Hygiene
in The Digital Public Square

You’re less incognito than you think.

Malicious apps, theft, spam, cyber stalking, censorship, surveillance.
There are no foolproof answers to risk online.
But there is advice to help.

Begin
To find a reliable email provider

To find a reliable email provider

Ideally you would not need to rely on your email provider if you encrypted all your email. In general, there are several important factors to consider when choosing an email provider:

  • Who is behind the service – is it a big corporation or a small company?
  • Where are their servers located, where is the company registered?
  • What are the privacy and security features of the account?

Answers to these questions may help you understand how far the email provider will go to protect your privacy and identity, the relevant laws that will govern that company and your messages on their servers. Here’s a list from the Privacy Tools website on ethical email providers. It is best to read carefully each provider’s terms of service and privacy policies before registration. Be aware that apart from protecting the contents of your email messages with encryption, you should also consider email metadata – that is information about who you send and receive email from, when, how often and the subject line, which is never encrypted. Please refer to the EFF Surveillance Self Defense Guide – why Metadata matters.


Now What?