Privacy Resources

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Information about Privacy Services at CUL

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General Reference Guides to Digital Privacy & Security

Surveillance Self-Defense: Tips, Tools, & How Tos for Safer Online Communications (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Data Detox Kit (Tactical Technology Collective)

Threat Modeling One-pager (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Privacy Guides (A central repository of information about choosing software and services, with updated recommendations)


Targeted Harassment Self-Defense Guides

Best Practices for Conducting Risky Research and Protecting Yourself from Online Harassment (Data & Society)

Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself from Online Harassment (Feminist Frequency)

C.O.A.C.H.: Crash Override's Automated Cybersecrutiy Helper (Crash Override)

Anti-Doxing Guide for Activists Facing Attacks (Equality Labs)


Secure Your Accounts 

How To Choose Great Passwords You Can Remember for your most important accounts (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

For the rest of your accunts, use a password manager like LastPass, 1Password, or KeePassX.
Cornell provides premium LastPass accounts for free to students, staff, and faculty. Sign up for a free premium LastPass account via Cornell IT

Install 2-Factor Authorization on your most important accounts. Consider using a hardware token like Yubikey or an authenticator app (like Duo or Google Authenticator) instead of text-to-phone.

Always install available updates to your operating systems and software.


Encrypt Your Communications

For encrypted text messages and calls, download the Signal App on your phone. Use it for private text messaging.

Install HTTPS Everywhere on all your browsers.


Limit Your Digital Exhaust

Install a tracking blocker (aka ad blocker, aka surveillance blocker), such as Privacy Badger or uBlock Origin.

Delete apps you don't need.


Zoom Advice

Harden Your Zoom Settings to Protect Your Privacy and Avoid Trolls (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Zoom Bombing: Protect Your Cornell Course (Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation)


Increasing Anonymity

The Tor Browser and Intellectual Freedom in the Digital Age (Macrina, A. Reference and User Services Quarterly, 54(4), Summer 2015)

Visual, Interactive Explanation of Tor & HTTPS (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Download and Install Tor (The Onion Browser)

Updated Advice on Choosing a VPN Service (Privacy Guides, a trustworthy resource)


Encrypting Your Devices

Enable full disk encryption on your Mac with FileVault

Enable Full Disk Encryption on Windows 8 and earlier with BitLocaker

Enable Full Disk Encryption on Windows 10


Privacy at the U.S. Border

Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border: Protecting the Data On Your Devices and In the Cloud (Electronic Frontier Foundation, 2017)

I'm A Journalist But I Didn't Fully Realize the Terrible Power of U.S. Border Officials Until They Violated My Rights and My Privacy (The Intercept, Jun. 22, 2019) 

A Guide to Getting Past Customs with your Digital Privacy Intact (WIRED Magazine, Feb. 12, 2017)


Uses of Commercial Mass Surveillance

Trump Could Build Registry of 1.4 million Muslims for Under $20,000 (Center for Investigative Reporting, Jan. 4, 2017)


On the Ethics of Ad Blockers

I Use Ad Blockers and I Am So Sorry (I Use Ad Blockers and I Am Not Sorry) A talk by Sarah Jeong, at XOXO Festival, September 2016. [Jeong is a journalist who writes about technology, policy, and law, including digital privacy and security. She discusses how ad blockers threaten the current business model of journalism, and why she recommends using them anyway.]