Digital Privacy Starts at Home

With the rapid degradation in privacy rights as demonstrated by Apple’s change to scan iPhoto uploads for child porn (and whatever else governments that are supplying the matching hashes want to be identified), I will be now using the Heuristic Security Blog to discuss relevant security/privacy issues and provide information on how people can protect themselves at a personal level. I believe privacy is a fundamental human right, as enshrined in Article 8 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. However, as with all rights, unless we personally defend them, they will be taken from us, and we will suffer the consequences. We cannot depend on others to defend our rights – it is our personal responsibility.

Let me start by noting, that without digital security, digital privacy is meaningless. To ensure your privacy, you need to have at least minimum levels of security controls in place, especially at home, as this is where so many have been forced to work over the past 18 months.

The following GitHub guidance provides a good start for protecting your privacy from a home perspective. It is unfortunate that those without the requisite technical skills to build and tune their own firewall are forced to fall back on the promises of either the ISP suppliers or consumer router/Wi-Fi products when it comes to security and privacy. However, if you do have the skills and experience to implement these controls, there is much you can do to protect your digital identity. This will be the focus of this post and subsequent updates to the Heuristic Security blog.

The following GitHub repository provides guidance on how to set up a personal firewall to start to protect your digital identity. My recommendation, if you have the required skills, is to start with either pfSense or OPNnsense. If you don’t want to build your firewall from scratch, both companies behind these firewalls sell appliances with their software preinstalled, from which you can customize per the instructions I provide.

To find out what I recommend as baseline network controls for your home environment, please refer to the following document:

https://github.com/CyberAdvisor/firewall_guidelines

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