Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

7 Digital Privacy Tools You Need To Be Using Now

Interesting reading and the title says it all: 7 Digital Privacy Tools You Need To Be Using Now at


Categories: Online Privacy & Security

2 replies

  1. I recently switched my PC (Win 10) email from the default (horrible, imo) Mail app to Thunderbird because I couldn’t find an old email that I was positive I had saved. Setting up Thunderbird was a bit painful but along the way I was reminded of just how bad Windows default email was with regard to privacy and security.

    This is why I’m posting this- You should do an article on the lack of security and privacy that your email software may be exposing you to! Just 2 quick examples: 1) exactly HOW do you determine if you should even OPEN and email? What clues/tools/functions does your email app provide? 2) When you actually DO read an email, what content are you allowing to access you via all of the underlying html that’s required to view today’s typical email content? What controls does your email app give you to limit the displayed content?

    As I said, it was certainly not “turn key” to switch from Windows Mail to Thunderbird, but now that I have it’s been eye opening.


    • —> You should do an article on the lack of security and privacy that your email software may be exposing you to!

      I agree… sort of. But there are technical issues that I have not yet solved. I do have a plan to solve it, however. If successful, I probably will write about my solution here within a few weeks.

      I have written many times about securely SENDING email messages privately. See for a list of those articles.

      However, RECEIVING email messages in a manner that you suggested: “exactly HOW do you determine if you should even OPEN an email? What clues/tools/functions does your email app provide?” is a much more difficult and complicated task.

      In short, I don’t know of any email software or any other method to ALWAYS be secure when receiving email messages in a Windows system, mostly because of the many security holes in Windows. Macintosh would be somewhat safer but still is not perfect. Linux is even better, but still is probably only about 99% perfect. iPad and Android tablets have questionable security.

      If I receive an email message that I am suspicious might contain a virus or other malware (malevolent software) in an email message, the only way I will read it today is to open it on my Chromebook laptop.

      The Chrome operating system is the most resistant to security problems of any operating system I know of. In addition, no Chromebook has ever been infected by a virus. Nothing is ever perfect so it is theoretically possible that a future malware method might be invented that might infect Chromebooks but that hasn’t happened yet. Chromebook certainly has the lowest odds of any system of ever being infected by an email message.

      I own a Chromebook and love it. The Chromebook is the laptop I take with me when traveling (and I travel a lot). Besides its security capabilities, the Chromebook is lightweight, does everything I need to do when traveling as long as I have a wi-fi connection to the Internet, never gets infected with malware, and is cheap. I would hate to have a laptop stolen when traveling again (that happened to me about 10 years ago), but I would prefer to have a low-cost Chromebook stolen rather than an expensive Windows or Macintosh laptop! Besides that, a thief is not able to retrieve any of my private information from a stolen Chromebook, unlike a stolen Windows or Macintosh system. Even after a theft of a Chromebook, my data is safe from prying eyes.

      Some Chromebooks can be purchased for $200 or less but those devices usually have the smaller screens and cheaper-feeling keyboards. I purchased a more expensive Chromebook but it has a gorgeous screen display, a very good keyboard, a faster processor, yet it weighs about 3 pounds. The included AC power adapter/recharger is lighter weight than most other laptop chargers so the total weight in my carry-on luggage is about the same as most other laptop and charger combinations. On shorter trips, I leave the charger at home as the battery in the Chromebook lasts for about 10 hours of constant usage. I only need the charger if I am traveling for 3 or 4 days or longer.

      Most of the time, I leave the MacBook Pro at home and pack the Chromebook in my carry-on luggage.

      A couple of days ago I purchased a Chromebox. A Chromebox is similar to a Chromebook except the Chromebox isn’t a laptop; it is in a box similar to most desktop computers. It needs an external monitor, an external keyboard, and an external mouse. It isn’t powered by batteries. Instead, a Chromebox connects to a wall outlet for power. It runs the same Chrome operating system as does a Chromebook.

      See for lots of links to articles about Chromebox computers.

      In the next few days, I plan to hook up the Chromebox in my home beside my present iMac that I normally use for all sorts of things. I will test it for a few days. If I like it, I will then use the Chromebox for reading and writing email messages when I am at home, then use the Chromebook when traveling. I doubt if the Chromebox will ever replace the iMac completely, but I will test it to find out if that is practical or not.

      A Chromebook or Chromebox is super easy to configure and use so it certainly does qualify as a “turn key” solution.

      OK, this is a longer answer than what you probably expected, but it does tell how I plan to “determine if you should even OPEN an email.”


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