What is Vault 7? And how not to be spied on

Have you heard about the latest Wikileaks release called Vault 7?

The short version: If you ever were sceptic about “USA is spying on everyone on the Internet” you can stop being sceptic now… Since 7 March we know, for a fact, that they’re capable of hacking into, listening and recording on pretty much any server and any private device with an Internet connection. It’s actually real.

For a longer version I recommend the Vault 7 Wikipedia article.

There’s hopefully going to be a lot coverage in media about these revelations over the coming weeks and months. Please don’t ignore it. Read it and try to understand. If you don’t understand, please ask me. I’m happy to help you! Seriously, text me, call me. Whatever, I want to help you understand and act to protect your freedom on the Internet.

What can you do now, to not be spied on?

It’s hard to give concrete advice on how to protect yourself against USA’s hacking attacks and spying. With the release of Vault 7, we learned for a fact that their capabilities are very powerful.

That said, below are some general and easy steps that everyone can take to enhance their privacy and limit the chance of being spied on. Please note that there are a lot more that can be done to enhance ones privacy and security on the Internet. I wanted to keep these recommendations accessible without adding technology or making major changes to ones devices (e.g. using a VPN service or encrypting hard drives).

1. Uninstall apps

Uninstall apps on your laptop, phone and other devices that you don’t use. This greatly limits the “surface area” for which spying on you is possible. Many people have TONS of apps on their devices they no longer use.

2. Always update

Always keep your computer and phone fresh with the latest updates. This usually fixes known “holes” in your system.

3. No public WiFi networks

Don’t use public WiFi networks in shopping malls or cafes. Get a mobile data plan for a reasonable price, and always use this instead. Trust me, this is important because for various technical reasons it’s very, very easy to spy on you when using a public WiFi.

4. Use the web browser instead

Use services via a regular web browser instead of apps. E.g, use Facebook in your mobile’s browser (you know typing in https://facebook.com ;) ) instead of the app on your phone. This somewhat reduces the capabilities available to USA’s malware (e.g. listening on you via your phone’s microphone is not possible, or at least harder, via the web browser). Most services have very well working web interfaces these days.

5. Use firewalls

Make sure you use a firewall on both your home router and your computer. They do provide some valuable protection. Check the below links for how to enable the firewall on your computer: