Secure computing – current state

Best general-purpose Operating System

QubesOS is still (and has been for some years) the most secure general-purpose operating system for computer users who wish to protect their privacy and maintain control over their computers and data. It’s great to see the Qubes OS project to gain a lot of mainstream traction and recognition.

I recommend Qubes OS for any power user who can handle the added administration/knowledge required.

Best Operating System to use in hostile situations

TAILS is still the best operating system for use in hostile situations – when one needs to keep what they’re doing on a computer as discreet as possible.

Best way of communicating securely/privately with others

For day-to-day secure communication I recommend the Signal app on an Android phone or iPhone, or on your personal computer. It’s the only app via which I will share photos/videos of my kids with friends and family, or indeed the only app via which I will discuss anything with anyone.

Email is not dead yet, but given how horrible its privacy features are, its use should be reduced to just the few cases for which an instant messaging application like Signal is not convenient.

 

Communicating with decency – current state

It’s now mid-2016. How should we be communicating with people with some semblance of privacy/decency, without having others record and monetize our every thought or feeling put in words?

By now, a large number of people use smartphones. If you have any of the below:

  • an Android phone
  • an iPhone

…the best app for secure and private communication is Signal – by WhisperSystems.

It’s extremely easy to use and the most private way of sending text messages, photos, videos to one or more people. It’s also the most private way of having a phone call.

Signal needs an Internet connection to work.

Other apps (like WhatsApp, Messenger, Line, Viber etc) all have inferior privacy features to Signal, or are actively monetizing your activity, snooping on your phone’s contact list etc.

If you care about your privacy, reduce the use of email or other apps and start using Signal now.