Prime Numbers and YOUR Digital Privacy

I remember 50 years ago thinking in math class… what’s the deal with these Prime numbers….A prime number (or a prime) is a natural number greater than 1 that cannot be formed by multiplying two smaller natural numbers. Like so what….now these decades later it is at the core of successful encryption.

We have all have become crops with data to harvest. Each piece of data a kernel of corn which upon analysis offers up even it’s DNA. Every moment online our presence is being scraped (raped) clean of all personal information. For tracking you, your digital assets are even being “fingerprinted” in spite of other substantial efforts to cloak yourself… ugh.   Websites, Social Medias, emails etc.  The harvesters are tech companies, corporations, financial, governments, hackers, political operatives.  Who is good? Who is bad?  What is true? What is false? Are things really more nuanced? As far as protecting your privacy, it should not make a difference… like free speech, you have the right to privacy.

Getting a handle on this is largely possible.  Both for general everyday situations and for specific intents.  It may also be somewhat possible to retrieve and reduce what is “out there” on you.   Purge Google Facebook etc.  Resist WeChat.

Hackers are getting better.  Social Engineering for access is always getting smarter.    I had one phishing email this year that had actual old user name and password, and was able to send it to my associated email at the time.  It implied I had been hacked and a ransom is being asked.  Gave me pause…but realizing that a few online services I had used…like yahoo had been hacked and this info could have been taken from there I ignored the message…though nice try. Not.

The collapse of bitcoin, i think, is that what was thought to be a private and secure means for financial transactions is now almost the opposite. The on and off ramps for converting to currency like dollars are closely monitored.  If one or more of the “anonymous” transactions becomes known, a competent sleuth can follow the trail of transactions and reveal what was once thought hidden.

Uber is not being scrutinized right now for the data it is scrubbing off you.  How about their application for a patent that determines who is likely a drunk passenger and who is not.  Attempted to be done not just by time, date and location, but even more intimate data such as how you are handling the phone.  Or WeChat, possibly the most powerful and ominous app out there.  The PRC of China may assign you a social credit score.

Password systems   I use secure passwords.  I record my passwords NOT on a spreadsheet, or with a service that automates it but in a paper journal written by hand.  My Apple computer has a keychain that will help autofill from an encrypted file many of those passwords.  My main computer is locked down with full encryption and password access.  I have not gone to 2 factor encryption.  I have 4 or 5 password for my own use that vary in complexity and age.  I categorize them as good better and best and use them accordingly.  I may add a new password once a year unless there is an indication otherwise.

Encryption works!  You gotta know about the keys and how secure they are and who has them.  I think only YOU should have them.  Not encrypted and salted away by a provider with ability to retrieve on demand.

My servers and hosting technology is robust and secure.  Using advance hosting tech. Defense occurs at many points, first and foremost DNS.  Active scanning of incoming traffic and successfully deterring substantial dangers long before they are near your online data.

I wonder if maximizing dis or false information for scrubbing can be helpful.  Does it need to scale to be so?

Fighting Back….  Purging Google, Facebook WeChat “Social Credit Score”

Turning off Cellphone more often…

Own a domain.

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