consumption moves to smart phones, you can leverage several apps that will help you achieve these goals. These include:
Goodbye, top four!
Let’s say you sat down, had a good think, and decided that it’s time to move on from social media. You can begin by collecting the appropriate links. Below, we’ve included links to download your data from the most popular platforms. You should download your personal information from these social networking sites prior to the nuclear option, should you experience remorse. Plus, it’s a real eye opener to find out exactly how much data you generate and share on social networking platforms.
Time to permanent deletion: Once 14 days have passed, your deletion request will be started. This can take upwards of 90 days to complete.
- How to deactivate your Twitter account
- How to delete your Twitter account
- How to download your Twitter archive
Time to permanent deletion: It takes up to 30 days for Twitter to completely delete your account.
Time to permanent deletion: Immediately!
Time to permanent deletion: 30 days
Ha ha ha, ho ho ho, he he he he. This one is mostly for the giggles. Google will abandon this particularendeavor on April 2, 2019. But if you feel the need to delete yourself before then, here’s what to do:
The right time
Security researchers love social media platforms. They’re a vast source of open-source intelligence (OSINT) and help us make attribution possible (provided your adversary has poor OPSEC). However, the reasons we enjoy social media may also be the reasons why regular consumers should take a beat and consider the benefits.
When you’re ready to make a decision, we’ve given you all the necessary links to back up and delete these accounts, as well as some material that may help you decide which ones to keep, and how to properly secure them.
If social media is causing anxiety, stress, or depression; if you’re tired of your data being mined and shared with third parties; if it’s starting to feel more like work to maintain instead of pleasure, then it may be time to shore up defenses and take a break, or even step away for good. And if that time comes, we’re here for you.
Merging Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram: a technical, reputational hurdle
Posted: February 7, 2019 by davidruiz
Secure messaging is supposed to be just that—secure. That means no backdoors, strong encryption, private messages staying private, and, for some users, the ability to securely communicate without giving up tons of personal data.
So, when news broke that scandal-ridden, online privacy pariah Facebook would expand secure messaging across its Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram apps, a broad community of cryptographers, lawmakers, and users asked: Wait, what?
Not only is the technology difficult to implement, the company implementing it has a poor track record with both user privacy and online security.
On January 25, the New York Times reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had begun plans to integrate the company’s three messaging platforms into one service, allowing users to potentially communicate with one another across its separate mobile apps. According to the New York Times, Zuckerberg “ordered that the apps all incorporate end-to-end encryption.”
The initial response was harsh.
Abroad, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, which regulates Facebook in the European Union, immediately asked for an “urgent briefing” from the company, warning that previous data-sharing proposals raised “significant data protection concerns.”
In the United States, Democratic Senator Ed Markey for Massachusetts said in a statement: “We cannot allow platform integration to become privacy disintegration.”
By MassPrivateI I hope you had a happy new year, “because I’m about to ruin the image and the style that you’re used to.” Gone are the days when you sent your daughter to the store and worried that some creepy old man might upskirt her, because now retailers will do what no stalker could ever…